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Thanks, Palace Theatre, for lifting our spirits

A cyclist checks out the posters at the Palace Theatre on Main Street, Lake Placid, Tuesday, July 6. The theater re-opened June 24 after being closed since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. (News photo — Andy Flynn)

During the Great Depression, Americans turned to their local movie theaters to escape the tough economic times for a short while, living vicariously through the fictional lives of their favorite actors. Built in 1926, Lake Placid’s Palace Theatre was there through it all.

Yet, even though the theater was closed from March 2020 to June 24 this year — not showing a single movie to help us escape — the owners kept lifting our spirits through the toughest days of the coronavirus pandemic with their movie-inspired messages on the Main Street marquee.

On the theater’s Facebook page on April 17, the Clark family posted: “This one came out this week back in 1952. It was also one of Mr. Clark’s favorites!” They were referring to “Singin’ in the Rain,” which was released on April 11, 1952. The marquee message was “WE’RE SINGIN / IN A MASK / SO COVID / DOESN’T LAST.”

We haven’t had any luck finding someone in the Clark family who will be interviewed about their pandemic experience or their re-opening. We’d love to hear their viewpoint, but we understand; the pandemic was difficult on local businesses, even more so for the ones who couldn’t open until later in the re-opening phases dictated by the state of New York, such as movie theaters. Recounting those dark days must be painful.

To the Clarks — one of Lake Placid’s most humble and giving families — we say thank you, thank you, thank you! For everything.

What residents and visitors of Lake Placid can do now to show their thanks is go to the movies again … at the Palace Theatre.