Richard Perrine

Obituary of Richard Bruce Perrine

CUYAHOGA FALLS - Richard Perrine left this world on Saturday, October 17th. It was his 70th birthday. He was the son of the late Lenore and George Perrine of Copley. Richard is survived by his loving spouse and friend of 23 years Patti. He leaves behind his two beloved daughters, Kathryn Leftwich (Tim) of Michigan, and Emily Rapposelli of South Carolina. He also leaves brothers George Perrine (Gloria) of New Hampshire and Dave Perrine (Kay) of Copley, plus nieces and nephews. He is further survived by sister-in-law Jennifer Douglas (Phil) of Richfield. Rich grew up in Copley, Ohio at 2729 Ridgewood Road and graduated from Copley High School (Class of 1969). He liked to attend high school reunions when he could, and loved catching up with Jimmy Goson - his paper route buddy and good childhood friend. Richard was introduced to the arts world by his mother Lenore. As the youngest child, she toted him to concerts, plays, choral recitals and, most importantly, movies. She would let him go to all-day matinees at the movie palaces in Downtown Akron where 25 cents would let you stay all day and also have a chocolate bar. Thanks to Lenore, Rich also developed a love for music standards - especially those of Jack Jones and Frank Sinatra. Rich discovered movie projection when visiting older brother George at college. Around 1970, he became a life long member of the Akron Projectionists Union (now Local 374) and started his life as a projectionist – now a lost art. His projectionist companions called him “Richard B.” He spent the next 40-plus years in a projection booth honing his craft. The very first movie he ran was “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and the last was “Gravity.” He even spent his 21st birthday in a projection booth in Wadsworth. Then running movies digitally was introduced and his services as an “artist” could no longer be used. It took him over two years to figure out his ultimate pension as he had worked at over 40 theaters over the years. He ran movies at chain theatres, movie palaces (Akron Civic Theater), drive ins (Blue Sky Drive In and Magic City Drive in). He even ran adult pictures in Downtown Akron during their heyday in the 70s and 80s. Eventually he found a home of sorts at Akron's Highland Theater and loved being there. Owner Ted Bare called him “Richie.” You may remember him - he was the “Jerry Garcia” looking gent who would pour you a drink, sell you popcorn and offer you a tour of the projection booth. He told a nurse recently that his very favorite film was “Sunset Boulevard”, but his eclectic taste also included favorites like “1776,” “Billy Budd,” “7 Faces of Dr. Lao,” “Dead Again,” Jumbo,” “Fried Green Tomatoes” and the aforementioned “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” He also adored really bad science fiction movies like “The Killer Shrews” and “Wild Women of Wongo.” Not everyone “got” Rich. But if you were the fortunate ones, you got introduced to the world of “Rich speak” and really bad jokes. His humor was “unique!” Rich was part of a small community of northeast Ohio film makers and loved being a mentor to aspiring directors. He had (still has) an office in Cuyahoga Falls filled with movie prints and all sorts of movie equipment. Many thanks are in order to the multitude of doctors and nurses who took care of him the last three months, with special emphasis on the nurses at Select Specialty Hospital in downtown Akron who tended him lovingly during the last week of his life. Also thank you to Bill from Cornerstone Medical Services who delivered his weekly oxygen and always took time out to chat with him. Due to our current times, no funeral services will be held at this point. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Heart Association. Off comes the make up. Off comes the clown's disguise. The curtain's fallin' The music softly dies. But I hope you're smiling. As you're filin' out the door. Cause as they say in this biz. That's all there is. There isn't anymore. (The Curtain Falls...Bobby Darin) If you have a story to tell about Rich, please share it by going to
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