Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

When Movies Meant…

A box of Junior Mints

Movies and Junior Mints. The perfect combo.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Movies. I do enjoy a great flick. Admittedly, I rarely actually go to the theater anymore to watch a first run.  You will find me trawling the New Releases at my supermarket instead. Why? Oh, lots of reasons.  The main reason is because I remember when movies meant…

1. A Really Special Night Out.
We dressed up and anticipated An Evening. We selected the movie, the theatre, and piled into the family Buick and drove downtown. After parking, we promanaded along the sidewalk, anticpating the moment Dad stepped up to the little glass booth and announced out ticket needs: “1 child, 2 adults, 1 teen.” Stepping inside we handed the uniformed usher our tickets and entered into the lobby.  MyOMy–as a kid I felt like Dorothy entering Oz. Plush carpets, shiny brass rails, subdued lighting, posters of upcoming movies.  And an upstairs.  The bathrooms were marble and gloriously huge. Stalls galore.  Just going to the theatre proved thrill enough.

2. More For Your Money.
Not only did your ticket gain you admission into the glamour of the Rialto or Roxy, it secured two to three hours of absolute transfixing entertainment. The red velvet curtains parted, and the newsreel played, and then the cartoon: Bugs Bunny or Woody Woodpecker or maybe Tom and Jerry. The B feature (hence the term “B” grade film) played and finally the MAIN feature. I can’t remember all the films my parents brought me to and I don’t remember too many babysitters, but I do remember hanging out on the stairs while my folks watched Barbara Streisand in Funny Girl or Hello Dolly and the like. No problem if I wasn’t in sight. It was the good old days.  Safe and sane times. It was G, M, or X back then.  No, my folks didn’t take me to any X-rateds, but I do remember my share of shoot em-ups with Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Sean Connery. Dad picks. Barbara Streisand if Mom picked. If the adult fare bored me or if the folks thought I should “step out” for a bit I would traipse upstairs and perch on the steps to peer down on the those below. Maybe even sneak into the balcony section, at least until the usher checked through with his flashlight. 

3. Appreciation For Seeing the Film Right Then or Miss It.
A person anticipated a movie. The previews tickled our curiosity. The television adverts build up suspense. And finally the standing in line to see the newest. Because if you didn’t see it in the movie theatre you waited until it came out on Movie of the Week on the TV and then it would be sliced up by commercials or sanitized to neatly fit into alloted time slot.  No VHS, let alone DVD or Blu-Ray or streamed versions. WhoTube?

4. Snack Bar
Milk Duds or Junior Mints tasted far better being purchased from the theatre snack bar. Yes, they were more expensive, but the box was bigger.  You never found that size box at the local grocery store.  And there is something better about movie popcorn as well, especially the Dr. Pepper that went with it.

5. Disney In All Its Glory
My much older brother received Matinee Duty. Then again I am sure he derived some pleasure out of driving the family car downtown and getting movie and snack bar money, out of watching Lil Sis for a couple of hours.  There is nothing like watching a Buena Vista nature film prior to the REAL show.  Disney Movies do best on the Silver Screen. Moon Spinners, Jungle Book–ohgolly, those were the days.  The Walt days of Disney.  Yup, the best days of Disney.

I could do a whole separate blog on the Drive-In experience. Hmm, I probably will.

Though I will always and forever be a Book Booster, I do enjoy my flicks. These days though, it’s the big screen via the comfort of the living room.  Got my recliner and my remote control.  I also crave those Special Features.

My inspiration for the Old Days of Movie Going came from this here  Check it out.  If you remember Bugs Bunny days you’ll love the reminiscing.  If you don’t remember Bugs and the Merrie Melodies theme song–ah well, let’s just say, the good old days were really good in many ways.

The Essential Bugs Bunny

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5 thoughts on “When Movies Meant…

  1. I remember some of the experiences you relate. These days, my local movie theater shows at least 6 or 7 previews before getting to the main feature. Ugh.

    But I’ll keep going. Some movies just have to be seen on the big screen — such as Titanic or the Avengers.

  2. I still love the popcorn, even though it’s not good for you. 😀

    That, and MilkDuds. In the late 70s, I can remember sitting through Gone with the Wind twice in the same day with one of my friends from high school.

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