Tonight is the Golden Globes which is without question one of the most fun evenings in the entertainment industry award circuit. Already have selected my favorites and can't wait for Tina and Amy to make us howl with laughter. All my life I have loved the movies and in childhood it was a great treat.
Times were different in the sense that an eight to ten year old was allowed to go almost anywhere without parental guidance. Often on a Saturday if both my folks were working I would walk about a mile across the fields and woods to Route 77. The two lane highway was the main road between Bridgeton in Southern New Jersey to Philadelphia. The bus would carry citizens between the two.
Standing on the rural corner straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting, the bus would stop when I waved it down and for 25 cents I would take the half hour ride to Bridgeton and my movie dreams. Unloading at the somewhat seedy terminal, I would walk the blocks to the Laurel Movie Palace. Theaters back then were segregated either by side or often by African-Americans sitting in the balcony. For 50 cents you could get a double feature that included cartoons, newsreels and coming attractions.
Then afterwards I would walk back to the station and get my ticket and journey back to the same rural corner and walk the mile back through the fields to our home on Mr. Seabrook's farm. No one gave a second thought about how young we were in walking and catching a bus alone.
In my teens, I learned to catch the bus to the hour plus ride to Philadelphia and go the amazing 'Cinerama' which was the largest innovation in film. There was this huge screen that used three synchronized 35 projectors and it was all the rage. On that screen it was where I saw The Ten Commandments for the first time.
My years of going to the movies have yielded many unusual and funny experiences.
There was the time that I want to see the first King Kong at the Delsea Drive-In and for weeks I would wake up screaming at night that 'King Kong was on the roof'.
Or seeing Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and going home seasick!
Horror movies have always been a favorite of mind both because of the genre and that the audience would scream or talk to the characters attempting to warn them of pending danger. Nothing frighten me more than the movie Jaws which I saw in a Denver movie house in my twenties. In the very first scene, when the shark seized the girl and pulled her down, I screamed threw my popcorn and coke all over the people in front of me!
Finally, I arrived in the Hollywood of my dreams! When I was young I would look at LIFE Magazine pictures of Hollywood at night with the searchlights all over the place. One night I was able to sit on the roof of my West Hollywood house doing the Oscars and see the searchlights fill the sky. I literally got chills witnessing this ritual. Life was complete.
Still have a couple of movies to see to complete them all before this years Oscars but there is nothing like going to the movies. When I was eight and crossing those fields or now walking down to Times Square going to the movies still provides the same joy. Thanks Hollywood!