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February 24, 2010 / dcwisdom

The Old Movie Theatre

I was probably eight years old, thereabouts, and lived in a tiny town in northeast Texas.  
Mom would allow me to walk, by myself, several blocks to the Saturday matinee.  No worries.

Before the movie, which cost about $.15, I would take my little nickel into the grocery store and load up with Sugar Babies and cinnamon jaw breakers to eat during the feature.   Anybody remember Sugar Babies?

Don’t remember the name (like I really should) of the movie, but I do remember a town being taken over by small frogs, and then the frogs grew larger…and larger…  That was the kind of movie that terrorized people back in the mid-sixties.  Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds was as scary as it got.  *shiver*

When I was 10, The Sound of Music thrilled my very soul.  That prim and proper 
children would sing their way through bad weather, a new nanny/stepmother, and escape the Nazis by singing a good-bye song was so cool.  As a kid, I thought anything could be accomplished by singing.  ‘Debbie, where are you going?’   Me singing:  ‘I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again…’

At thirteen, my first kiss from a boyfriend was in a movie house.  A bunch of us kids met at the show to watch Romeo and Juliet.  Right in the middle of the movie, he just leaned over and smacked me square in the kisser.  I just sat there, stunned, and wished he’d never done that.  We were close to the front, and I was just embarrassed.  Yuck.  I didn’t like him after that, but apparently he liked it so much that he tried to do it again and again, and I had to keep fighting him off.  But, I liked the movie and the English-ness of it, what I could see of it.

Sometime in that era, my parents actually had a date to see the close-to-X-rated Dr. Zhivago.   Oooo, so sexy, it was.   The ratings were different then, and I couldn’t see it.  Since, I’ve rented the movie a few times, and it’s one of my favorites. 

On one of our first dates when I was 17, Rick and I went to the drive-in to see Poseidon Adventure.  Anything, anywhere with him!  I was excited to go to the drive-in, because all I knew was that the drive-in was make-out city.  Actually, we got so engrossed with the movie, we forgot to make-out.  PA was just one of those movies.  I still remember Shelley Winters swimming her size 16 body with a rope in her teeth through the water in the sinking ship to save all the people on board.  Oh the thrill and excitement! 

The rest is movie history.   Fiddler on the Roof, Grease, Billy Jack, ET… 

Sorry to say that I cannot give you any history of this particular theatre.  I only know that my family wishes it were alive again.  The nearest old movie house in operation in this area is Daingerfield’s where the movies show for $1.50 admission.  What a bargain!

Quiz time!
1.  What is the first movie you remember?
2.  Which movie is your favorite?
3.  What is the scariest movie you’ve ever seen?
4.  Where did you see your first movie?
5.  What movie would you recommend, and why?

See you in the funny papers.