Saturday, November 14, 2009

What's your favorite movie...November Writers Challenge...

I came across Lori's blog family trees may contain nuts and her writers challenge. I enjoyed reading last months challenge and thought I would just jump in and participate in this months theme:
What's your favorite movie?

I fell in love with Cinama Paradiso. It captures the essence of the movie experience in a small Italian town. This is unlike so many small towns in the USA where the movie was the social event on the weekend after a long week of hard work. I hope that when you view this movie it will also bring back some fond memories for you.

My Dad would often share his movie experiences with me. As a young boy he looked forward to the movies with his two brothers. They were each given a nickle. I think the movie was a few pennies and they would have a penny left over for candy. They would line up early in the morning for a good seat. Upon arrival into the theater there would be a piano player playing and the audience was asked to sing along. My Dad said he mostly saw silent black and white cowboy and Indian movies accompanied by piano music. In later years sound was included with the films. Afterwards, everyone would discuss the movie and return home to look forward to the next weeks show.

My Dad use to take me to the movies and I remember the RKO in our town very vividly. The little ticket booth was on the side and you entered onto a long red carpet. The smell of popcorn would hit you as soon as you walked into the lobby. Talk about a Pavlov's dog experience. My mouth would water just waiting to bite into those buttery popped corn kernels. The candy case seemed to stretch on for miles with amazing treats. My Dad would always buy the ice cream bon bons and then give me the box. I use to blow into the end of the box which made a sound like a whistle. The stage in the movie theater was gilded with gold flowers and cherubs. Those long red velvet drapes magically slid open at the beginning of every movie and closed gracefully as the house lights came up. The seats were soft and squeaky. It was so magical to be transported to different countries and see lovely dressed ladies upon that big screen.

Gone are the days of the small town movie theaters. Today there are giant mega movie complexes selling mega sized sodas and chips and hot dogs. No matter what, when the lights go down and the big screen comes up it is still a magical moment.

*Movie contains subtitles
Please go to YouTube to listen to the amazing music score and view movie clips.


  1. I have never heard of this one Joyce. Is it sub-titled?
    I smiled when I read about the smell of the popcorn. Salivated a little along with you too.
    Now when I go to a theater I feel as though I have been robbed. $$$$$ for everything from the ticket to a popcorn. And that chemical fake butter too.
    I don't know how young people can go on a date to a movie now.
    I will rent this movie and transport myself back in time. Plus I am in love with all things Italian so that will be a two thumbs up.

  2. I got your email and have sent you two back. Sounds like we are playing poker. Lol.

  3. I remember all the buzz about this one, but never saw it. I love foreign films. The Italian ones are so magical.

  4. I've not seen this, but have heard wonderful things about it. I'll look for it the next time I'm at the video store. Love your memories of going to movies. I love old theatres, there are still a few here in some small towns that show first runs, but most have been renovated and turned into live theatres. You're right though, once the lights go down, the magic starts all over. Kathy

  5. Ya'll have to remember I live in the middle of Nowhere USA. We have two small town movie theaters within a twenty mile radius. I am a sucker for anything that ends with happily ever after and so is Hubby but he'll never fess up.

    Have a super~great weekend!!!

  6. Nice memory for you! I have never heard of that movie..sounds interesting..
    I don't think I ever went to the movies with my dad..he was always working..
    I remember him taking us to parades in NYC,he was off on Sundays, and stood guard over my sister who was in a wheelchair her whole life.
    And I remember people stepping right in front of her so she couldn't see...but we weren't allowed to be fresh to would be different...I wouldn't hesitate!!

  7. We love to find older renovated theatres and see movies or concerts in them. It would be a dream to restore one someday.

    Becky K.

  8. Thanks for visiting my blog! I hope you stop again soon.

    I loved going to the movies when I was younger. They were so grand then. Curving staircases, balcony seating, red velvet ropes. And you used to dress up to go to the movies.

    I spend a few weeks in Italy last year, and loved it. I am going to my Netflix right now to rent this wonderful sounding film.

  9. I have heard of Cinema Paradiso but have yet to see it. Will have to rent it! I couldn't pick just one favorite, but I love old movies and anything with Audrey Hepburn would top my list. Funny Girl and The Princess Bride would also be on the list!

    Fun post! Still magical but nothing like the old theaters, those were the days :) Turkish Taffy, Popcorn with real butter and a soda. Amazing I still have teeth :)

  10. Joyce-I do think some of the "experience" is lost in those metro-plexes. I have not seen this movie but can identify with your memories. I still love the movies and we have a neighborhood one nearby...not small, but not huge! Husband won't go anywhere else. Thanks!

  11. I enjoyed the description of your movie experience with your dad... this was probably a better memory for him that your trip to Woodstock:-)

  12. I remember the first movie I saw - The Blob - with Steve McQueen - for 25 cents.

  13. We had a movie house near our home when I was growing up and all us kids went every Saturday. It was $.25 for a movie and 2 cartoons. Just a few years ago I was telling my Mom how much I enjoyed those Saturday afternoons at the Della Theatre and she said she enjoyed those same Saturday afternoons because she could get rid of all us kids for under $2. LOL!

  14. Popcorn and Pavlov that makes wonderful sense to me! Growing up, we found a kind of matinee magic at our local small town theater named The Perfect Theater where we sat in awe of all the movie greats every Saturday afternoon. Old Hollywood, in its heyday, was an exciting place to dream about! Thanks for the memories!

  15. Hi Joyce
    Cinema Paradiso is among my all time favorite movies! I always watch it in Italian and read the subtitles as the little boy, who plays Toto, voice is so adorable. It really is a story of love and friendship. My husband was born in a small town in Italy and I always think of him as being like "Toto" back in the day. :-)

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  17. Fort Pitt.

    I saw it twice when I was younger and before I went into the Army. It grabbed my attention then and I can still remember it and the land they used in the film. It was pristine wilderness. I wish that lifestyle were possible today.

  18. I loved Cinema Paradiso .. its one of the few subtitled movies I was willing to watch .. while I can read a book and 'watch' TV or a movie, I cannot watch a movie and read subtitles... I either miss the action when I am reading or I am watching and forget to read .. how sad .. Lina Wertmuller's Seven Beauties and Swept Away are 2 of the others I was able to both 'read' and watch

  19. I have never heard of that movie. I love going to the movies, but we hardly do it anymore! When I was growing up, I wasn't even allowed to go to them movies. My father was a pastor and it just wasn't done! I still remember my first movie and how guilty I felt going to knowing my father would be upset. But he learned to get over his children going to movies and I have enjoyed them so much!!!

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  21. What a wonderful post! As a movie lover, this is a piece of pure magic. I met my husband when we both worked in an older and very beautiful movie theatre. I haven't seen Cinema Paradiso yet but it's my fellow group blogger's all-time favorite.


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