Movies were a bond between Ethan and his father, the Film Studies Department chair; movies were also the glue that kept him together after his father’s untimely death.
Now, they are the catalyst for the biggest changes 17-year-old Ethan has ever had to face. Spending most of his free time at his job managing a dilapidated university movie house with a motley crew of co-workers, his biggest worry is the daily battle to keep rats out of the candy. When the theater is served an eviction notice, Ethan and his cast of misfits band together to fight the loss of a community icon. Raina, his first love, who is now an up-and-coming movie star, unexpectedly returns to town, lending a hand to the struggle but also opening up old wounds. As in the best tried-and-true tales of movie valor, Ethan and his friends bravely take on each obstacle only to be faced with new ones. As they do, Ethan learns vital information about his past, his father, and why movies meant so much to him, which helps him work through his feelings of loss and grief. Uneven pacing and underdeveloped secondary characters mar an otherwise intriguing story. One theater employee grew up in Lebanon with his Lebanese father (his mother is American), otherwise all characters default to white.
A character-driven story of grief and growth. (Fiction. 13-18)