Friday, June 25, 2010

The Picture Show

I've always loved going to the movies, even as a little kid. I love the movies, period. I waxed poetic about the movies, all the time, so indulge me this again, please.

I remember the fist movie I saw at the drive in with my folks, of course. I remember mom popped a huge batch of popcorn and put it in a big brown grocery bad. We also had a few glass bottles of Pepsi. We wore our jammies. We had a snack and the movies and it was a night of absolute magic. We saw Mary Poppins.

On Sunday nights was the tv show The Wonderful World of Disney. My Grandma F (the GOOD grandma) came to the house one Sunday night and we all watched The Sound of Music together; it was the first time it was ever on television, and the first time I ever saw it. I got to stay up past my bedtime to see the whole thing. It was a big deal. I don't think I moved for three hours. And I probably drove my parents nuts for the next few days as I sang ALL the songs from the movie. Over and over and over again. And over. (though it is their fault for teaching me scores from famous Broadway musicals when I was about 2 years old. And for teaching me how to use the record player so I could play, on vinyl, on my Playskool record player, the sound tracks!)

There was always Sunday afternoons with dad watching Family Classics, hosted by Frazer Thomas. I saw, in black and white the way god intended them to be, movies like The Last of the Mahicans, The Black Swan, and Shenandoah (at least I think that was in B&W...).

My parents always got me a summer movie pass so I could see matinees on the weekend all summer long. The theater was only about 4 blocks from the house so I could walk there, spend $1 and get a drink and a box of popcorn and see a movie. I usually went by myself, which is probably where I got my love of watching movies in the theater alone.

As I got older, I went to the movies with friends. My first car date was to see a movie called Top Gun; anyone remember that? I think I wanted to be a pilot for about a week after that. It left a longer impression than my date (Who I think later came out of the closet when he was in college... hmmmm). One time I tried to break up with my boyfreind DURING Fatal Attraction... Once, I remember a boy named Tim told me he liked me after we all saw Rocky IV. I threw popcorn at him. (Maybe this is why I'm single???)

Most of the time, as a teenager, a bunch of us girls would go. We usually sat in front of a bunch of boys. We were probably 13 or 14, maybe 15 years old. I remember seeing the movie Back to the Future twice because it was so awesome and like nothing else we'd ever seen before. And Michael J Fox was so cute! I also remember going to see The Karate Kid with friends. And at the end, everyone clapped and cheered. I think it was the first time I was at a movie where people cheered! Wax on, wax off!

My town had, well still has, an old time movie theater. One screen. There was something about that sticky floor, the smell of wet dog (wet Naugahyde movie seats), the itchy seats that squeaked when you bounced them that always as a spring that was sprung and poked your hindquarters about half way through the picture, that was special. The smell of greasy popcorn. The thrill of sitting in the balcony and always threatening to pour your drink on an unsuspecting person below, but never really doing it. (But someone always 'knew' someone who did it, allegedly). The reg velvet curtain parting, and watching the concession stand jingle with the dancing hot dog jumping into the dancing bun. The empty box seats, sectioned off with a velvet rope, where no one ever sat. (We always made Abe Lincoln jokes... no it was wasn't funny, but we were kids!). I loved touching the red and gold flocked wallpaper as you went down the grand staircase after a show. It always seemed like a special magical place, that small time theater, with the scratchy sound, and wobbly picture.

Who wouldn't love going to the movies?



Bragger said...

I call myself movie-challenged. I used to go when I was young, but in my grown-up life I don't see many movies. I say it's because I can't sit still that long.... One of my co-workers will start a question with, "Have you seen....... Of course you haven't." But I do remember walking from my mom's company to the theater and watching movies alone when I was young.

Curley said...

Boy does that bring back memories. We should do that again since they are refurbishing that same theater.

Nan said...

My son has always been into movies and going to the theatre I never have. But with Netflix it's changed all that. Now I'm catching up on some really great movies. I prefer the British productions but watch a wide range of films. We have a neat little theatre here in Homer and I go to that about 2 times a year, get the popcorn too must have that. Nan

Jimmie Earl said...

You remember watching some movies in B & W because for a long time, we didn't have a colored T.V.

And the Abe Lincoln jokes were too funny, and still are.

I think it's amazing that the old theater is being restored. It should be fun visiting it again.