It was a love affair of epic proportions that would never cease, and still to this day is going strong. We didnít go to the movies very often back then, so I do remember the ones we did see. Kramer vs. Kramer with Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep was another great flick I remember fondly. We watched the Sunday night movies on TV also, back when the TV wasnít flooded with reality shows. Popcorn would be popped and I was usually allowed to stay up until 11 when it was over. As I got older, Mom or my older siblings would drop my friends and I off at The Cinema, Quaker, or The Lyric Twin in Wooster. We would wait in a long line to buy tickets, get some Hot Tamale candies, popcorn, a drink and head in to find our seat. There was no stadium seating back then so getting a great seat was imperative. They used to come in and check tickets, so we always had them at the ready.
With the invention of the VCR, my whole world changed. We never did get a Beta player, but Dad finally caved in when the VCRís came out. We bought one, signed up for a membership at Questor Movies down in New Philadelphia, paid the $30 membership fee, and picked out movies to take home. It was 1983. One of the first movies I remember watching were An Officer and a Gentleman starring Richard Gere and Debra Winger. Theater movies in my own home! It was a marvel.
I love movies just as much today as I did back then. When I married George I made sure he loved to watch them as much as I did, because he certainly wouldíve been bored with the amount of time I wanted to drag him to the theater or rent movies. Our kids grew up watching movies galore. We took Belle to her first movie when she was only 2 years old. Disney started releasing their glorious productions on a larger scale at that time, and The Lion King was her first Disney movie in the theater.
From little up, Friday nights were movie nights in our household. We would make the trek to Millersburg to Video Connection and pile up a stack of movies to take home. The kids would take their time picking out which ones they wanted. Littlefoot and The Land Before Time movies were a big hit with my kids. Matilda, Good Burger, and so many others were piled in a bag and taken home with us to spend the night. Blankets were formed into a big bed on the floor, and the kids would snuggle up and wait for the movie to start. They loved movie nights because it meant sleeping downstairs together.
Our movie obsession has never stopped, though in this day and age itís not as cheap as it used to be. The first run movies at my favorite theater, Tinseltown, are pricey - adult evening tickets are $8.50 and matinee are $6.25. For a family of five it can be prohibitive. There are several options that we use to keep on enjoying movies as much as we do.
1) The first matinee of the day at Tinseltown is cheaper. Itís always $5 and gets you into a first run movie for a much better price. Matinee showings are always cheaper, but the first showing of the day is a bargain. Go to http://cinemark.com/home.aspx to check out times.
2) Cinemark Movies 10 in Canton, for those who donít know, is a dollar theater. It used to be the first run theater before they built Tinseltown. Tickets are priced at $1.50 per person and you just canít beat that for price. These are movies that arenít yet released to DVD, so for a nominal price you can enjoy a family time at the theater for next to nothing. The Quaker in New Philadelphia is also a bargain priced theater now. For $2.75 to $3.75 you can catch a great flick and reminisce about how theaters used to be. Itís a great experience. Go to their website to see whatís playing, at http://www.quakercinema.com/index.htm. Also, the Lynn Drive-in theater is a great family option. Located in Strasburg, for $6 per adult and $2 per child, you can pack up the family with food and drink and watch a double bill of first run movies. Go to http://www.lynndrivein.com/index.html to see whatís showing.
3) For your renting pleasure there are several options. It seems video stores have gone by the wayside, and in Berlin there are none to be found. Redbox is my choice for cheap rentals. For $1 or $1.50 for Blu-ray, you can rent a movie with your credit card, keep it for a night or however many you want, then return it. It will charge you the amount of the movie per night for as many nights as you keep it. If you keep it for 30 days, the movie is yours to keep and your card will be charged for that amount. Iíve never done this because you can buy movies for much cheaper than $30. Go to http://www.redbox.com/ where you can peruse the selection and also buy and reserve them online. Our own Dutch Cupboard in Berlin also has a DVD Now rental unit. The movies here are $1.50 per night and they have a great selection.
4) And finally, here is my pitch for Netflix, the online instant streaming service. You must own a Blu-ray player, gaming unit, etc. that will allow you to pick up the service. For $7.99 a month, thousands of movies are available for your viewing pleasure. The first run movies do not come out on this service immediately, and many people get frustrated by this. I say why? There are so many choices on this service for back issues of TV shows, obscure movies Iíve always wanted to see, and thousands upon thousands of other movies, documentaries, and specials that are available instantly. I will never cancel my Netflix subscription because there are too many choices here that are wonderful. If you browse the Netflix site online, there are many more choices for you to put in your instant queue Ė go there to find all the choices. When you go to Netflix on your TV, voila, all those choices are at the ready for your viewing pleasure. Go to http://movies.netflix.com/WiHome to sign up. You will need your credit card to put in, and it will be charged automatically every month for as long as you want the service. But for $7.99 it pays for itself over and over.
Published: May 21, 2012