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Memories of Movie Magic


I remember how the magic of movies moved me when I was young, but now, whether I’m sitting in my den watching them on my TV or visiting the local multiplex, they don’t seem to have the same effect.  Why is that?

My First Movies

Though I don’t remember it, my parent’s claim I made them leave the theater early when they took me to Snow White.  I just had no use for the evil witch queen.  I reacted the same way to watching witches on TV.  For years I refused to be entertained by The Wizard of Oz.  As soon as the witch flew onto the small black and white screen, I demanded we watch something else.

I think my first parentless visit to a movie theater involved a kid’s matinee with The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad.  It had only been out a few years at that time.  I remember being scared, but I lived through it.  Not long after that, I earned a seat in a theater where Brigadoon was playing, by selling a certain amount of Girl Scout Cookies.  I was absolutely enchanted and suddenly had a movie to measure others by.

I remember Blue Hawaii and Roustabout with Elvis, both of which I believe I saw with my parents and both of which I enjoyed.  (Blue Hawaii at the drive-in and Roustabout at a Saturday matinee.)  Then there was Gone with the Wind.  I think they re-released it in the 60’s and I was captivated.

Home vs. The Theater

Movies on TV used to be something spectacular.  The Wizard of Oz came on every year and I finally got brave enough to watch it.  It’s a Wonderful Life was also an annual offering and I adored it – every time.  But they also had these major events where fairly new movies showed up on TV.  I think that’s the way I saw Cleopatra and perhaps Camelot.  Entranced is the best way I can describe it – even through the ads.  I remember one afternoon in the late sixties I saw Lust for Life on our small black and white TV and my life was changed.  I became an avid art fan that day and it’s stayed with until today.  I even saw Funny Girl for the first time on TV and I still tell my Egyptian husband he has Omar Shariff to thank for my besottedness.

Movies with Susan

What I didn’t like was going to the movies with my little sister.  She cried at Mary Poppins before she even entered the theater, because they tore her ticket.  She spent the greater part of the Swiss Family Robinson in the restroom and because I wasn’t allowed to let her go by herself, I had to be there with her.  But that was nothing compared to my mom forcing me to take her to the Casa Linda Theater one Friday night to see Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  It was bad enough to take your sister to the theater on Friday night when all the cool kids were there on dates, but when she jumps up at the end and shouts, “I don’t like this movie” …well it’s enough to ruin you for life.


2 thoughts on “Memories of Movie Magic”

  1. I find I expect more from producers than in the past. Perhaps that’s because I’ve studied plot and understand more about scene and sequel. I refuse to attend a movie if I don’t think a good story will be played out. However, if I expect a movie to be excellent, I don’t want to see it on television. Movies are meant for the big screen. I dearly love Broadway and I don’t want musicals on at the movies. I guess that sounds picky but it’s the same with art – if it cannot be displayed properly, then loan it to a museum where it will be protected and others can enjoy it also.


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