FR love movies, for sentimental reasons. Herein, they reveal the films they recall seeing in the theater at the earliest in their young’un lives.
Travis: The Wizard
I totally saw this ninety-minute Nintendo commercial at a friend’s birthday party in the theater located in the basement of Crestwood Plaza shopping mall. Later on, the bathroom outside this theater would be outed as one of the premier gay cruising locations in the St. Louis area.
Tyler: *batteries not included
I remember absolutely nothing about this movie, aside from the fact that–in retrospect–it is clearly a Cocoon ripoff and that it starred Jessica Tandy Computers. I presume Hume Cronyn was involved as well.
Nathan: Honey I Shrunk the Kids
The sequels were dumb (even if a totally hot Keri Russell was in one), but the original Honey movie is actually a pretty smart kids movie. It’s a lot of fun on a conceptual level and despite its dorky humor, it holds up pretty well these days. It’s probably Rick Moranis’ best role outside of the Ghostbusters movies and it spawned an awesome theme park attraction at Disney World.
I have no idea why my parents brought a young me to see this—probably because they wanted to see it and didn’t want to get a babysitter and figured there was nothing objectionable in it. I laughed at Keanu Reeves playing his typical mandude character of the time, and everything else went over my head. Watching it later on all I could think was that Steve Martin’s kid needed a good kick in the ass.
Tyler: Mac And Me
Even as a child, I thought “Man, isn’t this just E.T. all over again?” Then, as an adult, I learned that it was also an elaborate, detestable feature-length ad for McDonald’s. It lives on now in infamy, whenever Paul Rudd goes on Conan, and also thanks to the wonder of YouTube, which allows one to observe this mesmerizing debacle of a brain-stem melting “scene.”
Nathan: The Land Before Time
When you’re seven years old, any movie with dinosaurs is automatically cool without any question. The Land Before TIme was cool. I had the action figures if my memory serves me well.
Tim Burton’s Batman is the first movie I truly fell in love with, and is definitely among the first few I saw in the theater. I’m sure my parents didn’t really know someone was going to be joy-buzzered to death and basically turn into a molten husk onscreen, but it didn’t bother even eight-year-old me, because I remember laughing the whole time. I saw it three times in the theater that summer, and my parents bought it for me as soon as it came out on VHS. To this day I can remember every line.
Tyler: Three Men & A Baby
Did you know that like somebody died on set and like if you totally freeze the frame when Ted Danson and Nancy Travis are like walking in an apartment or something you can totally see the dead kid’s ghost???
My mom took me to see Prancer, a Christmas movie about a reindeer with an injured leg. It’s the first movie that I remember having a negative response to. I didn’t hate it necessarily, but it seemed awfully dumb. I’m going to trust my young instincts enough to never see it again.
Travis: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
I’d seen Raiders on tape, which my parents had taped using the old two-VCRs method of bootlegging so often utilized back in the day (other classics we owned because of this included Clash of the Titans, The Terminator (the first time I remember seeing boobs in a movie) and many more. I hadn’t seen Temple of Doom because my parents thought I’d be freaked out by certain parts, but they took me to Last Crusade assuming nothing similar would happen. Instead, I was really traumatized by that whole “drinking from the wrong Holy Grail and aging five hundred years in a couple of seconds” death scene. The rest of the movie was all fun, though, and for a long time I carried around a jump rope as my Indiana Jones whip.
Tyler: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
I always liked The Secret Of The Ooze better, because I never really liked Casey Jones (Elias Koteas!) as a character, and Raphael kind of steals the show by being a total dick.
Nathan: An American Tail
I don’t actually have a distinct memory of seeing this one in the theatre, but I know I did because I was in love with the movie. My grandmother gave me a stuffed Fievel doll for my birthday shortly before she died.
Travis: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
I’m pretty sure this was the first movie I ever saw in the theater, and definitely don’t remember anything before it if there were any. Memories of seeing this are so fuzzy that, never having watched it since, it’s one of the few Disney classics that made very little impression on me.
My piano teacher Mr. Ingram, no doubt eager to address something other than my lack of natural musical ability, revealed to me the story of JFK’s assassination due to the coincidence of a lesson falling on November 22nd. It took about four seconds for me to dive deep into the history, devouring anything I could find in my parents’ library, accepting my dad’s scrapbook of newspapers from the time, and getting him to buy me a book (that I believe Mr. Ingram had recommended) entitled JFK: Conspiracy Of Silence. OOOOHOOHOOOOH
Then the movie came out and I was all excited to see the “new footage,” like a dumbass. My dad made me cover my eyes for the gay orgy scenes. I rather thank him for this, as I now find them offensive, too, but for presumably different reasons. You’re mine, Mary! You’re mine. Sigh.
Disney re-released a lot of their classic films in theaters during the 80s. I was too young to know it then, but they actually cropped the tops of the frames so that the movies could be displayed in 1:85 as opposed to their original 1:33 aspect ratio. My mom took me to see Pinocchio when I was three or four at a single screen theatre in Port Huron that is now a dance studio. I was totally enraptured. The movie was weird as hell and totally entertaining. It stuck in my brain for years, and it holds up well as an adult. My mom fell asleep.