I read this piece at a Writers of Central Florida or Thereabouts event at Maitland Public Library hosted by Tim Rumsey and Jeff Rembert around the theme of movies on April 4, 2016.
When I was a kid there wasn’t much that could go wrong on a family outing to the movies, therefore movie-going became a frequent activity for my sister, my parents, and me. I don’t even recall what the first movie I ever saw was, but grew up hearing that babysitters and family members putting a movie on to relax me into sleeping always had the opposite effect. I would be alert, awake, and captivated by the stories on screen. Meanwhile my gramas would be dozing, or worse snoring.
My sister would cry and cry and cry when Dumbo was separated from his mother and yet we would beg our parents to rent the VHS over and over. They did so reluctantly and endured our inevitable sob fests.
Once we moved from Upstate New York to Winter Springs, Florida we would often pile in the car and head to the old Litchfield Theatre on 17-92. One day our intended showtime was sold out— this was the early ‘90s pre-Fandago and you had to look up the movie times and descriptions in the newspaper. Missing the showing meant my parents were left with the options of leaving and convincing us into a different, sub-par, activity or staying at the theater for the next show.