My Mother loved movies. Daddy, not so much. She would take me to movies. The first one I remember was "Shane". I also liked the Disney movies. When I was 11, Mother took me to see "Goldfinger". It was my first James Bond movies. I didn't understand the humor in it, but I like the action. She liked the movies and the books. She was an avid reader. She had introduced me to Beatles music, and now to James Bond movies. She and I went to every one together until the last one we went to together which was "Live and Let Die" in 1973. After that, I was on my own.
I went to the movies every chance I got. In the summertime, the theatres in Columbia would have special movies for kids. One theatre showed a Tarzan film and invited the actor Jock Mahoney to make a personal appearance. He talked to us kids after the movie and told us that the vines he swung on were actually rope covered with ivy. That revelation was crushing to me as a kid, but I understood later when making movies about illusion. Another theatre showed 10-cent and 25-cent movies for kids during the summer. Most of them were westerns.
As I grew a little older, I continued to go to the movies as much as I could. The Five Points Theatre had an art film series. They would show movies made mostly in France or Sweden. They were not X-rated in the standard of today, but they did have nudity. As a teenage suffering with puberty, it was an escape. The problem was that you had to be 18 to see these movies, and I was only 13 to 17. So, I devised a plan. I had an old Army jacket, which I used for stealing stuff. It was a heavy jacket with a Army blanket lining. I had cut the lining out at the top to make a large pocket in between the outer material and the lining. I could put record albums in the lining. I took the jacket and wrote "USC Gamecocks" on the back, thinking it would look more like a college jacket. Looking back on it now, I know it looked stupid, but I just tried to look older. I also took one of my brother's college ID's from Furman and taped my school picture on top of his. Unless you looked closely, you couldn't see the difference. It got me into several art movies, if they asked for ID. A lot of times they didn't.
I always rode my bike to the theatre. Usually, I would park it in an alley between the theatre and a drug store. Other times, I parked it behind the theatre. When I was 14, I was coming out of the theatre to get my bike, when I was attacked by 3 black boys. They threw bricks and rocks at me, as I was trying to pedal away. When I asked why, they told me that I had killed Dr. King. I told them I had never been to Memphis. They were attacking me because I was white. As I have said before, this behavior was very foreign to me. But, it didn't stop me from going to the theatre.
On one occasion, I went to see a movie, and the girl at the box office wanted to see some ID. I pulled out my fake ID, and the girl looked at my name and began to smile. She told me that my Mother was her Sunday School teacher. Well, I almost died, but she let me in to the theatre. She told me I looked young to be in college. I told her that everyone says that. I thought she would tell my Mother, but my Mother never said anything about it. Whew.
Like I said, I loved going to movies. When I worked in a bank, it was next-door to a theatre. We had two hours for lunch. Just enough time to catch a movie. When I was in college, I would go to every movie playing, sometimes more than once. When I lived in Texas, I also went to a lot of movies, usually three times a week. Then, video came out, and I started watching a lot of movies on tape, and later DVD. It is like a disease, but I love movies.