This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. Hard to believe it’s been a year since my initial participation in Mark and Tom‘s wonderful Decade Blogathon. Had so much fun with it, I contributed once more to this year’s fine event, which restarts Monday, May 16th. So, for this memory download, involving one of my all-time favorite westerns, it’ll document the rarity. Recalling when watching was part my old job to show it.
Besides, today’s Friday the 13th…my all-time favorite day on the calendar.
June 30, 1976: The Bicentennial…an important event, I’d been told. Time and time again. On television and at the college campus I was then haunting. Jeezus! More than six months…heck, they got an early start by talking about it in ’75…and the drums had beaten ever since. The very next week it’d culminate with a coast-to-coast celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on 4 July. What did I have to show for it? A late start at getting serious with my education…
…and a job as a projectionist at a cinema I’d attended since childhood, the Huntington Park Warner Theatre, that’s what.
Hell, at least I had a job. Student tuition, a car, and a girlfriend, too. All of which cost money to afford, and I’m working at a glorious movie palace of my youth. For an owner paying a pittance to anyone they could train, without electrocuting themselves or burning the place down, to run the museum piece projectors lighting their almost forty-year-old screen. Oh, and the person who trained me to do said work just happened to be my kid brother. The “senior”, soon to leave, projectionist, of all people.
It was the ’70s, which should make perfect sense for a time such as this, and it’s Wednesday.
Most important day of the week back then for those of us tasked to show movies to paying customers for a living. The traditional release date for new film. This one of the few days I had a shift opening the place…brother must have been job hunting or something. Now that the venue was once again showing new American movies1, I spotted last night’s closing shift had updated today’s title on the marquee. The Outlaw Josey Wales, it is…and the poster in the display casement said it’s Clint Eastwood’s.
This ought to be good for once, I thought…and contrary to how my decade was going, the title character’s most repeated line seemed to confirm this.
- When I began working here, we had Spanish language, or old Spanish sub-titled, movie programming. ↩