It’s time to dig back into the recesses of memory to recount the very first movies we ever saw in theaters. Or, at least, the first movies we remember seeing in theaters. For this week’s Roundtable, let’s take a trip down memory lane.
This week, we also welcome Luke Hickman from The Reel Place to the Roundtable. You’ll be seeing more of Luke around this blog in the near future.
I’m fairly certain that the first movie my mother took me to see in a theater was Disney’s sci-fi opus ‘The Black Hole‘. I have no idea why my mother would agree to go to a movie like this. I guess that I must have begged her long and hard enough that she eventually gave in. Those cutesy trash-can robots and the big evil devil robot made quite an impression on my five-year-old mind, but I’ll be honest that not much else did. I’m pretty sure that I saw the movie again on HBO at some point during my childhood, but have not watched it since. At this point, I don’t think I want to. I’m sure it’s perfectly terrible, and I’d rather not sully my hazy memory with something as unfortunate as the facts.
Holy hell, is this a tough one. Much like Johnny Mnemonic, I gave up my childhood memories in order to add a whopping 80 gigs of hard drive to my brain…which then got filled with porn. Fast. I know I went to theaters long before, but the earliest movie I can actually vividly remember was a trip to the “new” theater (which is now a bargain matinee, in a mall that lacks a single chain store these days) on one of the weekly post-divorce outings with my dad to see ‘Robocop 2‘. Just something about it being the first “adult” movie I got to see on the big screen made it stick, even if the movie isn’t all that great. (And yes, rewatching it earlier this year verified this!) It’s actually rather fitting that this is the one I remember definitively, since it fits my personal beliefs of non-censorship towards the next generation of Boss hooligans. They’re going to grow up on splatter horror, for sure. Nightmares? Ah well, I won’t be the one washing the soiled bed sheets!
My first memorable moviegoing experience was an awesome one. It was 1984, I was just under four-years-old, and my old man took our family to see ‘Ghostbusters‘ in a crappy theater in Victorville, CA. I remember being so small that my pops had me sit on his lap (probably because he didn’t want to pay for my admission). The opening library ghost sequence scared me so much that after the initial jump, I never stopping pushing back against him for the entire movie. Luckily, my first in-theater memory was of a classic movie that has held up over the last 27 years.
Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)
The first movie I have a very vivid memory of seeing theatrically is ‘The Black Cauldron‘. Although, since I was six by that point, I’d probably seen plenty of other movies in theaters before that. I remember that my four-year-old sister was sitting next to me, and considering our ages, I’d kind of hope our parents were there with us too. I’m not really sure if I’ve caught ‘The Black Cauldron’ since then or not, but if I have, it’s probably been more than twenty years. For whatever reason, I used to always get that and ‘The Sword in the Stone’ mixed up, so who knows?
My other earliest memory of seeing a movie in theaters was one of those kiddie matinees of ‘The Wizard of Oz’. I just remember that when the Cowardly Lion first popped up and was meekly holding onto his tail, my sister loudly asked my parents, “Why’s he holding him’s penis?” which got exactly the type of reaction you’d expect.
I distinctly remember being four-years-old and seeing ‘Transformers: The Movie‘ when it came out in theaters. I also remember clearly in my head that I was taken out of the movie for misbehaving, then brought back in just in time for the epic fight at the end. This is all crystal clear in my mind. The weird thing is that, according to both of my parents, I was not taken to see ‘Transformers: The Movie’. But since the topic is the first movie I remember seeing in theaters, I count it. The second movie I remember seeing in a theater is the great Francis Ford Coppola film ‘Captain EO’.
Chris Boylan (Big Picture Big Sound)
This is probably going to get someone in trouble, namely my mother. When I was a wee lad of 7, my mother took my brother (11), my sister (9) and me to see ‘The Great Waldo Pepper’ at a local movie house and left us there as she had errands to run. It turns out that Waldo was nowhere to be found, replaced instead with a Woody Allen triple feature. So at 7-years-old, I watched ‘Sleeper’, ‘Bananas’, and ‘Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex but Were Afraid to Ask‘. I still have nightmares about “rolling out the tongue” and “sending in the sperm.” Do the movies hold up? I don’t know. I’m still too traumatized to watch them again.
The first movie I can ever recall seeing in the theater was ‘Pete’s Dragon‘. Since I was born in ’78, it must have been during the re-release in 1984. My parents took two of my sisters and I to see it at the Allen Theaters at the Animas Valley Mall in Farmington, NM. I have never seen it again since, but I can distinctly remember walking down the aisle and taking a seat, then leaving hours later, feeling like I was wandering back into reality.
We’ve told you our stories. Now is your turn to tell us yours. Film lovers, what was the movie that set you on the path to cinemania?