If you haven’t made plans to go to the Mars Theatre, it is worth the trip to downtown Springfield.
Aside from an ambitious and diverse initial schedule of events, the building itself has turned out better than anyone could have hoped. From the red neon lighting up Laurel Street to the curved block glass front, the outward appearance of the edifice is appealing in itself.
But once you’re inside, you’re hooked. They wanted comfortable seating, and they got it. They wanted a top-flight audio and video system, and they got it. There’s a glass case filled with mementoes from the Mars’ past. The case was sitting on the stage when work began, and it was restored by a local company.
People who remembered the first incarnation of the Mars were astonished and delighted at Wednesday night’s initial sneak preview.
“It is perfect,” proclaimed Dollie Fulghum, who worked at the Mars back in the 1950s. “Everyone who had a hand in it, I give them a big thanks. You have to work as a team, and they did.”
As another of the old Mars customers, he could get into the movies at the 15-cent price reserved for those 12 and older — when he was beyond 12, if Mary and Martha were behind the counter. So for a quarter, he could get a ticket, a popcorn and a Coke.
So maybe it won’t that inexpensive now. But with an ambitious programming schedule, there should be plenty of opportunities to find something to like at the new Mars.
If you’re ready to go to Mars, it’s worth the trip.