This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. For October, as a fan of monster and horror films since childhood, I thought to tie these memories within that genre. It’s also the case this recollection should follow the previous entry. The two films have longed been tied to one another on subject matter and for the year they arrived on scene.
Jack: “David, you are hurting my feelings!”
David: “Hurting your feelings? Has it occurred to you that it might be unsettling to see you arise from the grave to visit me?”
The AVCO Centre Cinemas:
Images c/o Cinema Treasures site
August 22, 1981: The year was always going to be a haunted one, much like 1978. What with the death of my other parent (no, not dad — my maternal grandmother), there was no way around it. When the woman who was our mother was hospitalized in the late-50s with RA, my brother and I were separated (we’d never live together under the same roof again). He to our father’s mother pro tem, me to mom’s.
That’s where the similarities ended, though. When mom returned from her convalescence, my sibling came back home — her soon-be-ex-mother-in-law pretty much insisted upon it. My mother’s ma, on the other hand, was a different story. I’d spend the next two decades in each of their orbits. Though living at grandma’s, I was never away from either. Two planets laying claim to the same moon oscillating between their powerful gravitational fields.
Five months after she left this mortal coil, I was still with she-whose-name-must-not-be-spoken (and would be for a couple of years more). Back then, heading to Westwood Village to see movies was still very much the regular habit. Except, the woman I now lived with didn’t accompany moi to see An American Werewolf in London. I’d grown accustomed to this, what with a nurse’s work hours being very capricious.
The day after it opened, I found myself, yet again, at the AVCO Centre Cinemas — the second day in what’d turn out to be its four-week run there. As much as I enjoyed Joe Dante’s take with the werewolf genre four months prior, this one hit a different chord with me. Maybe it was the film’s keen use of music throughout, or the grisly special effects employed, that did it. Or, perhaps, I felt kinship with the plucky but doomed duo on-screen, trapped and separated by fate.