“I’m bored,” Max said as he clicked through the channels on TV. “There’s nothing to watch these days but police shows and car explosion movies.” We sat silent by the pool, holding glasses of iced tea with lots of mint.
Finally, I said, “Why don’t we check what’s at the theaters? We could go to the movies and then to dinner.”
“Hmmmm,” Max said. “I’ll go online to see what’s playing.”
He went to his computer and checked the local theaters.
“There’s nothing to watch these days but police shows and car explosion movies.”
He had his frowny face on, so I didn’t think the news was good. “Here’s the lineup,” he said.
“ ‘Spies with Machine Guns,’ ‘Superheroes Save the Planet,’ ‘Atomic Woman vs. Spiderman,’ ‘Crash, Crush and Burn,’ ‘Terror Man Returns 5,’ ‘Killing Doll 6.’ The rest are cartoons.” He checked all the theaters in our area. “The same movies in every theater.” He turned the computer off. “They all appeal to the baser instincts in people. Not an uplifting one in the bunch.”
“Guess we’re out of luck,” I said, shaking my head. “So few good movies out these days. Guess we’ll have to entertain ourselves.” I leaned my head back against the lounge chair cushion. “I’ve always loved going to movies, especially during the day. Makes me feel so decadent.”
Max smiled. “That’s one vice you’ll never have to apologize for.”
“Why can’t moviemakers make wonderful movies like …. ‘Rebecca,’ or ‘Wuthering Heights,’ or …… “ I blushed.
“You’ve turned pink! What movies are you thinking of?”
“Oh,” I said. “It’s just stupid. I like the romantic movies I grew up with, the ones I saw in theaters when I was a teen.”
“Wow,” Max said, “that long ago! Did they have talkies then?”
I swatted his arm. “I liked them then and I like them now because they make me think of my youth. I loved ‘Mogambo,’ ‘Naked Jungle,’ ‘Elephant Walk,’ ‘Casablanca,’ ‘An Affair to Remember,’ ‘It Happened One Night.’ The heroines were strong and saved their men. The dialogue might have been corny but that was how they talked in the movies then – no gratuitous sex or violence. I never had to squint so I wouldn’t see the gory parts.”
“I won’t tell anyone you like those. Your secret is safe with me.”
I sighed. “I remember the old movie palaces. You remember them?”
“Of course! Huge stairways, velvet plush wall paper, red velvet curtains, fake gold fixtures, crystal chandeliers, the smell of popcorn.”
“At least popcorn hasn’t changed.”
“Don’t forget live organ music before the show! Cartoons! Movie previews! No ads for cars and soft drinks! Fiestaware giveaways!”
I nodded, “Still have a few Fiestaware pieces in our collection.” I swirled my tea with the straw. “Remember the old illustrated movie posters? They were a whole art onto themselves – pity that was lost. Photos just aren’t as much fun. The drawings were corny too, but somehow more enticing.”
“You really are sentimental about the movies!”
“That’s a whole other story. The movies I love are classics.”
My eyebrows shot up. “Really, like what?”
“You know, classic science fiction. Intelligent movies like ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still,’ ‘Forbidden Planet,’ ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” Max sat up, becoming excited by his recitation, gesturing with his arms. “ ‘The Thing,’ ‘War of the Worlds,’ ‘The Blob,’ ‘Creature from the Black Lagoon,’ ‘Time Machine,’ ‘The Day of the Trifids.’ Now those were movies!”
I snickered. “Oh, sure! Which was your favorite?”
He thought a moment, twiddling with his moustache. “I’d have to say ‘Forbidden Planet.’ Robby the Robot designed and made all Anne Francis’s costumes plus a stunning emerald necklace in only a few hours. He was incredibly creative. Think what extraordinary hors d’oeuvres he might have come up with in no time! A catering marvel! Any food or vegetable I would want on instant demand, pomegranates out of season. Heaven!”
“That’s all well and good but it still doesn’t solve the problem of what film we should see tonight.”
He stood, took my hands and pulled me up. “Let’s stay at home. I’ll make popcorn and we can put on a DVD. Not quite like the big screen, but ….. oh, well!”
“What should we watch?”
“Okay. I’ll close my eyes and stick my hand in the collection. Let’s let the movie gods decide.”
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