Sunday, March 2, 2014

Life Story: Movie Memories

In honor of the Academy Awards tonight, I thought I'd bring back a feature I started last year, but didn't stick to, and tell you stories from my life. . . specifically today, movie memories! Yay for the movies!

As long as I can remember my family has been a movie going family. This is despite the fact that we had many little kids, something that seems to deter families from going to the movies at times. My first movie memories are of going to the drive in . I remember getting our pajamas on, and my mom popping corn and putting weird things on it to make it different, and then we'd pile into the blue station wagon and go park at the drive in. However, I don't remember any of the movies I saw there. I remember the little contraction you put in your window for the sound... and the sound was terrible. Or I think sometimes you could find it on a radio station, which seemed pretty science fiction-y to me and very cool. But I can't think of what the movies were, sadly.

Later on, when we were a little older, I remember movies being a reward for staying on task with our chores. We had point system of some sort and if we got to a certain amount of points, we could pick a reward. Most of us chose to go to a movie.

I think one of those movies was Savannah Smiles, a movie filmed locally so it was fun to see familiar landmarks. I remember choking up and sobbing nearly uncontrollably at the end of this movie. This movie doesn't get near the recognition it deserves!

Another interesting thing about my movie memories is that I somehow  remember where I was when I saw a certain movie, for the most part. Back in the day, they had ONE movie showing at ONE big movie theater. In Salt Lake it was the Centre Theater, where I saw so many awesome movies like Star Wars and all it's sequels (the originals) and Star Trek and it's sequels, and The Right Stuff, and Ladyhawke, and Amadeus and Top Gun. And so many others.

Closer to home we had another big theater called The Villa, where I saw all the Indian Jones movies, and War Games, and Ferris Bueler and       .

Of course, both of those theaters are gone now.

The small little mall theaters made their debut during my childhood though, and I remember going to them for the summer movies (or the PTA movies as we called them then. ) That was a blast.

Other random movie memories:

  • going to Grease when I was 14 years old and loving the music, but having most of the innuendos of the story go over my head.
  • being late for ET and being so so mad about that and mad about missing the first little bit that I was crying through the whole movie.
  • falling in love with Star Wars, which is a whole story in and off itself that I typed up in a post here!
  • seeing Flash Gordon the night before my mom had baby number 8. My dad kept going out to call her and check on her.
  • swooning over every leading guy but especially: Tony from Escape to Witch Mountain, Han Solo, Flash Gordon, Matthew Broderick in anything, Michael J. Fox in anything, the Karate Kid dude, oh, and does anyone remember Stewart Petersen? He was in Where the Red Fern Grows and Seven Alone. Loved him too!
  • seeing Yentel on the first date with my now husband (then we were seniors in high school.)
  • seeing The Princess Bride... in the theater... and being BLOWN AWAY at how awesome it was! (And where I actually fell in love with Mandy Patinkin!)
  • seeing Gone With the Wind in the theater when they brought back for a special engagement
  • seeing Star Wars.. over and over again... IN THE THEATER
  • remembering people talking about Jaws but feeling I was too young to see that one. It was PG after all. I don't remember when I first saw it, but sadly I don't think it was on the big screen, so it must have been way later.
  • seeing Close Encounters of the Third Kind, another big movie from my day. Such an awesome story! 
  • loving all those movies with John Cusak and Andrew McCarthy and others. Some Kind of Wonderful and Say Anything. Oh, and Robert Downey Jr of course! Swoon.
  • not being much into the musicals, but I loved A Fiddler on the Roof. 
  • going through a Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Alfred Hitchcock phase in high school!  

In high school, the big invention of the VCR made it's debut. Suddenly, we could watch a movie anytime we wanted at our own homes! The novelty of that fact was amazing! My friend got one of those big huge player machines and we watched a few things at her house. My family never got one (until I was gone) and in fact I never had one at my own house until being married for several years. When we wanted to watch a VCR, we rented the playing machine too! Sadly, I can't remember the very first movie I watched on VCR. That would be interesting, don't you think?

At any rate, I've always loved the movies. I love going out to see them, I love the big screen, I love the big sound, I love the music. I love how amazing the actors are. I love the stories and the emotional involvement.

If I had to list some of my favorite movies they'd be:
  • Star Wars
  • Ladyhawke
  • The Princess Bride
  • A Knight's Tale
  • Batman Begins
  • Pirates of the Caribbean (the first one)
  • Somewhere in Time
And now add Gravity to that list for sure! Good luck to that movie tonight!

Here's to the movies! May they never die!

What movies have you loved over the years? Do we share any of the same? What's your first movie memory?


  1. This is a really fun post! I am atrocious at going to the theatres to see movies, so I am sad that I will not have many memories like you have.

  2. Aww. I love this post! I too have a lot of fond memories of movies, though my interest in the past ten years or so has waned. I think this is largely because I worked in a movie theatre and the in a video store for years during and after highschool - I subsequently gorged myself on EVERYTHING. I'm still recovering from my cynical, 'Oh. That's been done.' mode.

    Thanks for linking up with Spread the Love

  3. I saw the first Indiana Jones movie at The Villa too! Are we long lost sisters? :) And of course I saw Savannah Smiles. I remember my parents taking us all to see the James Wood film Blue Thunder, not realizing there was a not for kids view opening scene. Also, my dad loves James Bond so a lot of family nights were watching those films when they were released in the theaters. Summer movie passes were the best in the hot summers.

  4. I had soooo much fun reading this post!!

    My favorite movie memories comes from my hometown theater. I grew up in a small town in Montana and with that comes a small business that is a jack of all trades. Our movie theater also happened to be the local movie rental shop and pizza place. You could order pizza and have it delivered to you right in the theater! They even had little private rooms if you had small children or babies, or wanted mini parties, complete with pizza! The best part ... when I visited my home last summer, I still had my pizza delivered to me and they now have 3D movies. It was my FIRST 3D movie. How crazy is that?!? Now I'm thinking I gotta add this to my journal!!

  5. We didn't go to too many movies when I was growing up so I really remember a lot about each experience. Once I could afford to pay for my own tickets then we went a lot. So many great experiences. But do you ever see a movie on t.v. and think "I saw that in the theater - why in the world would I have paid to go see that?"!



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