by Kym Golden Gore
I have two “first movie memories.”
I was three years old when my parents went to the drive-in to see Grease (1978). They took my brother and me with them. We were dressed in our pajamas. We had a white Ford Pinto with blue interior, and my parents laid the seats down and made a pallet for us. Wes fell asleep right away, but I thought the whole thing was terribly exciting, so I pushed myself between the seats with my blanket (white with little lions on it). I vividly remember the dancing hot dog and the school dance scene. I thought the hand jive was the coolest thing ever.
I’m pretty sure I fell asleep at some point, but I now feel the need to apologize to my parents for ruining one of their rare date nights!
In 1982 (I was six or seven depending on when the movie came out), my Grannie took me and my brother to see E.T. It’s the first time I can ever remember being in a movie theater. My dad had a good job, but my mom was a stay-at-home mom, and money was tight, so I’m pretty sure I had never been to the movies before then. Going with Grannie made it more memorable anyway because she bought us drinks and popcorn and candy (because that’s what Grannies do!). I sat on one side of her, and Wes sat on the other. I’m sure she thought she’d made a mistake before the movie ever started because Wes (who was four or five, again depending on when the movie came out) promptly spilled his drink. When Grannie would re-tell the story, she described it as a “river” of Coca-Cola flowing down the theater, soaking the shoes of the unsuspecting patrons in front of us. She was just mortified, I’m sure.
Things didn’t get any better when the movie started. Wes was scared of E.T., and he hid underneath her arm for the entire movie. I, however, thought E.T. was adorable and immediately fell in love with him. I was so in love with him that I was terrified of the men in the “space suits” who came to take E.T. away, and I just sobbed hysterically when E.T. got so sick and almost died. When E.T. had to go home, I was inconsolable. So there we were, my Grannie and her two hysterical grandchildren.
She never took us to the movies again. Ever. It’s one of my favorite memories of her, and she loved to tell that story.
Kym Golden Gore, 36, is an attorney. She is a graduate of Mississippi University for Women and the Mississippi College School of Law. Kym and her husband, Ray, live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with their dog, Grant.