BY JENNA SIMPSON
My love of movies and going to see them began at a tender age. In fact, it was love at first sight. Or so I’m told. I don’t remember my first movie experience, since I was only 2. The movie that started it all for me was a hand-drawn animated tale of puppy love, Lady and the Tramp.
I’ve heard the story of My First Movie dozens of times, but as any good researcher knows, there’s no substitute for a primary source. Here’s the story of My First Movie, as told by my parents, Glen and Colleen. (Hi, Mom and Dad!)
How old was I when you first took me to the movies?
Dad: It was October 1978, so you were 2 years old.
Where did we go?
Dad: We took you to the Quinte Mall in Belleville. We had gone out to eat first, and then the movie started at around 7 p.m. You were a little nighthawk as a child, so there was no worry about you falling asleep; we could keep you out till 9 p.m., no problem. It was only about $3 or so at the time to go to a film. We all got in for about $10.
Dad: We sat right in the middle, closer to the screen than the back of the theatre. We didn’t tell you what was going on, not that it was a big TV or a movie or anything like that. I think I said something to you like, “They’re going to turn the lights out, so don’t be scared. But look up there when the lights go out.”
Why did you decide to take me to the movies? Why that movie?
Mom: When we saw that Lady and the Tramp was playing, we had to take you because that was your favourite book. You had a bunch of those Disney books-on-tape, and you had them all memorized. You had even convinced yourself that you knew how to read, because you had memorized the book! You even did all the voices, the accents and what not. The Scotty dog and all of them!
What was my reaction?
Dad: Awestruck. You were awestruck that they had this great big screen up there. You liked the music, especially the song by Peggy Lee. We asked you, “Do you think you’d ever like to do that again?” You said yes.
Mom: Your little eyes were shining at the screen and you were in seventh heaven afterward. You never said a word throughout. You were sitting between me and your Dad, you would look back and forth to us and you clapped your hands when the music came on. We weren’t sure if you could sit that long, but we figured if you couldn’t we would take you out. We figured since it was your favourite story, you could get through it, and you did. You wanted to go again right away. We never stopped going to movies after that.
What was your reaction?
Dad: We had already kinda been to movies before for a while, so we weren’t as awestruck as you were!
So began my lifelong love affair with cinema! (Cute, right?)
I re-watched Lady and the Tramp for this post, and it was just as charming, just as enchanting as I remember it from my childhood. Just as I did the very first time I ever saw it, I was rapt and my little eyes were gleaming. Maybe this time, though, they were gleaming with the mist of nostalgia.
What was your first movie, readers? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments![youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApsR4pDI5tk&w=560&h=315]
**Many thanks to my parents, Glen and Colleen, for their help with this post, and for igniting in me a true love of the movies!
(Interviews have been condensed and edited for flow.)