With six kids in the house, keeping the little ones entertained was almost impossible. My mom was a wreck trying to keep track of all of us.
Thankfully, there was a movie theater on Ventura Boulevard within walking distance from our home that provided relatively cheap entertainment. Mom could usher us out of the house, and maybe even have a brief moment to herself while she hung up the laundry.
For those of you who remember the Studio City Theater, it was that landmark deco-styled place gracing Ventura Boulevard just east of Laurel Canyon, decorated to look like the top a wedding cake. The building still stands, but it’s now a Barnes & Noble. Oh well...
I loved that place. I have many memories of that theater, going back to the time my twin sister and I were both 5 years old.
My older sister Lynn got saddled into taking us to the movies, a task I'm sure she wished she could have pawned off on one of our brothers. But you know how it goes-the girls always get stuck doing the dishes, cleaning up, and in the case of our family, babysitting their younger siblings.
I remember seeing many movies at the Studio City Theater. When we were really young, Teresa and I would pick up popcorn off the floor and try to eat it. I’m sure it wasn’t very hygienic, but at the time, it seemed like a good idea since my mom didn’t have potato chips in the house, and we were salt-deprived. We liked Milk Duds also, but they were too expensive, so we purchased hard candy from and snuck it into the theater.
I’m not sure what movies would appeal to a teen-aged hormone-studded female and two 5-year-olds. We probably saw Bambi or some other Disney flick. Perhaps we also saw Cinderella, since my sister was a diva in the making, and had a penchant for fashion.
When we were 10, a flock of us would often flood into the theater to watch scary flicks, including The Haunting with Julie Harris, ensconced inside that creepy mansion with all the ghosts and paranormal hunters.
During that movie, about twelve of us dominated the front row, screaming our heads off, until a fudgesicle would splat on the seat in front of us, or an empty popcorn container would sail across the screen, looking like a lost glider in space.
As we got older, the theater became the hangout out for those of us in sixth grade. My boyfriend at the time was Martin Fergoso, a lanky black-haired kid who used to try to make-out with me in the back row of the theater. My friends were also there with their respective boyfriends, as we pretended to watch the movies. There were no iPods, or Twitter, just real face-to-face contact.
Back then, you could watch a double matinee for about 50 cents. Popcorn was about 10 cents and for less than a dollar, you could be entertained for about four hours.
Those were the days my friend…