What a difference

Published 3:43 pm Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Donna Sue and I celebrated our anniversary with a night out. We went to a movie in Tallahassee and what a difference going to the movies in 2019 is. The movie was the latest Kendrick Brothers offering. Those are the two brothers who began making Christian movies in 2002 in Albany.

Their latest movie has been talked about quite a lot and can be seen nationwide. The movie’s title is Overcomer and I recommend it. Of course it has a Christian message and that puts it at odds with most movie reviewers, but the people who are its viewing audience love it.

It’s the modern movie experience that I write about today. To compare the movie theatre of 2019 to the first “picture show” I attended is like comparing the 1949 Ford pickup we had to a 2019 Ford F-150.

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Obviously, there is the cost. We went in the middle of the afternoon and thought we might get a deal on some matinee prices. As I have written many times, the price of a ticket to the picture show in the late 1950’s was $.15. One dime and one nickel!

The lady who was very nice to sell us our tickets and took every bit of my twenty dollar bill. I asked, “Are we getting the senior discount?”

She smiled and said, “Yes. It’s a dollar less.” Thank God for small favors.

The next stop was the refreshment counter. The smell of freshly popped corn was the same as the old days, but that was about it. Whereas the cost “way back when” was a nickel, the same as the coca cola that went with the popcorn.

The old refreshment counter had popcorn and a drink, plus huge candy bars like Baby Ruth and Butterfinger. The candy bars were a dime and worth every penny.

The refreshment center of the new theatre still emphasized the popcorn and the drink, but also had all sorts of boxes of candy, plus hotdogs and pizzas. And nachos and cheese. Too bad they didn’t have fried catfish and French fries, but at the prices to be paid, who could afford that?

We left another twenty at the refreshment counter and were on our way to see the movie.

The first thing I noticed was the volume. If I said it was loud, that would be an understatement. If a plane had been taking off right next to my ears, it would not have been as loud as that huge screen.

I was not prepared for the seats. The ones I remembered were those type where the cushioned seat folded up. The new seating was actually a recliner. I don’t have as nice a recliner in my house as I sat in at this new theatre. It had push-button controls that raised the footrests and the only complaint I had was that it lacked a vibrating mechanism.

The movie better be good, I thought, or else this chair is going to put me to sleep.

We settled in and had to watch what seemed like ten coming attractions. I kept asking Donna Sue, “When will the movie start?”

It finally started and we had forgotten to bring the Kleenex needed because it was a tearjerker. Not quite as much as Old Yeller, but I heard lots of sniffling behind us.

The movie ended and, as we were leaving, I remembered how shoes used to stick to the concrete floor of the old theatre I attended as a boy. Not here. This was a palace and, for the prices we paid, it should have been. But not everything is about money. Believe it or not, it was worth it.