Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Going to the Movies

Cropped screenshot of Clark Gable from the tra...Image via WikipediaWe left the house in the evening after supper to walk the block and a half to the theater, Daddy. Momma, and me.  Daddy still wore the suit he had worn to the bank all day.  Momma was dressed nicely, though not elabrately, and I wore ordinarly play clothes.  Though this was not a special event, seeing a movie always held the potential for a rare experience.  There were always the cartoon shorts. 

We waved at friends and neighbors on the way.  I always enjoyed dragging a stick on the picket fence of Dr. Henderson's back yard.  I was not really a graceful child, and Momma fused at me to hold my shoulders back. 

We never owned a car, so there was nothing unusual about walking to town.  It was a pleasant ritual.  Late evening was a time to relax and enjoy mental stimulation, and Jimmy Cagney or Clark Gable, Carol Lombard or Marlene Dietrich were glad to provide it for a price.  An adult ticket was $.35 and a child ticket was $.12.  Counting the 5 cents each for a bag of popcorn, it would have cost almost a dollar for us to go to the movie.  There was a one element I have not accounted for:  Daddy was an accountant, and he kept the books for the theater owner, so she never charged him for going to the movie.  We got a bargain!

It was the late 1930s and early 40s.  The adults looked to the movies to relieve their fear of the Depression or the anxiety of war.  I just enjoyed the fantasy lives I saw.  The small town, backwater existence did not seem dull or lackluster because several times a week I was transported by Hollywood.

Now as I reflect on that time, I see the entrance the movies gave me into stories and music, and I remember that my parents walked with me, and the world was a place of safety and endless delight. 
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1 comment:

unikorna said...

Oh you touched a very sensitive area. Clark Gable oh he dominated so many of my sleepless nights :).