It’s cold and bleak and I’m on a crash diet of movies. I always liked the movies. Of course, when I was a little girl, things were different. First of all, a movie was a big treat. I was lucky to go once a year. There weren’t any movies on TV, no OnDemand, no multi-theatre cineplexes. For another thing, each movie theatre only played one movie. I always got to see a cartoon and I always got to see what was coming next: a preview.
Sometimes Dad took us kids to the movie. Especially if Mom was in the hospital having a baby. If Dad took us, he picked out the movie. He like westerns. I hardly remember those movies at all, except for the horses and the guns and the big hats. One time he made us all leave the theatre early, for no reason at all. I heard Mom tell Mrs. R, from across the street, that the movie Dad took us to was inappropriate for kids, and Dad was super embarrassed, especially since Vickie put up a fuss when he said we had to leave.
Mom took us to Disney movies, like Bambi. Bonita cried when Bambi’s mother got killed. I cried during Snow White, when the seven dwarves chased the old woman off the cliff. Plus, I hated that mirror the wicked queen looked in and said,
Mirror, mirror on the wall! Who’s the fairest of them all?
That scared the begeezers our of me. I ran and hid every time I saw that thing on “Wonderful World of Disney.” It was way worse in the movie theatre, where it was darker than night and everything in the movie was 100 times bigger than on TV.
Deanna loved musicals. We got the soundtrack record album for Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music way, way before the movie came to a theatre near us. Bonita and Deanna and me and maybe even Vickie had all the songs memorized before we even thought about seeing the movie. Bonnie and I made up our own dances to “Chim-Chiminee,” and “Feed the Birds,” way before we even knew there was a movie about Mary Poppins. Then we put on plays. Our plays weren’t half as good as the movie, but Mom clapped and laughed more for us than she ever did at the movies. Same thing with The Singing Nun, except they never made a movie out of the album. Too bad. Her story would be a super movie. She might have been why I took French when I got to high school.
The “Coming Attractions” were one of the best parts of going to a movie. Lots of times we got to the movie late, so we stayed and watched the previews and then the cartoon and sometimes the first part of the movie. I loved “Coming Attractions.” I hardly ever got to see the real Attraction, but it was fun imagining what the rest of the story was about. I liked to make up stories anyways, and “Coming Attractions” were like a puzzle stories.
Anyways, I got to thinking about all this when I went to see Saving Mr. Banks. No cartoons, but lots of funny ads for cellphones and television shows. Geiko Insurance sponsored the “silence your cell phone” bit, along with advice to locate the nearest exit in case of a need to evacuate. Someone with a finger on demographics tailored all of Trailers (aka “Coming Attractions”) to what the audience surely wanted to see next. (In my case one movie about Noah, another about Jesus, and one about a baseball scout recruiting Indian cricket players.) None of these movies are “coming soon,” nor are they in a theatre near me.
Ahh… I miss the old days. But I did love Saving Mr. Banks and I already had all the songs memorized.