Thursday, April 29, 2010

Your First Movie?

Do you remember the first movie you saw unaccompanied by grownups?

Last week in our post on The Grand Theater of Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, commenter Tony recalled it was the theater where he saw his first film without grownups at the tender age of around 9 years old. The film was “Saturday Night Fever.”

Let us know if you can remember the first film you saw without an adult, what age you were, and where you saw it.


Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Our pal from the Citizen K blog sent this email (because my comments section seemed to be on the blink):

"It's a blur. My parents started letting me take a couple of brothers to the
Saturday matinees when I was nine or ten. We walked! I remember seeing "That Darn Cat", "McHale's Navy", "PT 109", and "It's a
Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" about then. We usually stayed on and watched the movie a second time. We found "Mad World" so astoundingly hilarious
that we attempted to get away with watching it a third time, but my father fished us out of the theater. He loved movies, and understood the passion even if he didn't share our taste!"

K, maybe just being without the folks made these experiences so much fun. It's hard to laugh your head off over something goofy if somebody more mature is looking bored and glassy-eyed at the screen.

Fred Theilig said...

It was Alien. I argued long and hard to see it, which was something I didn't ever do. They relented. Bad choice. That movie scared the bejesus out of me.

K. said...

You got that right!

A few years ago, I was went to a matinee. It was me, a couple of teenaged girls, and half dozen ladies in from the old folks home. A commercial featuring Three Stooges highlights preceded the movie. I -- a 50-year old man -- was in hysterics until I realized that I was laughing alone. That particular world did not laugh with me!

Laura said...

Hmmm, I think the first film without an adult was when I was around 12 or 13 and met a friend to see GWTW at the Valley View Theater in Garden Grove, CA. (It was probably my third or fourth time to see GWTW when it out out for reissue in the mid-'70s.) The theater is still in existence, now called 4 Star Cinema, and after some years of decline it was recently remodeled and had digital projection installed.

(Bonus answer: First movie seen at a theater ever was MARY POPPINS at the long-gone Crest Theater in Long Beach, CA, when I was three...)

Best wishes,

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Fred, I sympathize, but that is one for the books. "Alien"!. I hope you've recovered.

K, I understand completely. Despite my asiring to that which is mature and urbane, I have a fondness for the Stooges which I cannot explain and will not defend.

Laura, my gosh, what a great first film to see with your friend. But your first-first, "Mary Poppins", could you even remember that?

I was about 12 also when I saw my first movie with my brother and our friend at the local movie house (long since closed). It was a double feature, with the second being a re-releasae of Disney's "Cinderella", but the main feature I'm still trying to remember. I'm sure it was a G-rated family film. I think it took place in a musuem. Something about a dinosaur model. I have to confer about that.

Laura said...

I actually do have some memories of seeing MARY POPPINS -- I mostly remember my excitement and arriving at the theater, along with some vague impressions of the film itself. (By chance a couple years ago I found that one of my clients, who is a couple years older than me, also experienced MARY POPPINS at the Crest as her first movie...kind of fun.)

My memories of the second film I ever saw, that same year, were a little stronger -- it was THE SOUND OF MUSIC. My most vivid memory of that is that the opening credits were very long! The children marching, the Lonely Goatherd, and the ending being scary were what stuck with me over the years until I saw it on its next reissue.

CINDERELLA is a great "1st movie without grownups" too! I never saw that one in a theater.

Best wishes,

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

You have a great memory. I'm still trying to remember the main feature I saw when I was 12, but "Cinderella" keeps oblierating it. Maybe because it had songs. I remember music pretty well. My mother was like that. If she walked out of some movie theater after a Ruby Keeler musical, she'd still be singing the songs 50 years later. Amazing recall for music and lyrics.

John Hayes said...

I think it was "Planet of the Apes," which I saw at the theater in beautiful downtown Bellows Falls! It had just come out (tho of course, Bellows Falls isn't one of the first cities to get new movies!) but 1968 sounds just about right. I went with a friend; I would have been 11 or 12, depending on the time of year.

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Hi, John. Good old Bellows Falls, and good old "Planet of the Apes." My brother will be amused, he was an "Apes" fan from about that age.

Incidentally, he remembered the name of the other movie we saw, "One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing." I did remember Helen Hayes was in it. We both recall it featured a large dinosaur skeleton, which evidentally impressed us a great deal because it's the only thing about the film either of us can remember.

Dinosaur skeletons, talking apes, and aliens. What ghastly creatures 12-year olds must be.

Moira Finnie said...

This is all pretty fuzzy, but I think it was The Music Man, after which I developed a life long crush on Robert Preston, con men, Meredith Willson songs, and fellows looking for the "sadder but wiser girl."

Preston had always been a household god in the Finnie household, so I suspect that this choice of movie was Mother's doing. That, and the fact that there was air conditioning in the theater and it was August.

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

That's a good first movie, Moira. Ah, and air conditioning in August. A very important motivation, which has been lessened in the years since we've all acquiring air conditioning in cars, homes, and offices where once there was little to be found.

"...and fellows looking for the "sadder but wiser girl." You make-a me laugh.

Stefan said...

i'm pretty sure it was Diamonds Are Forever. I was 12 years old and at the height of my James Bond mania. It soon faded and died.

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Hi, Stefan. I guess 12 years old is the age for action films. It's been interesting to see the choices we've made at that age (or, perhaps what choices were available to us.)

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