At the Movies by Helen Chappell
I’ve had a lifelong love affair with film. I just love the movies. Whether it’s some obscure Wim Wenders short, or a vast giant explosion f lick, I’m there. Doesn’t matter if it’s a giant screen where the starlet’s lips are the size of an Escalade, or something f lickering on the tiny screen of my Kindle Fire. It’s a movie ... I’m watching ... I’m happy. Mostly. I think I come by my film fanaticism honestly. When I was a kid, I had an uncle who made his beer and cigarette money by running the projectors at the local movie house, which meant I could get in for free. When I was supposed to be somewhere else, I was in the crumbling seats at the movies. The first film I remember was Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in The Long, Long Trailer. My mother took my brother and me to see it at a matinee, with many admonitions to practice proper theater etiquette. We were not to talk, squirm, or whine to go home, for instance. We were to sit quietly and not talk to the screen. I notice, at my advanced age, that many people were never schooled to my mother’s neoVictorian standards of conduct.
The urge to publicly shame these people is there in the modern movie theater, but unfortunately, it’s very bad manners and I live in a small county where a lot of people know each other, so I might get tangled up in a fight I couldn’t win. Although a jury of movie-goers might join me in stepping on that iPhone. “His cell phone just kept ringing and ringing” would be the defense. On school nights, when I’d done