Sunday, April 29, 2007
Since I was a little girl I loved the movies. There were three movie houses within walking distances from my house.

"The Olympia" showed first run movies. Any Shirley Temple movie was a sure fire hit with me.

"The Strand" showed mainly cowboy pictures and on Saturday matinees gave out pieces of china. I went there on a regular basis, that's how my mother got a complete set of dishes. You got your money's worth at that theater, not only did you get a piece of china, you saw Pathe News, a cartoon like "Popeye" or "Betty Boop" and then you saw what they called a "serial" which left you hanging so you had to come back the folllowing week to see what happened next. As I'm typing this I realize what they were doing was like what we experience on TV today.

"The Chelsea" was know as "The Scratch House" because the seats had fleas. The only time I went to "The Chelsea" was to see "King Kong" which I can't tell you how many times I saw.

In those days the movies did not sell refreshments so my mother would pack me a lunch just in case I got hungry. A salami sandwich was what I usually had. Funny thing is, no one complained, they all must have had the same snack.

As I got older "The Olympia" became my very favorite movie house. Those were the days we had REAL movie stars, Tyrone Power, Robert Taylor, Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Hedy Lamar and Claudette Colbert just to name a few!!

In the 40's the fellows were just starting to get out of the service, had no cars so we would go into Boston by subway. It was a big deal to go to a gorgeous theater like "The Metroplitan." The theater was beautiful and the movies they made in those days were great!!

After a while I dated fellows that had cars so it was a pleasure going into town and after the movie we would go to a Howard Johnsons or a diner for a bite to eat and if your date was flush we would to Chinatown.

One of my dates introduced me to foreign films which we would see at the Exeter Street Theater in Boston. At one time the building was a church which they converted into a movie house. As I recall, it was not air conditioned but we went there regardless. That's where I was introduced to the talented Alec Guiness who starred in "The Lavender Hill Mob" and "The Man in the White Suit, just to name few.

In the 50's I married and moved to the suburbs. There were a handful of independent movie houses not to far from where we lived so it was still easy to get to the movies. Times changed, the conglomerates started opening up and were slowly causing the small theaters to close. At that point in time we had to travel a little further, pay a little more but still went to the movies.

A few years after my husband died I moved north of Boston. At that time there still was an independent theater in the area, "The Warwick." It was a charming little theater, the owner would greet us as we came in, we would see our neighbors and it was a hop, skip and jump from were I lived. And they showed foreign films!! Unfortunately, it didn't take too long before they closed their doors.

Now when I want to go to movies, it's a longer drive, most movies seem to be of the "cops and robbers" variety, seldom is there something I really want to see. When I hear about a good foreign film it seldom makes it to a theater that I can get to.

Would you believe I found a solution!!! - I recently mentioned to Steve that I was interested in finding out about Netflix and before you could say "Jumping Jacks" he had me signed up!!

I have already received my first film, "Tsotsi" loved it and am looking forward to the next one in my queue, "Inconvenient Truth."

I'll still be going to the movies with the girls, having dinner out and sharing the movie experience with them but who would have thunk years ago that a movie could be delivered to your door, watch it at your convenience and indulge in some hot buttered popcorn!!

Adding "Tsotsi" to my Netflix list tonight brought my list up to 231. By comparison, there's only one film at the multiplex right now that I want to see. ("The Namesake", which I see you enjoyed. I loved the book.) If you're a PBS/BBC series fan, as I am, I think you'll enjoy adding those to your Netflix list. Keep us posted on your movie experiencews.
We joined Blockbuster on-line, Millie, which is similar to Netflix. When I have seen the DVD, I can return it to the store (instead of mailing it) and I can pick out a FREE one!! I have seen at least 8-9 movies in the alst 2 weeks, and it is GREAT!! I know you will enjoy that membership, and you can see a lot of the old films you remember well, too.
I love Netflix!!!
It's been the answer to my husband and I not being able to get out on a date and see the latest pop-culture icons.
Well done Millie. You know how I feel about foreign film. I didn't know we had this in common. KP
Hi, Millie, I love Netflix, too. I don't like to go to the movie theater because of all the kids making noise, even in the "R-rated" movies.
Oh my goodness you do have it all. I think we all read you because we are somewhat jealous. ;-) (I have been a netflix subscriber for years.)
Oh Millie, I too remember those wonderful movies or "Picture Shows" as we called them.

My theaters were the "Palace", the nicest one, the Strand which was a real dump and the Georgian which was in between.

Thanks for the memories.
I have a movie recommendation for you. "Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont" with Joan Plowright. I saw it this evening as part of a film series that I attend and thought it was excellent. I enjoy reading your blog.
Don't you miss the Three Stooges shortie and the cartoon that they used to show before the feature film? I do. I wish they'd go back to that format instead of COMMERCIALS!
I remember my folks taking me to the movies when I was very small and mom getting some sort of dish! It's one of those weird things I recall from my preschool years.

I don't like to go to the movies anymore -- it's too expensive and uncomfortable. We have a group here that restored a grand old movie theater which originally was the opera house and eventually mrhed into the vaudeville theater. It still shows movies -- both new and classic -- at a reasonable price as well as stage shows. I was just there Friday night for a Three Stooges film festival! Great, mindless fun!
Great post, Millie. I remember my Mom coming home with those dishes she acquired from the movies.
I also very much remember the Warrick....I saw the originial M.A.S.H. movie there.
And on an island with no movie houses OR Blockbuster, we discovered Netflix 2 years ago when we moved here. "The Queen" arrived yesterday, which I'm anxious to watch tonight.
Happy movie watching to you!
Hi to everyone who told me how they are enjoying Netflix. I can see that I will really enjoy seeing them at my convenience

I had one waiting for me the other day, do the dishes first, return some calls, put away the groceries, blog or watch the DVD? Decisions, decisions, decisions!!

I did get to see "Mrs Palfrey", it was so good I could see it again!

You should get together with Kay, she likes the Three Stooges too!!

You are so right about the movies being expensive - whenever I go to the movies, I can count the number of people .in the audience.
It is different in Florida, price of admission is a lot less so the movies get a big crowd.
I just discovered your blog, and am going to recommend it to my mom, and keep reading it myself. Maybe I can get her to start a blog!
Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. It is always great pleasure to read your posts.
I love old theaters, so it was fun to read this. Also, living in Boston I can share some of your memories. I remember going to the Exeter. This was when I was a freshman in college in the mid-1970s. "Inconvenient Truth" is great. Enjoy it.
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