I found this little video on Youtube and it got me thinking about growing up in the 50's and 60's and the types of scary movies that were shown every weekend at our local movie theatre. The Saturday Matinee Movies was a big hit in our neck of the woods in South Philadelphia. There were two theatres that we could go to: The Broadway Theatre on Broad and Snyder
and the Colonial Theater on 11th and Moyamensing Ave.
Yes, the monsters offered to us, are laughable today, but back then; they scared us enough to drop our lunch, which consisted of baloney sandwiches and an apple, out of our hands. Yes, back then, kids were allowed to bring a bag lunch with them, as long as they also bought a bag of popcorn or lots of candy.
Most of the time, the baloney sandwiches were used as air to ground missiles by my siblings, if we were fortunate to get a seat in the balcony section of the movie theatre. If we noticed one of the neighborhood kids sitting below; then the time spent waiting for the first cartoon to start up was put to good use; bombs away!
The fright level of the movies began to change in the 60's with the introduction of Hammer Films. The screams from the audience grew louder and we began to cover our eyes. Here is a sample movie from Hammer Films:
We all know that Hollywood produces movies to fit the times, right? So what was going on in the 50's and 60's that upped the level of horror at the matinee shows?
The Cold War
Today we have ghost stories, zombies and vampires. I think the matinee horrors of our childhood have been stomped on and replaced with real world horrors. Today's news frightens me more than the prospect of encountering a zombie.
I long for the days of innocence, but I think we were already lost by the time the Exorcist came out on the screen.
So, I'm hoping that you don't mind me sharing an old movie with you once in a while. I miss the days of zippered up monsters with cotton ball eyes. I'll leave you with this one movie trailer to cheer you up, enjoy!