Grab Your Popcorn!


During this pandemic, I’ve definitely watched more movies–and really engaging series–at home than read books. So many options with cable/DirectTV, Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix, helping many of us cope.

I love movies and movies are very intertwined with all my memories. Of growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, of college and of Peace Corps, as well as beyond.

I remember going to see Pete’s Dragon for my 10th birthday with my parents, sister and 5 or 6 girlfriends. My sister and I only had a few big birthdays while growing up, and the 10th was one of those biggies.

I remember the magic of Star Wars.

I remember watching old movies. Classic Shirley Temple on Sunday mornings when I was little, Abbot and Castello at school, the Three Stooges when my mom wasn’t home, and classics like The Ghost and Mrs. Muir while babysitting the Nokkas down the street.

My earliest memories of going to ‘the show’ were to see Lady & the Tramp, Snow White, Cinderella, and Song of the South as a child with my parents and sister.

I remember the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and The Sound of Music playing on TV around the holidays.

Once we started spending the whole summer ‘Up North’ at The Cottage, we would go to the show weekly in either Petoskey or Charlevoix at the cheap ticket Tuesday evening show, often with the neighbor kids and chauffeured by distant relative through marriage, Carol Sue Goodenough. There was a TV at the Cottage in the 70s and 80s, but it could only get one channel–and Grams would rarely let us watch it! She wanted us outside and playing instead, so those movie going experiences were priceless! Carol Sue, you were a saint to take all of us kids on!

I still remember the magic of seeing Footloose, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and ET at the theater.

I remember going to the Penn Theater in downtown Plymouth. Our parents would drop us off for the 7 pm show and pick us up afterwards. I also remember walking over to the Penn Theater from my middle school to watch an early Star Trek movie.

I remember Elyse, Leanne and I lying to our parents about going to the show in 1982 when I was 14.  I think I told mine that we were going to see On Golden Pond when really we were going to see Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy in 48 Hours.

I remember these amazing high school English teachers of ours–the Thompson’s, Ms. Masters and Ms. Hewitt–recognizing the value of foreign films and documentaries. We watched Igmar Bergman, Luis Bunel and Werner Herzog in school–and then were encouraged to see the movies a second time with a public evening showing. Was it any surprise that I spent a year or two at Northern co-leading the alternative Gonzo Film Series?

And while we are at it, I also remember at Northern my good friend & (adopted) big brother, Rob C., being in charge of the Sunday feature film series and how happy he was introducing the films he and his committee had chosen. Also, I remember how he always had the best tv in the dorms to watch videos!

I remember going to the big, 1950s-era movie theater in Antigua’s capital of St. Johns when I was a PCV. I didn’t have a TV during my two years there, so movies were definitely my visual treat. I remember there were two sections of the theater: the comfortable rear section with the more expensive seats and the hard, wooden, cheap seats in the front. We had to put our feet up on the seats in front of us because critters, i.e.. rats would scurry around occasionally on the floor. Quite the experience!

Speaking of big,1950s-era movie theaters, I remember being 16 and a legal driver in 1984. Purple Rain was one of the first movies I was able to drive to and remember going to see it at the 1950s-era Mai Kai Theater.

I remember how magical it was when I moved to Chicago and worked with fellow movie lovers–Grace, Carol, Kim, Lolie, Russell, & Sylvia. Titanic, My Left Foot, Slingblade, Fargo, Amistad, and The English Patient were stand outs.

I remember movies being an important part of my experience while living in Los Angeles–of course! 🙂  I remember going to at least two movie pre-screenings on the Paramount Studios lot. One was to see The Legend of Sleepy Hollow with my parents where Dad and I got separated from Mom. I remember going out on a date with a guy I met at the Blockbuster in Los Feliz which happened to be on Sunset Boulevard. I remember going to see The Sixth Sense with Jennifer D and her figuring out the ending way before I did.

And while T hates going to a crowded theater, I have special memories of going with him to see Wallace & Grommet movies, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as well as numerous Marvel and DC comic movies.

I especially love the memory of going to see Mama Mia with Grams, Katie, Barb and Mom in Petoskey.

It’s those good memories that definitely help us through these trying times!


***For those of you who follow my blog regularly, yes, this is a revision of an earlier post.***

3 thoughts on “Grab Your Popcorn!

  1. Revision or not, enjoyed the post and your movie memories! We saw Happiness when I visited chicago and people walked out!!!

    I don’t watch many series or binge watch….but could watch Lord of the Rings trilogy all day while cleaning and doing laundry!!!!! Also binge-watched cartoon called Primal with my boys. Ask T if he has seen it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I totally remember going to see ‘Happiness’ with you, Kel!!!!! I think we went to the theater in Lincoln Square—back when I was a Northsider! That was a really dark movie and so not surprised people walked out, but I like that we share that memory!!!

      Yep, Terry has been watching Primal. Cool animation.

      Liked by 1 person

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