My dad was a Sinatra fan, said he could sing anything. Then, along came Elvis Presley, a different kind of performer who ‘rocked’ the country and attracted fans of all ages, including my dad.
It’s an understatement to say Elvis was unique. From his slick black hair and long, wide sideburns to his trademark hip swinging, Rock ‘n Roll singing genre of music, Elvis was the new king of entertainment.
When Elvis hit the silver screen with his first film, ‘Love Me Tender’, my dad took us to see it, my first movie experience with him. We blended with a crowd of young and old at the Park Ave theatre in Worcester to see this ‘all American boy’ who had the girls screaming with every gyration and lip curling lyric that accompanied his guitar strumming. I enjoyed the movie, but the priceless memory for me was catching a glimpse of my dad, generally a serious man, surrounded by excited youngsters and enjoying the Elvis experience along with them.
We’ve had fun at the movies with our two children, making our special memories. My son didn’t notice the tear I shed when we saw ‘ET’, he was 5. We saw the first ‘Star Wars’ in 1980 at 6, and came away thrilled. We saw the newest episode, accompanied by his wife this time, 35 years later, and got goosebumps, again
My daughter and I saw ‘Titanic’, a tragic love story with a beautiful score, and ‘Jurassic Park’, a fantasy adventure with life-like dinosaurs that kept us on the edge of our seats. She laughed when I jumped during a scary moment, then we both laughed. And today, we’d laugh again when remembering it.
Together, the family saw the hilarious comedy Beetlejuice while vacationing in New York’s Adirondack region. Not only were we entertained, but the memories of going together are enduring and we still say, ‘remember that scene in …..!’
The movie theatre is one of the early entertainment experiences for kids. It’s an opportunity to introduce them to a simple cultural event while teaching them to become discriminating consumers, understanding good product from bad. And the bonus, it’s a wonderful way to spend a few hours bonding, watching the event and critiquing it later, together.
I recall my own childhood and rememberances not of ‘things’ I got, but of what we did together as family: ballgames, fishing, rides to the country, stopping for ice cream, and going to an occassional movie.
Times are different, life is faster, people are easily distracted, all the more reason to get together and do something to enjoy each other’s company. Go to a movie! You won’t see Elvis, but you just may discover something better, each other.