Archive for Monday, March 2, 2009


Trips to the movie theater aren’t always picture-perfect

March 2, 2009


Atmy grandparents’ funeral service, my dad was asked to share a childhood memory. He recounted a time when his parents had taken him and his five siblings (including two toddlers and a baby) to the drive-in movies to see Fellini’s “La Strada.” My dad sat in the back of the station wagon, reading the subtitles. He was 9 years old.

It’s not so surprising that my grandparents would’ve wanted to see “La Strada.” It’s the story of a very poor but feisty woman. My grandparents were poor and feisty. The woman becomes part of a two-bit traveling sideshow act. My grandparents were carnival workers — you know, carnies. My dad and my aunts and uncles grew up on the carnival circuit. So I guess “La Strada” makes sense. Still, a foreign film at the drive-in? With six children? Really?

When my daughter was 3, “Elmo’s Adventures in Grouchland” came out, and all the preschoolers were going to see it. So we decided it was time for baby’s first movie. Oh boy, I was excited. “We’re going to see ‘Elmo in Grouchland,’” I declared. “What’s that?” she asked. “It’s a movie. We’re going to see it at a movie theater.” “What’s that?” “It’s a place where you go to watch movies on a really big TV screen ... in a dark room with a lot of people ... who we won’t know ... and we have to be quiet ... and there’s no pausing the movie ... there’ll be popcorn.”

“Why are we doing that?”

“It’ll be fun”

And so, despite a skeptical look from my child, off we went. We had just finished the previews and “Elmo’s Adventures in Grouchland” was beginning when my daughter whispered “Can we go to that other room?”

“No, the other room is playing a grown-up movie.”

“I mean, the room with the video games and the candy.”

“You mean the lobby?”

“Yes, can we go back to the lobby?”

And that was that. Maybe we should’ve started with “La Strada.”


RoeDapple 9 years, 3 months ago

Kids, you can't help but love them. You're just never sure why...................

zzgoeb 9 years, 3 months ago

I love this story, until the ending. Along with the build up to taking the little one to see Elmo, the tike should have been told that they would need to stay and watch the movie...I'm pretty sure g'ma and g'pa didn't leave the drive-in early at the kids request!

Adrienne Sanders 9 years, 3 months ago

I took my half- brother to see his first movie in a theater. After 20 minutes, he whispered, "I'm done watching this now." LOL! We didn't leave- he ended up falling asleep though.

Chris Ogle 9 years, 3 months ago

I haven't been to a movie since the Granada did stuff like that. What does it cost these days??

Jason Bailey 9 years, 3 months ago

@zzgoeb: You simply don't know Meghan Bahn, then. You think it's wrong that she caved to her child in the movie theater? It's her modus operandi. After all, Meghan is on record as having no problems stealing apples in a grocery store if it will shut her screaming "sticky pixie" up. Right and wrong are relative to what is easiest for Meghan -- just a documented fact.

tellmetruebabaloo 9 years, 3 months ago

We took my little sister to see "Bambi" at the movie theater. She was so excited. We sat and watched the intro. The forest, the woodland creatures, the camera panned in to the mother gently nuzzling the newborn fawn.

My mother leaned over and whispered, "There he is, there is Bambi"

Sissy hopped up and said "Ok, let's go"

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