Sunday, October 12, 2014


a story or event recorded by a camera as a set of moving images and shown in a theater or on television

The memories of things that were big deals or special to me as a young girl were things that happened rarely.  That's what made them so memorable.  Sometimes I wonder if this generation of children will look back and deem anything all that special given today's access to everything and their excess in everything. 

When everything is special, nothing is special.

Hmmmm, maybe they will, in fact, deem a home-cooked meal memorable.  Oh, dear.  Back to the topic.

One of the most anticipated family events when I was a child (according to reliable Internet sources as well as yours truly) was the annual showing of The Wizard of Oz.  If you remember, the movie starts out in sepia tone or black and white and then changes to color when the house lands in Oz.  To this day, it is still a magical moment.

In the days before we owned a color TV, my father would actually make arrangements for us to watch the movie at the home of his friends, Jack and Marg McAllister. This is probably so memorable to me because I can only remember a few times that my father actually went out of his way to do something nice for us.  I'd like to believe that it was his idea, but I know better.  I am sure that Jack and Marg extended the invitation knowing how much we kids would enjoy it.  They were very kind people.

My brother, sister, and I were relegated to the living room where we were glued to the set while my parents visited with their friends in the kitchen way down the hall.  So it was . . . a sibling magical moment:  watching a movie we would never forget--with munchkins, witches, flying monkeys, and all.

All posts from the 31 Words project can be found here.


Kimberly Hoyt said...

My earliest memory of a movie is not a pleasant one. I was very young and staying with a sitter who decided it was a good idea to take her young charges to the drive-in theater. I'm sure she thought we'd all conk out before the movie started (at 6, I was the oldest of the kids), and the younger ones did but the loud speaker kept me awake. They were playing "The Birds" which seriously scared the weeby jeebies out of me! I was honestly too frightened to do more than whimper though, and I'm not sure the sitter ever realized I was frozen in horror in the back seat. For months after, I couldn't walk down a sidewalk past a hedge row of bushes or under a tree with low hanging branches. I had nightmares for years, too.

It did show me at that young age, that I am NOT suited to scary movies!

Karen Pashley said...

Well...Denise and Kimberly hit the nail on the head with two movie events that came to my mind. The excitement of the annual televised Wizard of Oz, and going to the Drive-In. Maybe that's one of the takeaways from this memory project for me - that though we come from different backgrounds and different places, most of us share common memories that affected us and shaped us. I think it's comforting, and I appreciate that aspect of this exercise.

My Drive-In memories are dream-like and almost too wonderful to describe in words. My parents would make a big deal out of it - taking the family to the Drive-In, they packed food and drinks, and blankets for us to sit on the hood of the station wagon. It was magical.

Little did we know during those blissful years that our parents were not happily married, and would soon announce to their four unsuspecting children that they were going to divorce, and that we would be whisked away to live with our Mom three thousand miles from our childhood home. How they managed to keep their troubles from us is beyond me. I never once heard my parents yell at each other or appear angry in any way.

The trauma of going from the bubble of apparent happiness to a broken homes was difficult, and has clung to me like a bad cold. But, I am thankful for those wonder years, where we watched movies and ate popcorn and laughed and played. I'm thankful my parents did their best. They made mistakes, and life was rough for a while, but I always knew they loved me. I still do.

Lisa Balough said...

“Grease is the word, is the word that I heard!” Best movie ever, or so the thinking went among preteen girls at the time. I drank up every word, song and image of that movie as though it were nectar. Swooned over “Danny”. Today, I am horrified at the grown-up messages in there but, thankfully, most of it went over my head then. I remember performing all the songs in my living room and thinking I sounded just as good as “Sandy”. I begged for weeks for the record album and was so disappointed on my birthday when no present was record-shaped. My clever mother had, however, rolled up newspapers and taped a series of them to the front and back of the album before wrapping it. What a great disguise! When I opened it, “I got thrills, they’re multiplying!”

Sonya Tichenor said...

We grew up on horror movies and the Birds was always one of my favorites. I feel really terrible that your trauma has been my entertainment. That being said, the first movie I remember seeing in the theater was "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken." And it did scare me! But still one of my faves. Atta boy, Luther!

Jen said...

I don't remember what was the first movie I saw but I remember that when I was younger, I would often have to do breathing treatments. I distinctly remember watching Cinderella during them one night for distraction.

Becca Hill said...

My first memory of this word results in a deep need for therapy! I have only seen one horror movie in my life. It was the first movie I went to the theater to see. Why my mother thought this was a good idea, I have NO idea! She dropped me and some neighborhood friends off at the local theater, bought us tickets -because it was rated R -and came back to pick us up. I wonder if she even knew what the movie was!
Probably not.
I didn't return to the theater until I was in college. I must have thought all movies would result in bad dreams and feelings of terror!

The movie was " the Shining " - you can google the image because I can't stand to see it... Ever!
I was 10.

Kathy Wiedemann said...

Day 12 Movie
The earliest movie memory that came to mind was not a pleasant one. I can’t remember the name of it, but it was some teeny-bopper slasher movie that my cousins snuck us in to see. It was rated R, and for the life of me, I cannot figure out how they even got in! The oldest was only 16 at the time and I remember her paying for her ticket at the (literal) box office while her younger sister pushed my brother and I through a door. My mother thought we were going to see one of the Herbie movies, I think. We were threatened with bodily harm if we told where they’d taken us, as usual, so we had to endure the ensuing nightmares utterly alone. He was 7, I was 8. We were not allowed to cover our eyes or ears during the movie. They got quite a bit of enjoyment out of teasing us over our reactions for quite a while after that.
-Pleasant memories abound, however, from this little word. Drive-in movies when I was a little older were always a HUGE treat because we would never go alone. There would always be at least one other family with us, so all the kids would sit on top of the car or back of the truck, whichever there was…and we would be allowed to go to the snack stand BY OURSELVES!
-The “Herbie The Love Bug” movies and any Disney movie (think “Apple Dumpling Gang”, “The Nutty Professor”, “The Incredible Mr. Limpet”,etc.)are fond memories because that was one of the rare times our mother would enjoy something with us alone. She would drive us, just my brother and I (no cousins) to the Terrace Theater on Stone Drive to see any new Disney movie they showed…and sometimes, if we were lucky, we even got popcorn. 
-My very favorite movie of all time (growing up, anyway) was Star Wars. That was the first movie my mom dropped us off at alone! How could that not be my favorite? (wink) I saw that movie 7 times, people! I was all grown up, don’tcha know? I don’t think I ever saw another movie at that particular theater, just kept going to see Star Wars week after week…because we could!
-Grease was another one I saw multiple times…couldn’t get enough of John Travolta! And that music!
-Alien was one of the first “scary” movies I went to see of my own free will. During the “belly” scene, my best friend’s mom had her water break and she went in to labor (I am not kidding) so it was years before I ever saw the end of that movie.
-I rented “The Silence of the Lambs” while my husband was deployed (we were living in Hawaii and my two oldest were both under 3 years old) and had to call my mother in Tennessee because I got so scared. She was 6 hours ahead of us and the phone call at 4am scared her out of her wits!

Sabrina said...

I had the best great grandmother a kid could ask for. We called her Maw-Maw. She was tough around the edges, but would let us kids do almost anything if we asked nicely. I remember spending the night with her several times, mostly on Friday and Saturday nights. She introduced me to The Alfred Hitchcock show. I remember distinctly sitting in a rocking chair or her old couch that smelled like Polydent, with a Coca-Cola classic poured into a wine glass, and being glued to the mystery unfolding on the television screen. I can still hear the theme song in my head and the abrupt ending with his shadow of a face. It wouldn't be until I was a pre-teen before I would watch my first Alfred Hitchcock movie, Vertigo. For official "movie theater" memories, the first ones I remember seeing were Star Wars with Harrison Ford and ET at the local drive-in.