Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Just Yesterday - July, 1975
My sister gave me this cut out ad recently. She found it at our parents' house when she was going through her childhood things. She cut it out 32 years ago. She was 8 years old.
I know it's a cliché, but it seems like the older I get the faster the world goes around the sun, with enough speed incrementally to pretty soon throw us all into space, like that State Fair spinning ride at the end of "Strangers on a Train." Wiser and more experienced, yes, but the longer I go, the more profoundly sad and melancholy it all seems.
I moved to Brooklyn from Little Italy a few weeks ago, it seems - although it was four years this past month. Four years.
Here's what this tiny little piece of yellowed newsprint brings back to me:
At the ripe old age of 11, I asked my Mother if I could go see "Jaws" when it opened all over the country on the weekend of July 4th, 1975. She said no. I flipped out. I already knew that I wanted to be a filmmaker (or photographer) and this was just not acceptable. I was not about to miss out on a cultural milestone. So off my sister and I went to stay with my Grandparents for a week and my cousin Johnny decided to take us out for a movie and pizza. He asked what we wanted to see...and you KNOW what I said.
Seeing "Jaws" in a packed theatre on July 4th was significant to me. It also scared the shit out of me and I had kicking feet nightmares for weeks.
And of course, when I returned back home to all my 11 year old friends, I was a hero. And I was really in trouble with my Mother...
So one by one I rounded up my friends and took them to see "Jaws" at the Village Twin, since I was already "tainted." First Toby, then Chris - all in all, I saw it three times on its first theatrical run.
Flash forward ten years and I found myself the Assistant Manager of the Village Twin during my sophomore year of college. I even remember the freaking phone number! It all came to an end when my projectionist spliced the reels of John Boorman's "Emerald Forest" together backwards and upside-down on opening night and we lost two sold-out screenings of revenue. I was "dismissed" but went to work at South Hills Twin with my pal Todd ironically for the very same (and very out of business) Fuqua Company.
All those theaters are long gone. South Hills was a Gold's Gym at some point I think.
And all I have are the memories and this little piece of proof.