I love movies, I always have. It may be something I inherited. My parents loved movies. They loved watching a good movie on TV, but they really loved going out to the theater to see a movie. For them, going out to a movie was a great time. They were children of the depression and going to the movies was their high end entertainment. My Dad use to tell me about going to the movies when he was a kid. He grew up in Lynn, Massachusetts, as did I, and he said he had seven different theaters to choose from. He would go to the Saturday serials for a nickel, get to watch a couple of serials, a newsreel, cartoons and a movie. He told me about those days with great fondness.
By the time I got around to going to the flicks, there were only three theaters in Lynn. However, I started making my own Saturday memories. I remember walking up over the Highlands and down Rockaway Street to Joyce Street and around the corner onto Union Street. The Paramount Theater was there on the right, maybe a hundred yards down the street was the Warner and then further, where your mother didn't want you to venture, was the Capitol Theater.
Saturdays were great times back then. Thirty five cents would get you into seat to watch two movies, if you were lucky you got a couple of cartoons in between. Many times we would stop into the five and dime next to the Warner and grab a ten cent sleeve of pop corn. Many other times Mom would have us pop our own corn and save the dime. It was rare that we ever bought anything at the concession stand inside the theater. Once in a while, if you were able to save some of your allowance, you got a box of Good 'n Plenty. Then into your seat, the lights would go down and you were all set for three or four hours.
I read on a friend's blog about his memory of going to the movies. He recalled how he and the other kids would cheer or boo for the action up on the screen. I guess I had forgotten that we use to make a little noise ourselves. I do remember cheering loudly when the film you had been waiting for started to light up the screen. I almost got tossed by an overzealous usher one time because he thought I was little more animated than he thought I should be. That, with a hundred other kids screaming and yelling. Go figure.
These days I don't go to the movies anywhere near the amount I did as a kid. The big factor is the cost. Now we're talking ten bucks to see just one flick. Years ago, they stopped letting you bring your own pop corn into a theater. If you want to chomp on the kernnels, you have to buy from them. Some places seem to have a full menu at the concession stand. I feel kinda weird sitting down with a soda, a burger and a plate of nachos at a movie theater.
The prices at the concession are gonna break you, too! Seven bucks for a bag of corn no bigger than the sleeve I paid ten cents for. Yeah, ok, we're talking maybe fifty years have gone by. But still!
Anyway, I just went to a flick recently. I had a gift card I had gotten, so no cash had to come out of my wallet. I started waiting in line to get a bag of highly inflated pop corn, then thought better of it remembering my youth. So, went straight to my seat in one of these narrow auditoriums they call theaters. I sat there waiting through more commercials than I would suffer if I were home. Had to listen to them instruct me to turn off my phone. Come on, really? Then the lights went down and the show began. I had that kid feeling again. It was a good flick. And, when the end credits rolled, there were a few people applauding. Yeah, I joined them.