Ghosts of the New Isis Theater

New Issis Theater, Fort Worth Stockyards

New Isis Theater, Fort Worth Stockyards

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,

And then is heard no more.  It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

William Shakespeare, Macbeth

In summer school, we began studying Shakespeare this morning in preparation for the reading of Macbeth.  Part of our background study was the phenomenon of the Globe Theater in Shakespeare’s Renaissance England, with its magnetic pull on the surrounding population.  I came home this afternoon, took one look at this New Isis theater I began recently, and felt mingled emotions of sadness and comfort as I re-read its history.  I find it difficult to convey my feelings when looking on historic monuments such as this without resorting to some form of double-speak (funny to realize that Macbeth opens with three witches and their double-speak).  But my feelings are conveyed in this comment from David Farrell Krell in his Introduction to Early Greek Thinking: Martin Heidegger:

Four fragments of early Greek thinking dominate Heidegger’s thoughts in the present collection.  Each is a truncated monument of thinking.  Like the torso of a river god or the temple of Poseidon at Sounion, each fragment conveys a sense of loss, of tragic withdrawal and absence; yet each is a remnant of an exhilarating presence.

Loss and presence–those are what I feel when I look at a building such as the New Isis, and feel the myriad of ghosts lingering in its midst.  How many first dates took place here?  How many times did a couple hold hands for the first time?  How many saw their first feature film here?  What famous films from cinematic history ran here?  Movie houses move me profoundly when I look upon their facades, and even more so when I study photographs I have taken and look more closely at the architectural details.

Macbeth, in his closing moments, mused about life strutting and fretting its life upon the stage.  Movie houses come and go, wax and wane, rise and fall, marking time much in the same way that we do.  As I look upon the New Isis, I feel many of the Wordsworthian sentiments expresssed in his Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey.  One can look upon a structure such as this theater for a matter of minutes, take a few pictures, but carry the haunting and comforting sentiments in the heart for days and years afterward.  My only regret is that I never entered this movie house when it was open.  All I can do now is read of its past, and connect with parallel expeiences of my own, and then paint what remains.

I don’t intend for this to be my only attempt at rendering this historic structure.  But this first attempt has already flooded my being with plenty of reward, and for that I am grateful.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal because I feel that I am alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

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4 Responses to “Ghosts of the New Isis Theater”

  1. Bonnie Ratzloff Says:

    Hmm!…I feel the same way when looking at an old structure. Houses move me the most…wondering about all the good/bad/sad/lovely times. I love what you’ve done with this! (Waxing and waning…I’m waning right now. Very weak.)


    • davidtripp Says:

      Bonnie, I’m so sorry to hear you are weak. I hope you get back in the saddle soon. Your work inspires me, and I cannot thank you enough for looking at my work and offering encouragement.


      • Bonnie Says:

        I’ll get back. Right now is a time for serious rest…though my mind continues to “create” scenes! Thanks for your kind words!!


      • davidtripp Says:

        Rest up, Bonnie. I’m glad your mind keeps creating as you convalesce. I wish you the very best, and hope you’re back at it soon.


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