Lowry Theater

15. January 2011

Lowry Theater

My husband, Tom and I recently celebrated 26 years of wedded bliss. There’s no doubt I got the better end of the deal. Tom’s put up with a lot. As the wife of a long-time TV newscaster, Tom simply got used to being called “Mr. LeBeau.” (That’s my maiden name, by the way!) He knows who he is and that’s enough.

I suppose it has something to do with his military training. After 20 years as a Navy pilot, Tom (Thomas Dunlap Hamilton) retired as a Commander some years ago. He’s had two careers since, but I must say I’m awfully proud of his service to our country as an S-3 pilot and flight instructor. To this day, Tom will tell you there are three things worth fighting for. Family. God. Country.

You see what I mean about the “better end of the deal?” And to make the deal even “sweeter,” as Tom’s wife and military dependant, I have privileges on the local bases. I can shop at the commissary, work out at the gym and take in a movie at the most wonderful old theater in the United States

I recently took my nephews for their first visit to the fabulous Lowry Theater on NAS North Island (Naval Base Coronado.) While the theater may not be a household name most locals are familiar with the base situated at the north end of the Coronado peninsula on San Diego Bay. It’s homeport to several US Navy aircraft carriers.

It’s an enormous facility… host to 23 aviation squadrons and 80 additional tenant commands. NAS North Island is rich in aviation history, including the first parachute jump in the San Diego area, the first seaplane flight in 1911 and the famous flight of Charles A. Lindbergh from New York to Paris in 1927. That flight originated at North Island’s Rockwell Field.

During World War II, North Island was the major continental U.S. base supporting operating forces in the Pacific. Today, the base resembles a small city, providing service men, women and their families everything from restaurants and a golf course to churches and the historic Lowry Theater.

My nephews stood awestruck as we entered the cavernous auditorium that seats 2,100. And then we stood proudly as the American flag waved on screen and together hundreds of us sang our National Anthem.

The Lowry Theater is the former home of major USO shows and bond drives, but because of the continuing commitment of the Navy’s department of Morale, Welfare and Recreation to meet the needs of today’s servicemen and women… that day we enjoyed a matinee performance of “Megamind” on the big screen… a brilliantly animated message about good vs. evil.

What a treat to watch such a critical life lesson surrounded by men and women who would die to protect my freedom.

Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.