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 our of the cave and the sun hits his skin and his skin begins to turn into ulcers and sores and I had.....to 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 a Dollar 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.

2 comments:

Donna said...

Dollar movies in the Kansas City area are now $2.

I do remember my theater back in the '50s. There wasn't even a rest room in the place. I saw lots of Roy Rogers and Gene Autry movies there.

Sydney said...

This was fabulous to read. Loved it! I wish drive ins had never gone by the wayside. I know there are a few of them left spread out across America. I fantasize about moving to Hawaii and opening up one of my own... and indoor and a drive in, a funky little place.

That's ONE fantasy "next step". There are many.