I have never forgotten my first visit to the cinema for two reasons. It was the first time I can remember Dad taking me out without Mum and my little sister. The second reason is that the film was very frightening. As we didn’t have a television at home I wasn’t used to watching films. I had seen some cartoons at Sunday School parties and didn’t find them at all funny. I could only imagine how much the accidents happening to the animal characters must have hurt! I also found black and white television at friends’ houses disturbing. There were sinister puppets in programmes, which were on while we played. We never sat down and followed the story line.
Dad and I walked about half a mile to the bus stop and caught the bus to the town centre, where we went into the big cinema. I don’t remember what we talked about on the way there. Dad was very observant, so no doubt he pointed things out to me. Perhaps he noticed a comet flying overhead or a bird in a garden.
The cinema seemed huge and dark. I think we sat fairly near the front, but my eyes were glued to the screen. I knew the story from a book, but the printed pictures were not as scary. I also knew that it was supposed to be a treat to be taken out. I don’t remember telling anyone how scared I had been. I still prefer books to films, although I have enjoyed a few memorable films at the cinema. I had other experiences later in my childhood of being terrified, and of not understanding slapstick humour.
The first film I went to see was the newly released Sleeping Beauty by Walt Disney.
I have watched it on television as an adult and the artwork is really sinister.
Another time my Dad and I had an outing together was about five or six years later, when he took me by bus in a different direction. This was my first orchestral concert. I know we heard the New World Symphony by Dvorak. Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony may also have been part of the programme. This was a wonderful experience. Given the choice between a concert and a film, I’d take the concert every time!
(This was a writing prompt from Post-40 bloggers, which I could not resist.)