When Henry Smith introduced me to Judy Garland, Bert Lahr and the Munchkins at his Texas Theater in downtown McGregor, it began a life-long love affair with the movies. I could not have been older than five as I remember being a little confused–thinking the opening black and white part was real, but the color part in “The Wizard of Oz” was the make-believe. Nancy Smith was my best friend and thus my movie ticket for the Texas Theater. Not understanding the dynamics of race in a small Texas town, we sneaked upstairs to the “Negro balcony” to watch.
In the later 50’s, who knows what my mother was thinking, as she dropped me and my brother off at the Saturday horror matinees in Columbia, SC. We cringed under the seats as giant tarantulas and scooting brains wrecked havoc on the screen. Weekly movies such as “South Pacific” and “Psycho” were shown on a wall at the recreation hall on Fort Kamehameha. No matter it being shown on a wall, “Psycho” still kept us scared in the shower for months. Then came necking at the drive-in–so don’t even ask what was showing. In the meantime, I am watching all the old movies on late night television…“Sunset Blvd,” “Frankenstein” and Bela Lugosi’s “Dracula.”
In Austin, in my twenties, I had a friend with a free pass to any movie theater in town. See how I choose my friends? When I was nine months pregnant, we went to the midnight showing of the “Exorcist.” We huddled in bed that night, waking to every noise and clinging to each other.
I took my 12 year-old son to movies like “Conan the Barbarian” and “The Emerald Forest.” The later for which he is eternally grateful for the many nubile bared breasts. I sat in “Titanic” and There’s Something About Mary” with my stepdaughter. Continuing the tradition, I have seen every kid-friendly move for the last 15 years with my grandchildren. Thankfully, the older they get, the more they like horror and sci-fi, two of my favorite genres.
I would love to hear about the movies that moved you the most.