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Your 1st Cinema Experience

Your 1st Cinema Experience

By Jonahh Oestreich • March 4th, 2012

Once in a while, we ask our Twitter followers to tell us about their cinematic lives and thoughts. The movie-related “Question of the Day” has become a kind of institution, meanwhile “borrowed” or “stolen” by others (we like that kind of “theft”!).

The responses have been overwhelming throughout, and we can’t begin to say how grateful we are for the feedback! This week though we were literally flooded with replies – all of them being thoughtful and funny, some of them incredible or outright hilarious… And we learnt a lot!

So we thought I’m gonna hand over my musing Sunday column to our amazing Twitter friends for some serious insights! Obviously we can’t publish all the 20 pages of tweets so please don’t be disappointed if you don’t find your reply…

Our question was:

Was it E.T. – The Extraterrestrial or Superman? Maybe it was Jurassic Park or The Lion King. Or Mary Poppins. What was your first ever cinema experience?

First of all, thanks to Jack (@jackkholt) who kept every single cinema stub from the age of 16 and took a picture of his collection (the header image!), commenting on Twitter:

I framed some of mine. Too geekish lol? I’ll check mine again when home – my teenage viewing habits were shocking!

And his first cinema experience?

Jurassic Park for me. Front row seat at my local (now closed) cinema – explaining to my uncle how it was all real science!

Well, we already know a lot when we’re little, and it seems to be common that many of the movie theaters we went to as kids don’t exist any more.

Bambi at the Wood Green cinema that’s now a bus depot. Also saw Batman (1989) there, even though I wasn’t old enough. #nostalgia

I can’t remember the name of the place! I loved it, reminds me of the theatre in Last Action Hero. I probably cried. I was a puss.
Fond memories of a mid Ohio drive-in. Eventually, it became a golf driving range, then porn palace and finally a swamp.
Ghostbusters at the (long gone) Barking Odeon. My sister cracked up the whole auditorium by singing loudly to the theme song.

I honestly don’t remember my first cinema experience, it was surely some fairy tale. Maybe I was too little to remember which doesn’t seem to be a problem for some people.

The Empire Strikes Back (the ORIGINAL one) on opening day, which was my 4th birthday. A sea of people waiting.
May 25th, 1977. 5 years old for all of a month and my life flipped upside down when my dad took me to Star Wars.
Seeing Jurassic Park in theaters at the age of 3 and crying hysterically when the T-Rex escaped.

…Which got @Screen_22 to comment: “Age 3?? Woah your parents were evil.”

Let’s give the parents the benefit of the doubt here, some movie titles can be a little misleading.

1st cine was A DAY IN THE DEATH OF JOE EGG (72). Parents dropped us off thinking it was a humpty dumpty story. They were wrong.

Yeah, at this innocent age a movie is not really a story, we tend to think it’s for real…

Gosh, what a question, I recall #thelionking – the hyena’s terrified me and I was crying, didn’t see it in full till last year!
Labyrinth. Missed half of it as I kept gettin up to go to the toilet cos it was scary. So made dad take me back to see it again.
Bambi. Cried like a bitch when his mum got shot. I was only 5.
The first I remember was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, age 8, with Cubs. I hid at the end when the knight decayed.

Apparently, some of us were literally carried away and shocked their parents with rather impossible demands, at least at that age.

STAR WARS in ’77. I was 3 & I pointed at the screen & said “I wanna do that!”
When I was 2 years old – saw Last Tango in Paris, pointed to screen and yelled “I wanna do that!”

For some, it’s not necessarily or primarily the movie they remember.

My first cinema experience was the original Footloose. We got kicked out for me dancing in the aisles.
I don’t remember the film but I once spilt cherryade over a ladie’s white dress I was sat next to when I was a kid, not good.
Superman in ’78, I was so small the seat kept folding up on me & my folks took turns holding it down so I wouldn’t be squished.

And others still remember that home video was quite different back in the day.

It was the Wizard of Oz. We only had a B+W telly so when Dorothy landed in Oz it was truly like entering another world. (c.1969)

It seems we all cherish our earliest film memories; maybe they influence us more than we think.

My first cinema experience was Transformers: The Animated Movie. Before anyone scoffs it’s got Orson Welles in it. I loved it.
Mine was Disney’s THE LION KING. I understood death for the first time after watching it. I was 4 years old. Magical memories.
The Cat From Outer Space. Never watched it again because in my head box it is something sacred like a tabernacle.

Yes, our first cinema experiences are sacred, aren’t they? Maybe only surpassed by our first love. In any case, thanks again to our Twitter friends and fans, you are just awesome!

Jonahh Oestreich

Jonahh Oestreich

One of the Editors in Chief and our webmaster, Jonahh has been working in the media industry for over 20 years, mainly in television, design and art. As a boy, he made his first short film with an 8mm camera and the help of his father. His obsession with (moving) images and stories hasn’t faded since.

You can follow Jonahh on Twitter @Jonahh_O.

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