When we were growing up my mom liked to go to movies regularly and we went to one every month it seemed and sometimes had to turn in soda bottles to have enough for everyone. Our sister's admission was free, as I don't recall them charging for babies or toddlers. At the time our parents were newly divorced or in the process of divorcing. We subsisted on a very limited income, but always went to the movies as a five some (Mom and her 4 kids). Most often we paid with a few dollar bills and fistfuls of change as several of us would hold mom’s purse open and dig to the bottom for more as one of us would bounce our baby sister Ellen on our hip.
We always (ALWAYS) came in at the end or middle of the movie and then had to sit and wait for the movie to start back for the next showing and watch it all over again as the endings never really made sense until you saw the whole movie. I have to say, knowing the ending never spoiled the surprise, because it was still a fresh story and confusing until we saw the whole film.
We did that 99% of the time and I remember thinking it was crazy when movie theater’s started making the audience line up for a show. How could that be? We always got in whenever we darn well showed up and watched the movie sometimes twice. Or maybe they just felt sorry for the lady with a purse full of coins who brought her baby and three pre-teens. Maybe they understood the challenges of corralling this bunch and how it's possible that a mother could get some peace and quiet in a dark theater where her kids sat glued to the flashing images on a giant screen.
Or maybe they just let Mom in rather than make her sit in the lobby for an hour or more with us? Because we'd likely chase each other around the lobby if we weren't watching a movie. Most often we had to walk to the theater and our sister transported in a borrowed Pantry Pride shopping cart that we conveniently kept at our house. Mom didn't drive and we gave up on strollers as we couldn't carry many groceries in it and sometimes one of us would catch a ride in the cart.
And don’t get me started on Mom’s movie magazines! She bought a Silver Screen or Rona Barrett’s
EVERY WEEK. This was her outlet and we all passed the magazines around and
became quite the experts on the lives of Elizabeth Taylor, Hollywood Richard Burton, Richard
Harris, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Doris Day, Rock Hudson, Charlton Heston,
Audrey Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Rex Harrison, Elvis Presley and more. I was lousy
at every subject in school, but I knew who the major entertainers of day were
So it seems that eventually our family's fascination with Hollywood would lead to someone going West and it turned out to be our daughters Blair and Marquel. So far they haven't appeared in any magazines, but their work has appeared in film festivals and on TV.