Thursday, July 10, 2008

Happy Place #3

A Movie House! Any Movie House!

I remember the first movie I attended in my small home town. (Didn't everyone have a small movie theater in their home towns back in the 50's and 60's?) Our movie house, called The Bacon was located on the street that entered the heart of downtown. At the time we lived on Broadway which was only a quick walk away. It must have been the week-end, and the movie was Tom Sawyer (or some adaptation of the movie). One particular part of the movie scared me to death! I was only five years old and mortified that my four and three year old brothers were unaffected by the horror of scary life on a raft! My father walked me home. The walk of shame. That quick walk, a mere two block became the longest walk of my short life.

The Bacon is an icon for all of us who grew up in Smalltown, KY. Saturday afternoon all of us kids, and I mean all of us, would flock to the theater and plunk down our 25 cents for the matinee, a double feature with a cartoon. A bag of popcorn and a small coke, add another 15 cents. Being the era of segregation, the black kids sat in the balcony, which I though was so unfair! I wanted to sit up there with a driving passion!

At times we had to go into into the Big City for our Saturday afternoon fixes. There were three movie houses in the downtown area of Lexington! (only one remains today). It was our great joy that Dad loved going to the movies with us. Talking him into driving us the 12 miles into Lexington and then enduring a movie was easy.

It was, I think (researching in IMDb) The Magic Sword, (1962). There is this one scene where the guy comes out of the cave and the sun hits his skin and his skin begins to turn into ulcers and sores and I leave the theater....again. There was no walking home this time, and I waited outside the theater.....with Dad, while my blood thirsty brothers, which may have included my three year old bro too(!), finished watching the atrocity on the screen. (which is really funny when I read the only review and understand how hokey it really was).

Can you tell I have never been a fan of the horror genre?

During the 1980's when Bridget was little, every Saturday afternoon we went to the Dollar Theater in J-town. They carried on the tradition of having family friendly films showing weekly. I love the memory of Bridget climbing into my lap and watching the films.

Can you believe there is aDollar Movie within a mile of our house right now? Such a lovely place to escape the heat, settle down in the well worn seats, the tiny thrill when the lights fade to dark and then....and then, a movie! Nothing compares to seeing a film on the big screen in the dark, with a bag of popcorn.

I find myself seeking the comfort of films to cure most everything, at least for a short time. Loneliness, sadness, frustration, boredom......

Good therapy for just one buck.


chatalicious said...

OMG I am so jealous...a dollar theatre. The last movie I went to (can't remember now which movie it was because it was over six years ago) cost us $30.00 for two tickets and a shared popcorn and soda. I got so mad that I haven't been back. I got HBO on my cable instead. The other night was my birthday. I said for my birthday I wanted to go to the movies and see Sex in the City. Woke up that day sick and never did get to go. Grrrrr. I just wish it weren't so expensive. I remember the two films that I saw as a teen that blew me out of the water;
Easy Rider and Woodstock. Oh yea. Saw Woodstock at a movie theatre at the shore. My curfew was 11 p.m. but it was a long movie that didn't start until 10. Got home at 2 a.m. and was grounded for a month. My Dad angrily asked if it was worth it. YES it was. I now own it on DVD and once in awhile I can see it again.
I even remember the summer tank top I was wearing with little red peace signs on it. Happy times.

ksquester said...

Do you remember the Ben Ali theater and the stained glass light of the Kentucky Theater?  Then there was the Strand where I first saw Ben Hurr.  You bring back the good memories Mary.  Anne

myrdog said...

when I was in grammer school they showed an old film of Tom Sawyer and the cave with Indian Joe scared me really bad. when they showed song of bernadette all the girls cried and the boys made fun of us.

slapinions said...

Yeah, but the $1 showhouses always have speckled and faded prints of the movies. It's almost not worth it, not considering how infrequently I get to a movie. My first movie experience was to go see Battlestar Galactica at a local mall. Only when we got there the movie had already ended its run (good planning Dad!) and we wound up seeing some awful Apple Dumpling Game or its clone.


jmorancoyle said...

    There was a movie theater in our town. When I was little something in the walls caught fire. There were 300 children in the place, and all of them walked quietly outside. It's a marvel no one was hurt because of the high winds. When they rebuilt, it was without a balcony. I spent every weekend solidly there hanging with my friends who worked there. They were allowed to let one friend at a time in when they worked. So when six of my friends were on duty, 12 of us just hung. I don't remember hardly any of the movies that were shown when we hung there. I also remember the theater we went to when I was younger. We were allowed to take the bus there when we reached about 8. Now those are great memories. And I do remember a lot of the movies.

cvgflydis said...

Just came by for the first time.....see you are from Central KY.......Me too. No longer live there, but sure miss it sometimes.


sunnyside46 said...

yes, when I am down , a little escape to the movies will fix it every time