When I was a kid, going to the movies was a Big Deal. My brother and I had to bathe first and get into our pajamas while Mom made popcorn. Dad would load sleeping bags and pillows in the back of our station wagon (in case we fell asleep). Then we’d head to the drive-in movie theater to see a double-feature. We didn’t go very often, and I remember it being a big treat.
Here’s the interesting thing: I have almost no recollection of any movie I saw (other than Old Yeller, which scarred me for life). I remember with clarity the speakers hooked to the window, the feel of comfort in my sleeping bag and pillow as I snuggled next to my brother, and the salty taste of popcorn.
Seeing a movie today just isn’t the same. Most of the time, my family waits for it to come out on Netflix because our schedules are too busy to get to the theater. Or we’ll watch something On-Demand. Nowadays, if one of us wants a bathroom break or to ask a question, we can pause the film. Sure, I can wear my pajamas if I want to, but I’m at home so it’s no big deal.
Perhaps seeing films outdoors brings back these vivid recollections of being a kid, when going to the movies was something special. Maybe that’s why I love going to see movies in the community. In Old Ellicott City, The Wine Bin shows free films throughout the summer, beginning this Memorial Day weekend. You bring chairs, picnic blankets, kids (in pajamas or not), popcorn, and beverages. You can see classics, and share laughs with your neighbors and see friends, old or new.
Take time this summer to get outside and see a movie. Share memories of your childhood with your kids — and make memories for them. Look for me — I’ll be the one in the pajamas, laying on a pillow!