Ed has a post about his Top Five Summer Movies over at the Ed Zone. It’s a great read, but he neglected to mention my role in one of the anecdotes.
I, too, was in attendance at that double bill of Conan the Destroyer and The Last Starfighter (which makes sense, seeing as how Ed’s Uncle Ron is my dad). However, being a bit younger than Ed at the time, Conan scared the living crap out of me. It made me cry, and so (actually—I don’t remember this all that well, so I’m going to call Dad and get the details straight here).
Okay. To the best of my dad’s memory, I got scared about halfway through and he took me outside the theater until Conan was over. Then we went back in to watch The Last Starfighter, which was what I’d wanted to see anyway (it would be fifteen years before I would become a diehard Conan fan, though Destroyer would remain a low point in the Cimmerian’s career). Ironically, the hammerhead-shark alien guy in The Last Starfighter scared me almost as much as Conan had.
It’s funny how well you remember going to specific movies as a kid. I remember seeing Star Wars at the Braintree drive-in—probably the first movie I ever saw. I remember my dad getting me out of school to see Return of the Jedi on opening day (and how loud and deep Jabba’s voice sounded to a four-year-old kid). I remember seeing E.T. with my childhood friend Carrie Carpenter [actually her name was Carrie Willett, my mom says]. I remember seeing Flight of the Navigator at the Cameo in South Weymouth with my cousin Noelle (Ed’s sister). Two years later I saw Who Framed Roger Rabbit with Noelle when she came along on one of our family vacations. And it was my mom who stood in line with me to see the original Batman (hey Mom–remember “biff!”).
My dad also took me to see The Boy Who Could Fly during one of the Red Sox playoff games in ’86, and kept going to the lobby to get the score of the game. I never saw that movie again, but I remember it being kind of depressing.
I know I saw Ghostbusters, Back to the Future and The Goonies in the theater, but I don’t have any specific memories associated with them. I suspect they were just run-of-the-mill trips to the Hanover Mall theater.