(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
There was a time when moviegoing here in the United States (and probably throughout the world) was considered a real pasttime and a big deal for many people, whether one went to the movies with family, friends, or even solo. Yet, at the time when that was the case, going solo wasn’t the cool thing to do, so, due to my relative social isolation when I was growing up, plus the fact that I lived in an idyllic suburban town with no adequate public transportation, plus I didn’t learn to drive and get my driver’s license until around Christmastime 1968, as a high school Senior, plus since I drove one of the family cars (a 1963 Buick Jalopy station wagon), I was limited as to how much I was allowed to use the family car. I’ll also add that getting a driver’s license, particularly among suburban kids (like myself), was considered a rite of passage, if one gets the drift. Most of the kids where I went to high school, and certainly in my grade, got their licenses by the summer before they entered their Junior year of high school, but was a year late in getting my driver’s license. I had sort of a rocky start, but I mellowed out, and became a more confident driver.
When I finally graduated from high school in late June of 1969, I was pleasantly surprised by a home-made certificate (by my sister, who was still quite ill, but managed to do stuff and go to my graduation, anyway) stating that I was entitled to one little auto. It turned out that my grandparents were giving me a car. I tried some cars when I visited my grandparents (who’re now both deceased), who lived out West, and decided on a Toyota Corona, with a 4-gear & reverse Stick shift car. It was then that I began to taste freedom, and was able to get around pretty much anywhere. Having a car represented freedom, independence and responsibility. It was still a rocky start, but everything mellowed out and fell into place after awhile here, as well.
Having a car was and is wonderful. I lived at home through most of my undergrad school years, and I commuted to and from school, bucking morning rush hour traffic, but staying in school until the studio closed to work, to get more work done, and to avoid the evening rush hour home, especially because driving west, when the sun was setting, could be even more of an ordeal than the morning rush-hour that I had to face. All during the Fall, Winter and Springs of most of those fun-filled years in undergrad school, I did that. I moved closer to town my last year, and lived in the Cambridge, MA YWCA for awhile, and had my car. I’d gotten a good deal, toward the end of my school year, because I’d pick up one of my teachers and bring her to school, thus enabling me to get a permit to park in the Museum School parking lot.
Back to the subject at hand, however, having a car also enabled me to do things I liked doing; going out with classmates and other school friends for dinner or even an occasional party or concert, and going to movies and other things, as well. For a long time, I’ve had the independence of having a car, with the freedom it represents, and the ability to be able to hop in my little car and go.
I miss the old days when movies were shown on great big, wide movie theatre screens, as they’re really meant to be viewed. It was, and still is a great experience, whether one shares them with family/friends or not. There are still other people around to share that experience with, and I even occasionally sit with and talk to the people I’ve been sitting next to in the movies afterwards, whether I know them or not.
Being in a movie theatre with other people is like being in a little community, even though it’s only temporary.
Frankly, I really do miss the old days, when (good) movies like Jaws ( to mention countless others) were shown on the great big, wide movie theatre screens, and the experience was not only one that was psychologically levitating (if one gets the drift), but a great experience that was shared with other people, whether one knew them or not. Going to the movies was and is also a good reason for getting out of the house and mingling with other people, including strangers, and when people come to the movie theatre(s) to see a special movie as it’s meant to be viewed (on a great big, wide movie theatre screen.), a temporary community is created, where people have gotten together to share in a wonderful experience.
The advent of DHS, video, DVD and, ultimately Blu-Ray versions of great films that’re available to watch at home on big-assed TV’s and/or elaborate and expensive home-theatre systems have diminished and cheapened the whole moviegoing experience. No matter what anybody says, watching a great movie at home on TV, DVD or Blu-Ray is not the same as seeing the same kind of great movie on a great big, wide movie theatre screen and sharing the experience with other people, and it never, ever will be.
On a more positive side, however, I don’t think that movie theatres will ever go away completely. There’ll always be people (myself included) who prefer to go out to a movie theatre and view a beautiful movie such as Jaws, West Side Story, and other great classics on a great big, wide screen and really soak in the experience! Holding annual memberships at the two independent movie theatres that’re left in our area has helped a great deal.
People should pressure the owners of the multiplex cinemas that dot the highways and byways of the United States to preserve at least one or two of their screens for great, golden oldie but goody classic films.
Please note: This thread is cross-posted from firefly-dreaming.com