life in and around NYC is insane

Saturday, March 28, 2009

songbird salutes the 70"s

Let's talk about movies and movie theaters.

I recently upgraded to Verizon Fios, with about a gazillion movie channels, and as I was cruising through the channels and the dozens of movies being offered...including many from the 1970's...I thought about a time before cable television, when you had to actually go to the movies if you wanted to see a movie. we're spoiled now, with our stadium seating and buying tickets on line before we go, but back in the 70's the idea of a "multiplex" was something new and exciting.My boyfriend and I would hang out at the Sunrise Multiplex, in the Sunrise Mall. We must have seen Star Wars at least a dozen times -- only paid for it the first time, snuck in many additional times after seeing another movie. It was much easier then.

With the advent of the multiplex, neighborhood movie theaters had the change their approach or close their doors. In 1976 the Farmingdale Theater became known as "the 76 cent theater" because it cost $.76 to get in to see a 4th-run movie. I saw Rocky there with my family. And my boyfriend took me there to see Carrie....(spoiler alert) his friend sat in the row behind us, and when the hand reached out of the grave...the guy behind me grabbed me...and they had to peel me off the ceiling.

sigh. Places like that disappeared when more people got cable and were able to watch HBO.

Last week I happened to catch the original Poseidon Adventure.You know, Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Roddy McDowell, Jack Albertson and Shelley Winters...and the sappiest movie theme song of all time. "... there's got to be a morning after...if we can hold on through the night..." Classic. I still cry when Mrs. Rosen hands the chai to Rev. Scott to give to Manny for their grandson in Israel. I hated, hated, HATED the remake.

and then, right afterwards, I caught the end of Foul Play, a 1978 comedy starring Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn, with a wicked funny cameo by Dudley Moore. He's seen dancing to "Stayin' Alive", from the iconic Saturday Night Fever -- the first R rated movie I could legally see, viewed at the Sunrise Multiplex, I must have played the soundtrack album a thousand times. Probably wore out the vinyl. I have a friend who lives in Bay Ridge, and whenever I go to her house I half-expect to see a young John Travolta strutting down the street swinging a paint can. I saw the Broadway version a few years ago, but heard Travolta's voice in my head every time the actor playing Tony opened his mouth. they simply cannot reinvent the wheel, Travolta owns Tony Manero and nobody else can really play him.

Now, does anyone care to run up the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum with me?


Amanda said...

I hated when they started ID'ing people for R movies. I'd been seeing Stephen King for years at that point and was no longer allowed by the theater. Now the seats are so close together that it kills my knees to be that cramped and people talk too much that I prefer to stay home. People had more courtesy "back in the day" when you were in the theater.

songbird's crazy world said...

back in the day you "had" to pay attention because there was no cable and VCR's were way too expensive for most people. so if you missed something might be years until the movie hit network tv....and there were no CELL PHONES!

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