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Letter: It breaks my heart to think of losing the Triplex

To the editor: The recent news of the potential closing of the Triplex Cinema in Great Barrington has left me shaken. ("A company that was planning to invest in the Triplex Cinema is short on cash. If the money isn't raised, the theater could close," Eagle, March 22.)

I know I am not alone in saying that I see the theater as an anchor in our community.

I grew up in Stockbridge in the 1990s and early 2000s, and the memories I have of my childhood and teenage years are interwoven with afternoons and nights spent in the dark rooms of the Triplex. From midnight showings of the first "Harry Potter" movie to trips with my Monument Mountain High School English class to see "Atonement" after reading the book, to sneaking in without paying (please forgive me) with friends in high school, it is the place I was introduced to storytelling.

When I moved home to settle in the county in 2017, I jokingly attributed the decision based on the existence of a handful of local businesses: The Bookstore in Lenox, Stockbridge Coffee and Tea in Stockbridge, and the Triplex. Looking back now, I realize I wasn’t joking.

I go to the movies at least once a week in Great Barrington. Sometimes I bring a group of friends, and other times I go by myself to see movies that I want to experience alone. Both are available to me at 70 Railroad St. I’m a writer, a storyteller, and I’ve taken for granted the access to both the blockbusters and independent movies offered in my own backyard. Nowhere else can I see both "Spider-Man: No Way Home" and "Belfast" on the same day. During the COVID shutdown, I continued to buy gift cards that now sit unused in my desk drawer.

My heart is breaking. There truly is no alternative to the contributions or communal space offered by the Triplex. If the community is committed to keeping culture alive in the county, I ask friends and neighbors to do whatever we can to save this special and important place. Meanwhile, I will do what I can. I will be there Monday night. I will see whatever is playing at the theater.

Hannah Wilken, Lee

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