Monday, December 15, 2008
Rainy Day Escapes
Winter weather has finally hit Berkeley after a very long autumn. For most of America, winter means snow, but in Northern California we get downpours. Having grown up here, I always get the feeling that Christmas is that much closer once the rains begin.
In a town where the weather stays so nice for most of the year, it can be a treat to be forced indoors for some rainy day activities. One such pastime we promote at Castle in the Air is assembling and playing with paper theatres. For a century Pollock's toy theatres were at the top of the Christmas list for every boy in London, including my father. He collected them back when they were printed uncolored, and he painted them and brought to life daring adventures complete with lightning and cannon-fire effects. He was such an accomplished producer at the young age of 12, that when the BBC visited Pollock's and asked for someone who could perform paper theatre plays on live television, he was chosen for the honor.
New entertainments have edged out DIY theatres, but our friend Alan Pryor has kept the curtains up for Pollock's by reprinting a number of their paper theatre kits which we sell at Castle in the Air. It's amazing to me how scissors, glue, and a bit of imagination can transport me to the land of Aladdin or the quarterdeck of Blackbeard's pirate ship. Who said rainy days were no fun?