When I was a kid in the late fifties, early sixties, I went to the movies every Saturday afternoon One could really get their money’s worth back then. For 25 cents (35 if it was Disney movies) you could get two movies, a Three Stooges short, a cartoon, maybe a news reel, and maybe a documentary short.
All bunches of fun stuff would fill up all afternoon from 12 noon to much later when the moms started pulling cars up to the front of the theater, waiting for the doors to open, to take us kids back home until next Saturday.
I’m a little young to have had the cliff-hanger serials. But I got plenty!
Also, with your movie ticket, you got a ticket with a number from one to ten. One of the great parts of my movie afternoon experience was a short film, different each week, where men numbered one through ten would race in rowboats, racecars, etc, doing really silly things.
The lucky kids holding the numbers of the winner of the race would be called up to the front of the theater and get a sucker from the theater manager. That was a great honor, and the kids in line for the sucker would make faces at all the losers the entire time they were in line.
Plus, it was not just any sucker, but a big, fat sucker, worth 10 cents, that would last the whole movie, unless you bit it.
Also, those were the days when theaters were theaters! (The theaters where I spent my Saturday afternoons of youth are pictured.) If your mom dropped you off a long time before the movie started, you could spend an hour just looking at all the beautiful things in the theater. Beautiful red velvet curtains, a chandelier, and paintings on the walls. Not paintings hanging on the walls, but the walls were actually painted with lots of neat stuff to look at.
I’m not sure if this last memory of mine was universal, or not, but when I was a kid, everybody applauded the movies and cartoons after they were over. Now that I’m grown up, I can’t help but still do this. I feel like I am being disrespectful for not showing my appreciation of my good time.
But, actually, we hardly ever go to the movies any more, more like never. For our 10th anniversary a couple of years ago, we got a “home theater”, a DVD player and a sound system. It’s not nearly as nice as the really expensive setup that my hubby really wanted, but watching our pennies, this was a nice compromise.
Also, we found a decent, but low priced 32” wide screen TV around that time. Plus, we have two lazy boy chairs, a refrigerator in the next room, a dog in our lap and/or a bird on our shoulder, a RedBox selling one dollar new releases around the corner. Do we really need to go “to the movies” any more? Nope, not in our thinking.
It was nice while it lasted, movie theaters, but I don’t need you any more….