What are your favourite memories from going to the movies?
There is something special about going to the movies. We’ve already looked at the importance of movies in what they can teach us and what we can gain from them. But what about the experience itself? What about the memories we make at the movies?
Movies are largely meant to be consumed as entertainment, but they can have a much larger, lasting impact on our lives. It is not just that we enjoy a movie or not enjoy a movie. We make memories watching movies and movies help us to relive those memories. Some of it is nostalgia. We watch movies from our childhood and are suddenly transported back to those younger years, filled with memories of that time in our life. Sometimes it can be how movies are connected to a particular feeling. When we watch It’s a Wonderful Life every Christmas, it’s not just that we enjoy the movie. The movie brings back all kinds of Christmas memories from the past. Or it could just be the memory of sitting in the theatre and watching a particular movie for the first time. The thrill of watching the heroes jump from the cliff in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The terror of shower scene in Psycho. The enthralling beginning to 2001: A Space Odyssey. We all have these memories that stick out in our mind.
Think back to the first time you saw a movie in the theatres. No matter the movie, the experience is something grand that leaves an impression. I have vivid memories of my first trip to the movie theatre. Unfortunately, I can’t recall what movie it was as I had to be carried out before the previews were over. I was terrified by the whole experience. I’m embarrassed to say, as someone who now has a tremendous passion for movie-going, I chickened out the first three times I went to the theatre. To be fair, it can be very overwhelming.
I submitted this question of the first movie-going experience to our readers. I wanted to highlight one particularly poignant memory shared by reader John Hamblin:
“When I was 11, my dad took me to a matinee of the movie The Bridge on the River Kwai, a truly phenomenal movie that won best picture, best actor and best director awards that year (1958). This was back in the days when we had black and white TV and very few channels. To see this movie was truly memorable. It is one of my childhood experiences that I will never forget firstly, because it was a great movie and secondly, because my father passed away suddenly shortly thereafter and it was the only movie we saw together.”
John’s memory is of a movie that truly deserves to be seen on the big screen and one of the most acclaimed films of all time. More importantly, he remembers who he shared that movie with. Though sitting in a theatre watching a movie might not seem like an experience that stands out in your life story, the fact that he shared this moment with his father means it’s a memory he’ll never forget.
We continue to make these memories with the people we share movies with. The first movie we saw with our spouse, the first time taking our children to the movies. And our grandchildren. Are they the most significant memories you’ll share with these people? Maybe not, but that doesn’t mean they are not cherished. Much like a good movie, these memories are worth revisiting.