Believe it or not, in 1945, 90 million people - 60% of the population - attended a movie at least once per week in America.
We went to see "Ted" a couple of weeks ago because I support Seth McFarlane's right to say anything he wants to. He's like that Chicken Man, only with something worthwhile to share. But before that, I can't tell you the last time Peggy was at a picture show, and I have only been to the movies to see Jackass films. You cannot apprehend the beauty, the subtle nuance of 3-D flying poop at home on your TV, you understand.
Why don't we go more often? Answers most often given include "why should I pay those bastards 12 bucks to sit there while people eat chicken tenders, their lips smacking like giraffes consuming combretum leaves from atop a tree?" and "I can see this bomb in three weeks on pay per view for a lot less," And of course, staying home means not having to share the theater with the likes of Kyle Tanner (above).
Getting back to the days when almost all of America was headed for the Bijou to see Lana Turner or Clark Gable, I am a huge fan of Turner Classic Movies, conveniently located at channel 890 on Comcast. The other day, while watching the merry mixups of Ms Turner, Robert Young and Walter Brennan in a little movie called "Slightly Dangerous," I tried to picture myself in the movies on a Saturday night in 1943 when the movie came out. Let's say I was then the same age as I am now, making me about 50 years too old for the draft. So I'm at the Towson Theater with my bag of popcorn and a soda and having a heckuva time watching Lana pretend to be a missing heiress but giving it all up for love for Robert Young, before Father Knows Best. And Walter Brennan - 14 years before he starred in The Real McCoys - was the rich guy who suddenly wound up getting to pretend that Lana was his daughter. And then after the movie, I might get in the roadster and go for a coddie somewhere.
No 24-screen multiplexes, no 3D, no chicken tenders. One theater, one screen, take it or leave it.
I'd take it!