Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

TMT: “I want to escape from wherever this is.”

This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series begun here.

“Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in.”

Sorry, couldn’t help myself. It’s that way with this TMT series. Thinking I’m done with it all, then something in the ether culls a memory for it. This time, British director Neil Marshall, a favorite of late, the impetus. Recently speaking of a seminal 80s film, for the both of us, over at Trailers From Hell:


Alondra 6 Theatres
alondra 6 ext

Alondra 6 ad




July 11, 1981: When I got my driver’s license at age 16, after completing Driver’s Ed and Training in high school, I felt empowered. Truly. Well, as long as there was gas in the tank, and the car was working. A vehicle that couldn’t move on its own power, in L.A. as a teenager, was probably the most pathetic thing around in my mind then. Had my fill of walking everywhere prior, or taking a bus to escape town.

Been there, done that.

It’s the reason I’ve driven to just about every suburb in Los Angeles, or Orange, County. Started early, once licensed to do so. Went everywhere an auto could in its 80 square miles. Once I graduated, I left the sleepy confines of South Gate. Hung out in the South Bay and the San Fernando Valley the first couple of years afterward. Eventually swung back home later in the 70s, but still on the prowl for elsewhere.

By the time mom and grandmother passed away, cut was my roots to 90280. Thus, more local municipalities and districts I’d not been in were the result. When I became involved with a certain R.N., she became part of that. Hell, she wandered more than I, instead using jet planes out of here. Me? I happily meandered the region of my birth. Los Angeles still plenty big to get lost in.

By early 80s, movie-wise, I was planted on the westside. Living in sin with she-whose-name-must-not-be-mentioned. The only one of my family domiciled on the other flank of the 110. Still am. Took pride in that. Had the longest drive to family get-togethers, but didn’t mind. Yet, movie-watching in the same set of theaters couldn’t scratch the itch of seeing other cinemas I’d not been in. At least once.

That’s how I dragged you-know-who out to the Alondra 6 in Cerritos. “Where the hell is that?”, she asked. “By the 605, in an area north of Long Beach.“, I said. “Why?”, she pined. “Escape From New York is playing there, and want to avoid the crowded theaters here.”, my excuse explanation went. “Uh, huh.” Certainly hadn’t attended this small cineplex before, and never would again after. We enjoyed John Carpenter’s flick immensely, though.

My post’s title being her memorable last words of the experience.

The entire TMT series can be found here. If you’re interested how it’s put together, click here.

24 Responses to “TMT: “I want to escape from wherever this is.””

  1. Paul S

    As a newcomer to your site Escape From New York is as good an introduction as any to your TMT series. It’s long been a personal favourite of mine, although sadly I’’ve never had the chance to experience it on the big screen.
    I did see the sequel at the long since closed Odeon theatre in Manchester, and was left underwhelmed, and I feel the same way about the proposed remake. How on earth could they improve on this classic?


    • le0pard13

      It certainly is a worthy film to hang on to, Paul. Hopefully, you’ll get a chance to see it on the big screen someday. I agree. Anyone attempting to remake this classic, should have their head examined. Many thanks, my friend 🙂


      • Paul S

        I might watch Escape From New York again this weekend. Much like The Warriors I think it always plays better late at night with a couple of beers.


  2. jackdeth72

    Oh, Michael:

    A “must see” for The Big Screen!

    Huge kudos to John Carpenter for taking a page from Roger Corman’s Handbook and saving money by using sections of a storm savaged St. Louis for filling in for the streets and alleys of New York.

    The cast speaks for themselves. Especially Harry Dean Stanton’s ‘Brain’. The contemporary savagery of the Gladiator ring. Lee Van Cleef. And Kurt Russell channeling his most raspy “Been There. Done That” Clint Eastwood.


    • le0pard13

      It certainly was! Wonderfully staged in St. Louis — hadn’t thought it wasn’t NYC when I originally saw this. Such a great cast in some truly fun roles. Outside of Kurt’s fantastic anti-hero, I’m pretty partial to Adrienne Barbeau’s Maggie, myself ;-).

      Thanks so much, Kevin!


  3. ruth

    Great TMT story, as always Michael. That’s a cool hobby you have in seeing movies in various cinemas! Thanks for sharing.


    • le0pard13

      Thank you for the kind words, Ruth. Less so these days, but I still get that itch to go find a cinema I’d not seen or been in every so often ;-).


  4. 70srichard

    The San Gabriel Valley and the 605 corridor were my hangouts in the 1970s. My girlfriend (now wife) lived in Norwalk and we went to this theater frequently. From the Original Movie a Day Project I did, the films “Swashbuckler”,”Orca”, and “The Island of Dr. Moreau” were all seen at this facility. My story about my wife tripping and her brother walking around her and saying “somebody help that poor lady” took place in the narrow aisle in this theater. “Escape From New York” was screened by me in my hometown of Alhambra, it was on a double feature with “Wolfen”. I was already married but for some reason i went solo that night. Thanks for your story and encouraging us to reminisce along with you.


  5. Ted S.

    Nice story Michael. This is one of the films I wish I had seen on the big screen, it’s one of my favorite early 80s action/sci-fi pictures. I’ve owned the VHS, DVD and now Bluray but still waiting for a proper video transfer, the BD transfer isn’t bad, just not great.

    I somehow always like to watch this film on cold winter nights, like around late December or January and that scores always give me the chills.


    • le0pard13

      Yeah, I think I’ve owned that same set of media for this film, as well. It has that kind of appeal for fans, I guess. EFNY does have a stellar score, indeed. Hoping to pick up the vinyl for this someday myself. Thanks so much for the read and comment, Ted. Much appreciated 🙂



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