Bad Night at the Movies

My best friend and I were thirteen and fourteen years old. Our parents were out of town and we were spending the night at her house, being watched by her older sister, who had a date that particular Friday night. The solution was to
send the two of us to the movies for a couple of hours. No problem, a big movie that we were dying to see was released that day.

This was back in the day before cell phones.

Her sister dropped us off at the movie in an I’ll-slow-down-long-enough-for-you-to-jump-out-of-the-car sort of way, and then sped off into the night. We were excited. I can’t remember what movie it was
that we were going to see, but it must have been big, because we were dressed in our matching sailor tops.

We were a little late to the theatre, but that didn’t matter to us, because the line was long. And we stood at the end. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose.

By the time we reached the box office, the film we came to see was sold out. SOLD OUT. Okay, the movie-plex had six screens. We’ll just go see another one.

We scanned the marquis. Our movie was on top—sold out. The next four were rated R and this theatre was extremely strict. We looked nowhere close to  seventeen, so those films were right out. The last on the list was rated PG.

“What’s Let’s Spend the Night Together?” we asked. “It’s a Rolling Stones concert. They filmed it and made it a movie. There’s not a story; it’s just a music concert.” The young man behind the Plexiglas wall was quite helpful.

Neither of us were big Stones fans, but our options were limited. “Okay, two please.”

The movie started, and within about twenty minutes the screen became a little hazy. The room filled with a sweet, acrid smoke that smelled like burnt sugar or roasted chili peppers. We were surprised that the theater would allow people to smoke but wouldn’t allow us to see a rated R movie. I might have mentioned how blissful ignorance is…

Suffice it to say that my dear friend and I giggled through the rest of the night. The next morning we felt a little woozy and foggy. It probably took us another week or longer before we realized that the rest of the people we “spent
the night” with were all smoking pot. We ended up with a second-hand high.

Is there a moral to this story—a lesson to learn? Maybe it’s just one of those silly anecdotes that I tell when sharing tales of nights gone awry. But I did grow up a bit from that experience.

Whenever I think about dropping my kids off at a movie these days, I make sure they have their cell phones and money for emergencies.

That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema. Thanks for reading!