At the Movies {Spin Cycle}

Since today is the anniversary of the first drive-in movie theater opening in New Jersey in 1933, Gretchen and I thought it would be fun to write about going to the movies.

To me, there is something magical about sitting in a dark theater waiting for a movie to start. My earliest movie memories are of two movies, and both were released in 1977, so I’m not sure which movie I saw first. I do know exactly where I saw them; the small town where I grew up didn’t have a movie theater, so we had to drive down the interstate a couple of towns away to the movie theater in Paxton. Dad probably bought Jujube candy for himself and caramels for my sister and me to eat during the movie.

One of the movies featured droids and aliens, the other movie was about mice. One movie has had several successful sequels made, and the other movie had one sequel that just wasn’t quite as good. The first movie, of course, was Star Wars. The second movie, based on one of my favorite children’s books by Margery Sharp, was The Rescuers.

You know about Luke, Leia, and Han Solo, but do you know about Miss Bianca? She is an elegant little white mouse who is mightier than she looks. She sets out on a rescue mission and chooses a companion, Bernard, who is an ordinary mouse and not elegant at all. Bernard’s voice is Bob Newhart, and his voice is perfect for Bernard.

They are rescuing Penny, an orphan, from an evil Duchess who is cruel and uses Penny as a maid. It’s almost a Cinderella story without a prince, but with Miss Bianca instead. Miss Bianca may be a mouse, but she is a Mama Bear when she sets out to save Penny.

I couldn’t find my copy of the book; which must have disappeared long ago, and I haven’t shown Lily and Emmy the movie yet, although I’ve tried. Seeing a movie when I was little was very different than it is now. After a movie was released in the theaters, we saw it once. We were lucky if it was the Sunday night movie on TV a couple of years later.

Since it’s so easy to watch movies now, whether it’s on a DVD, streamed online or downloaded on a device, it seems like going to the movies must be less magical. When I take Lily and Emmy to the theater, however, they are really excited. I think it is just as magical for them as it was for me when I was a little girl. After all, we don’t go to the movie theater that often, and when we do, it’s not a drive-in theater.

The first movie I didn’t see was actually at a drive-in theater. (Confusing, isn’t it?) My parents wanted to see Romeo and Juliet, but it was not appropriate for children. My sister and I sat in the back seat, and my parent tried to get us to go to sleep while they watched the movie. It must not have been a very enjoyable experience for my parents, but my sister and I thought it was fun trying to see the movie when we weren’t supposed to be watching!

Do you remember the first movie you saw?


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12 Responses to At the Movies {Spin Cycle}

  1. My oldest movie memories were when my parents forced us to watch The Sound of Music, which I did not want to watch, and I loved it so much that it is still one of my favorite movies today! And sneaking into Porkies with my best friend, which we could not buy tickets to, because it was rated R.
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  2. I LOVE The Rescuers! It was always one of my favorites, and now my girls love it too!
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  3. I think I told you it was Roger Rabbit but it might have been “We’re No Angels” which is NOT kid-appropriate. I really don’t know, though. I was already older then. Maybe there was something earlier I’m forgetting.
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  4. Gretchen says:

    I clearly remember seeing Star Wars for the first time. I was with my friend Flavia, and I had just recently gotten my drivers license, so I drove us in Mama’s car. After the movie, we were so wound up that we drove around pretending to be navigating the Millennium Falcon through space. Probably not so safe! And I remember the hullabaloo over the raciness of Romeo and Juliet.
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  5. My kids and I watched this a few months ago on VHS. Yes, we still have a working VHS machine. You are welcome to borrow the movie and relieve the magic!

    PS My kids hated the rat.
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  6. Oh, how I miss Drive-In theaters! I used to love going when I was in high school. One of the first movies I can remember seeing was Born Free and I remember seeing Disney’s Jungle Book. Two others that stand out in my mind are True Grit and 2001 A Space Odysey.
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  7. Janice says:

    Oh, Ginny and all you other spinners, I am feeling like a mother hen reading your posts. Several of the movies are ones we our son was taken to see. Fun topic for reminiscing. The second movie I remember seeing was at a drive in. The movie was ‘Picnic’.
    Janice recently posted…Movie MemoriesMy Profile

  8. I think the first movie I saw was “Mary Poppins” although it must have ben a second showing, because imdb.com says it came out in 1964 and I was only 3 or 4 years old. I remember being angry because the movie Mary Poppins was not portrayed as she was in the book – she was much more stern in the book. Much, much later, I met my husband and discovered that “Mary Poppins” was his favorite childhood movie. I came to appreciate the magic of that movie, especially the dancing chimney sweeps scene.
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  9. Great story! I remember that movie too! My first movie that I could remember was Benji in 1974.
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  10. Jenny says:

    Oh Miss Bianca. I forgot about her. The Rescuers is an old favorite. Thank you for reminding me of this classic! Of course, Star Wars was the first one I thought of when attempting to pull old movies out of my head. What a fun one that was to see in the theater!
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  11. I was born in 1977 to be honest, but I did see both of those movies, when I was kid. I love the memories though not his topic and definitely so much fun to reminisce on this!!! :)
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