This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. Since this is the Halloween season, as has been my practice since VHS tape came on scene, my viewing habits tend toward a particular genre. You can guess what that is (and you only get one shot at it). Since my good blogging friend Colonel Mortimer is presenting a month-long review of horror films in his wonderful series spotlighting a particular year, 31 Days of ’81 Horror, I thought I’d call out his splendid review of a film that carries some distinction with me.
“Look, Jimmy, rule number one, never get involved with a patient. Nurses, that’s another story. But patient is no good, it never works out.”
The Picwood Theatre:
[pictures are care of the Cinema Treasures site]
October 31, 1981: Halloween. It was three years plus (seemingly, another lifetime) since my mother passed away (somewhat covered here). I note this because another significant passing occurred this very same year. The other woman who raised me, my mother’s mother, died seven months prior to this autumn holiday. In the same month, too, as my mother. Needless to say, March is not my favorite month. Not by a long shot.
I’d spend the years after ’78 maintaining touch with ma. Never called her grandma directly since she considered me nothing less than a son. All in an effort to pay back some of the love this woman bestowed upon me. This included my return to her house each 31st of October to help pass out candy to those trick ‘r treating her neighborhood. Needless to say, All Hallows Eve required a change come 1981. Strange perhaps, I instituted going to the movies every Halloween from that point. Watching another in the genre attached with this holiday.
Though John Carpenter’s seminal film, Halloween, arrived in 1978, I never saw it on its initial release to theaters. My experience with the film turned out to be a VHS rental months later (I’d catch it at a revival theater afterward). Naturally, when its sequel, Halloween II, was announced I wasn’t going to miss the experience in a movie hall. The film opened the day before said holiday, so all plans went toward getting me and my nurse girlfriend at the time over to the westside of Los Angeles to watch it.
You now know why I choose the above movie quote.
The Picwood Theatre, another of the long gone and demolished, was that venue. Showtimes at this packed theatre that particular Saturday night skirted sold-out. We got in, though. I agree with my friend the Colonel’s assessment for what encompasses the good, the bad, and the ugly of the sequel. Far from boring. Still, the film carries a discrete memory — being the one that began a tradition I’d continue till the October of 1995. The very same month I became a parent.