Only Sixteen

Tell us all about the person you were when you were sixteen. If you haven’t yet hit sixteen yet, tell us about the person you want to be at sixteen.

I turned 16 in 1973. We didn’t have cell phones or computers. Television had 4 channels. I spent a lot of my time at the movies. There was a movie theater down the street called The Flick Twin Cinema. I went almost every day.

We didn’t have videos or DVDs. There was no now-defunct Blockbuster or Netflix. If you wanted to see a movie you had to leave the house.

I loved going to the movies. The Exorcist, American Graffiti, Serpico, The Sting, The Way We Were, Soylent Green, Scream Blacula Scream, The Paper Chase, Magnum Force, Blackenstein… I would see the same movie every day for 2 weeks and never get tired of it.

On the weekends they would show a horror double-feature. I would sit in the theater from the time it opened until the time it closed. I would watch: House of Wax, Night of the Living Dead, Let’s Scare Jessica to Death, Gruesome Twosome, Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things…over and over again. I would walk home in the dark, still thinking about flesh-eating zombies, with a very unsettling feeling in my stomach.

Sometimes I would clean the theater for free so that I could get one of the movies posters displayed out front whenever they stopped showing the movie. Plus, I got free popcorn.

I remember when the Flick first opened. Brand new. The curtains covering the screen were a horrid burnt orange. They opened at the beginning of every movie and closed when the movie was over. There was no Dolby sound system.

On top of the theater was a big red neon sign that said FLICK. If you looked at it from the right angle, or at a distance, it looked like it said FUCK. It’s gone now; as is the theater. The building is still there, but it is now a furniture store. It’s not ugly brown anymore. It’s white and blue.

Anyway, that’s who I was when I was 16. I big movie freak. Escaping from the bullying at school and the break-up of my parents. Sometimes, I go back there and stand in the parking lot, just staring at the building. Hoping that somehow I am magically transported back to the time that I walked through the doors for the very first time.

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6 Replies to “Only Sixteen”

  1. Your old theater morphed into a furniture store. Ours morphed into a department store. I could relate to that but I wasn’t that much of a movie buff. Mine was walking in the woods for hours at a time. But still, a way to get away from the nasty girls in cliques. The same but different. I can relate.

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