by Leah O’Gwynn Kackley
My first movie experience was, believe it or not, Star Wars (1977)! The very first one. Or, as we understand now, actually movie number four.
My mom took us to a movie theater, the Capri, that was in the Fondren area near Jackson (by the time I graduated high school, that building had devolved into an “adult film” theater and then had shut down, but I believe it has recently been revived to some degree). Star Wars was the beginning of my many-years crush on Luke Skywalker. Of course, if you were to ask me NOW who I would get a crush on, it would totally be Han Solo. But my little eight-year-old self thought Luke was soooo dreamy.
Now, another movie-type memory that stands out in my mind was when my Daddy brought home our first VCR. Oh, my goodness. We were just so excited. It was a two-piece thing: the tape went into one part of it and all the controls were in the other box. There were very few places then that you could go to rent a movie, so it was just such an event to go and get one. And I remember that the very first thing that we recorded off of our television was the movie version of Popeye (1980) with Robin Williams starring as Popeye. Oh, I watched that movie so many times! I can still see his oversized forearms to this day.
Leah O’Gwynn Kackley lives in Brandon, Mississippi with her husband, Jason, and their three precious kids. A 1993 graduate of Mississippi University for Women, she is now a homeschooling mom, amateur photography enthusiast, and contributor to Parents and Kids magazine.
by Donna Bridges
When I was little, my parents would go to the drive-in theater with us tagging along in the back, in our pajamas, with pillows. I don’t remember any of the movies we went to see–I went to sleep like I was meant to, I think.
When I was in the third or fourth grade, a male friend of mine invited me to go to a movie with him. I lived in Memphis, in town. His mother was taking us, of course, and we were going downtown and it was a big deal. We were going to see Toby Tyler (1960), but when we got to the theater, it was sold out! So we went to another movie nearby. It was a disaster movie, and all I could remember about it for years was that it featured this enormous ship that was sinking, and the stories were about all of the staff and guests who were trapped in the ship and those getting off into lifeboats and escaping. One moment from the film that has always stuck out in my memory was this really beautiful, hot redhead (can’t help noticing that, either) who was trapped by something that had fallen on her, and two men were trying to get her out before the water went over her head.
In looking back (and I have actually) thought this for years), that was the definition of an age-inappropriate movie, especially for being the first movie I remember ever seeing! But of course now I have this thing about disaster movies–eat ‘em up. Can’t seem to help myself.
I never could remember the name of that movie, but on a recommendation from a friend, we recently checked out The Last Voyage (1960) on Netflix and I realized that was it! It was just as terrifying this go-round, even though before it was age-inappropriate for a nine-year-old and now I’m of age.
One funny thing: I had a distinct memory of a redheaded bombshell, when really there is a blonde bombshell who has a redheaded daughter. I had conflated the two characters in my memory!
Like Leah, I well remember buying my first Sanyo Beta video player/recorder. And, no, there weren’t many movies to rent–at all! But since I was primarily getting it to tape soap operas, that didn’t bother me.