I have seen movies and I have loved them. My repertoire goes back into the vast recesses of the seventies, or at least as far back as I can remember. My list of movies that have affected change in my life is a long one. The list of movies that I simply love is even longer. Not many days go by that I’m not watching one - or have one on the Netflix queue ready to go. I wouldn’t make it very long without them, and if that makes me petty then so be it. There are more addictions than people in this world and movies don’t top the addiction list at a very high number. Books and movies are my only vices, well, along with live-tweeting the Oscars. Guilty.
I remember back to when I was small and we only received six channels or so from the awkward antennae on the top of our house. Yes, I did once get stuck on the climbable antennae tower. Our Zenith Color TV (notice the word color) stood proudly in the family room and when the TV would lose reception, we would get on the floor and turn the dial on the little box that controlled the antennae. You could hear it clicking as it moved its direction N, S, W, or E. The fuzzy ‘snow’ on the screen slowly evaporated as the connection clicked into place and it was a go to find my favorite programs. I spent many a Saturday, after Scooby-Doo in the morning, watching Super Host and John Lanigan. They introduced me to the old, old Dracula movies, vintage Wolfman, so cheesy yet divine, as well as those space movies I loved so much. Supe was part of my childhood and I soaked up every bit of those old flicks with an eager eye – I mean what’s better than ‘The Blob’? Friday nights with Big Chuck and Little John were memorable for the skits and scary movies they always showed. How can you not love a slate of Hammer Films, chocolate chip cookies, and chills?
Say what you will about my selection of films, I never gave up being a movie watcher. I remember seeing ‘Holocaust’ and ‘Roots’ on our TV at home in all their mini-series hoopla. Those movies are burned into my psyche. The late seventies and well into the eighties brought us the slasher films in all their glory. Friday the 13th, Halloween, and so many more became part and parcel of being a teenager in the eighties. Who can forget seeing Footloose in the theater as well as Dirty Dancing, Red Dawn, or St. Elmo’s Fire? I drove to Wooster during a thunderstorm in the summer of ’85 in my dad’s rusty old truck to see St. Elmo’s Fire. It was the first ever movie I saw alone and the memory of the trip and movie make me smile. I remember the first time I could get into (or did someone get US in?) the Lyric Twin Cinema with a friend to watch a movie, as well as the Quaker in all its vintage glory. Buy your popcorn, hold your ticket tightly to show the man with the flashlight, and when the lights went down you would sink into your seat. I called it heaven.
With the advent of the VCR we were able to bring more and more movies into the home. In those days you had to drive to New Phila just to rent movies, and drive we did. We were so proud of that huge box that played movies that we would’ve driven to Canada just to rent them. Remember when you had to pay to have a rental membership? A long way and many years later I still have my rental card. Questor movies, that was the place.
I did luck out with my husband. Girls, if you love movies never marry a man who won’t see the ones you like. It’s a give and take, because we take turns picking, but my guy will see any movie with me – ANY movie. This includes chick flicks, horror movies, independent movies, action/thriller, and even a movie called Tusk where he really did walk in blindly. Bless him for laughing, crying, and going along with my crazy choices. It’s been an adventure in film. When the kids were smaller we would stock up on movies at Video Connection (miss that place) and make a big bed in the living room. Movie after movie would play until they fell asleep, then it was time for our movies. We’ve made them movie lovers and now my son is in school for Film and Video Direction. I couldn’t be prouder.
Now that we’re alone in the house our Netlix queue is big and wide, vast and deep. Movie rentals stores nearly no longer exist, so every once in a while we’ll rent at Redbox for $1, or download a movie On-Demand for a little bit more. We make treks to the cinema in Canton be it Tinseltown or Movies 10 which is a dollar theater. Some people spend money on sports or hobbies – one of our hobbies is movies. When it’s time to get out of the house we’ll look at each other and say, “Wanna go eat and see a movie?” I’ll grab my reusable Cinemark popcorn bucket and cup for cheaper than cheap refills and we’re off. If we’re sitting on the couch and cable has nothing to offer, I’ll load up Netflix and we’ll peruse the thousands of titles available for our viewing pleasure. We’re a movie household or even movie freaks if you will (shout out to the Movie Freaks Facebook community – which has given me more obscure and awesome titles to choose from than I’ll ever have time to watch).
We’ll be watching movies forever until we’re old and gray – and yep, we’ll be that cool trendy couple that still goes to the theater because once it’s in your blood it never quite goes away.