Friday, August 24, 2007


How middle-aged movie going differs:

I haven't seen a single scary movie since my sister forced me to go see The Exorcist with her in 1975. I had to sleep with her that night for fear of 'pea soup' coming at me from all directions.

The first movie I remember seeing at a theater was Babes in Toyland when I was seven years old. It was also the first time I was introduced to 'movie' popcorn. I ordered five small boxes, one after the other and missed a good portion of the movie in so doing, but that was the beginning of my addiction to 'movie' popcorn. If I had a nickel back for every bag of popcorn I've purchased since my addiction began, I'd be richer than Bill Gates, seriously.

As I grew, so did my habit, going from five small boxes to a family-sized box that I alone consumed, and I went back for the free refill. My friends have always been gobsmacked at the amount of popcorn I am capable of consuming during one movie.

When I had dates with boys who even hinted that they would purchase a medium bag for us to share, I became agitated. I told them that they were welcome to purchase any sized bag of popcorn they wanted, but that I would be getting the biggest size offered and NO SHARING. I lost many a second date with those cowards who didn't understand my addiciton.

And, here's the thing. I can only eat movie popcorn after the lights go down. I don't like it as much if I can see it. The joy and high comes from fingering the bag, lifting each handfull, sniffing the chemical butter and crunching until my jaw aches. I have a process. And, because I have so many kernel shucks attached to every tooth after the bag is done, I also carry a sterling silver, monogrammed toothpick holder in my purse, given to me by someone who really understands my process. It doesn't matter if I'm crying cups full of tears during a sad part in the movie, I have to pick my teeth. I like longer movies so I can complete my process before the lights go back up. Oh, and I always order a small bottle of water to go along with my popcorn, taking occasional small sips only to liquify the huge amount already in my stomach so that more can fit in there.

I was supposed to be talking about movies, right? I am a movie slut because of my addiction, but can't really remember most of the movies I've seen after I get into my car in the parking lot. I'm not in it for the films, but I do know which movie theaters serve the very best popcorn in town. There are whole movie chain companies who will never see a penny from me, no matter which movies they show because they don't get the mixture of chemical butter and salt exactly right.

Here's the really bad part while I'm confessing. When I order my popcorn from the teenagers at the concession stand, I demand that they scoop the popcorn from the top and not the bottom of the popcorn machine. It makes a difference because all the soft, puffy kernels rest at the top. They look at me like I'm insane, but when one has as few real teeth left in their mouths from having eaten thousands of pounds of popcorn like I have, it's easier to gum those soft pieces now.

Okee dokey...want to go to the movies with me?


Oh, my God, that brings back such memories of going to the movies in the fifties. Do you remember that the popcorn was in long, tall sacks that looked like we tots were walking through the grand foyers holding big, ole elephant dicks? And the large cokes were the same size as the small ones are these days. It was so exciting to walk up the grand staircase and sit with our feet up on the edge of the balcony. If our friends were there we threw popcorn down on them. Plumes of smoke rose through the dark in front of the screen and there were ashtrays built into the backs of all the seats. It was a smoker's world, baby and NOBODY looked sexier than Lauren Bacall with a cigarette in her hand.
My first scary movie was 'House on Haunted Hill' and it was in black and white and it scared the shit out of me. People were in a basement in the house on Haunted Hill and this really creepy dead woman glided by them on skates and I never got over it. The strange thing is I still love them and go to them all the time. It's such a good feeling to be completely frightened and then walk out into the sunshine and realize that nothing was real in that dark theater. The last three scary movies I worked on as a Casting Director were horror films. One was called, 'Hack' and it was the worst movie job I ever got and I didn't even get the 'Casting Director' credit because my 'partner' was such an egomaniac and that's alright because that movie sucked. The next one was, 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre/The beginning' and it was pretty fun. 'Transformers' is probably not really in the scary movie genre but it had lots of horrifying special effects. You can look up my credits on IMDB.PRO and I am going to try to post a link to my page there.
I have to go to the movies with KK and she likes those English period pieces but I go with her for the popcorn. She only lets me get the small bag of popcorn because I am on 'Operation Modify' for weight control/loss and she is my monitor. So I have to sit there and eat one kernal at a time while she stuffs her face with a bag of popcorn the size of a laundry basket. It's so unfair. Great role model, KK.
But I have always wanted to work in the movie business and I have missed a lot of films because I was on some movie set from 5AM to 10PM trying to help make one. I can't get KK to go see scary movies with me so I go to them with friends, although I have lost two friends who have labelled me a 'movie Nazi' because I can't stand people who talk during movies. I get so drawn into the world of the story that if anyone next to me makes a comment it makes me want to kill them. I give them a look that literally wilts them and they never go to a movie with me again and that's fine with me.
I remember that at the Lensic Theater and The Ritz in Midland, Texas in the 50's the black people had to sit in the balcony. I'm glad things have changed so much since then but I would love it if the ashtrays were still on the backs of the seats.
See you in the movies,

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