Preserve the CinéArts Dome in Pleasant Hill
Now, every half year or so I come back from my adventures abroad or law school in San Diego to my hometown of Pleasant Hill. I love this place. Some of my greatest memories come from my times in Pleasant Hill. I went to day care at the rec; I marched in baseball parades; I played Christ the King basketball; I spent my summers at camp, playing basketball, tennis, and learning how to cook; I got thrown into the infamous trashcan by my 6th grade teacher at Valley View, Mr. Spottiswood; and I had team parties and ran around those crazy back-door halls after great New York style pizza at DeVino’s (I actually ended up spinning pizzas there all throughout high school).
The list of Pleasant Hill memories goes on; but it would never be complete without mentioning my experiences at the Dome. Jurassic Park, Gladiator, Star Wars, and my first kiss were all under that green-tinted hut. Now this City has decided to throw away all the good which still remains from the Dome and replace it with a sporting goods store, coincidentally with the name Dick’s. Sure sums it up. No matter what happens after that Dome is demolished, my memories of it will fall into the depths of my brain. I’ll never come back to Pleasant Hill and drive by the Dome. As Babe Ruth once said in the Sandlot, “heroes get remembered, but legends never die.” The Dome is more than just a dome – it is a legend to this area; and how could a legend not be a legend without once having a Fenton’s.
Should I be mad at this Dick? Or should I accept Nostalgia as a fact of this global market that we have spiraled into and that we won’t get out of, less our destruction? How many more Jurassic Parks, Star Wars, and Gladiators will there be to fill that amphitheater of a building. I could have named all the things that I remember from my childhood growing up in Pleasant Hill but, in there with them all is waiting along that yellow line to watch one soon to be classic after another. The future classics may never premiere in there again, that is a fact, but the classics now should.
It is my suggestion to make the Dome a historic site and use it to generate tax revenue by playing old Hollywood films. I am not sure how we would do this, or where we would start, but I do know Facebook and I do know its possibilities. I am asking my Facebook friends to help generate serious ideas or to spread the word that the Dome should not be leveled and made way for more cookie cutter fluff. For example, one idea would be to send out fliers to everyone in Pleasant Hill to ask them to read the flyer and that someone would be by their house in the coming week to sign a petition. We would then come back in a week and, hopefully, they would sign the petition. We could get enough votes to attend a City council meeting and present the petition. At the same time, we could also consider registering the Dome as a California historic site. If interested, we could consider this further. BUT WE SHOULD LEAVE ALL OPTIONS OPEN IF WE ARE TO FIGHT THIS UP HILL BATTLE. It is either this or risk losing the Dome forever.
The real change from this City will come not from the demolition of a legend for the benefit of the few, but from the continuing aspiration to benefit this City’s citizens, young and old, on a whole. To demolish the Dome, would send the wrong signal. We should, instead, look to Mangini for guidance. Mangini’s farm is the last remnant of another time – a time soon to be lost. We may never be able to bring back Dolores Larkin, the hot-dog lady from Casper’s, but we still have a chance to save the Dome. Once it’s lost, it will never come back. Once a new building is erected, many Dick’s will pass through; but never will corporate might compete with the experience of buying a ticket, waiting in line, and entering and watching a movie in the Dome.