Last week, I vented about turning 65 and my stages of denial and finally acceptance(maybe), but this week I would like to talk about the movies, how much I love them, and how they helped me to see the world as it really was and what I wished it to be.
Growing up in South Philadelphia, there were two movie theatres within walking distance. One was the Broadway Theatre located at Broad and Snyder and the much smaller one located on south 11th street, the Colonial. Every Saturday morning at 11, I left the house with my younger sisters and brother and we walked from Broad and Porter to Broad and Snyder. The streets were so much safer then, and we knew nothing about drugs, guns or pedophiles. They existed, we just didn't know about it. We each carried a brown paper bag that contained our lunch, consisting of a ham and cheese sandwich, an apple, and a candy bar from the grocery store our family owned.
The price at the time for the Saturday matinee was 25 cents. Can you believe that? 25 cents got you cartoons and a double feature. I was ten years old and since I helped my parents in the store, I had extra money to buy my siblings some popcorn. Although we were in some ways, quite naive, the movies allowed us to see the world as it was. We learned from the creature double features all about monsters and that some monsters earned our sympathy such as King Kong, while others deserved our fear (Bela, you scary fella). Musicals were my favorite and there were plenty to see. By the time I was a teen, West Side Story was out and the price was up to 50 cents. I know all the songs and dance routines because I saw the movie twelve times within two weeks. I loved Bernardo.
The Broadway Theatre is also where I received my first kiss, from an usher who was two years older and looked a lot like Bernardo. Do movies still have ushers??? I don't think so, but they were there to quiet the noisy crowds and to help people to their seats and they looked so handsome in their little usher outfits....now where was I? Oh yeah the movies. We learned what was really going on in the world outside of South Philly. We learned about racism and why it was bad, we learned about war, magic, dreams, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Movies to me were treasures to be cherished, loved as much as I loved books.
Tonight I treated my husband to dinner and a movie for his birthday. We went to see Hugo. Please take the time to see this wonderful movie because it is magical and you leave the theatre feeling like a child again. I believe in magic, but in today's cruel world we tend to forget, busy with the economy, Iran's threats, climate change, etc. etc. but there is magic, just ask a small child, and sometimes a good movie helps you remember there is.
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