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  1. evmaroon permalink
    May 19, 2010 1:48 am

    I LOVE MIDNIGHT MADNESS! And I can sing the theme song. And it was Michael J. Fox’s first film! And gave producers the idea for Revenge of the Nerds! And is the reason why I clipped cryptic notes to my cat during a sleepover party, but when he hid under the couch I couldn’t remember where his scavenger hunt clue led to, so we had to give up on finding the prize, and my Mom kept getting annoyed at finding other notes all over our house and backyard, for the next 6 months!

    All of that is why I love that movie…

    Okay, will go back and read the rest of your magnificent article.

  2. May 19, 2010 10:18 am

    As a kid, I occasionally frequented the blue-collar Brooklyn equivalents of the BCT — the Marlboro and the Walker theaters — where I could catch some second-run Disney fare (when I was younger) and Burt Reynolds or Charles Bronson action pics (when I was almost old enough to see them legitimately). Looking back, I’m frankly amazed at what a 13 year old in NYC was allowed to do without adult supervision, whether sitting in the dark with a roomful of strangers or bicycling to an abandoned railyard for a “picnic” of grape soda and candy bars.

  3. May 19, 2010 11:15 am

    Looking back, I’m frankly amazed at what a 13 year old in NYC was allowed to do without adult supervision, whether sitting in the dark with a roomful of strangers or bicycling to an abandoned railyard for a “picnic” of grape soda and candy bars.

    The good old days! I am still amazed at the way in which – by use of bad movies alone – BCTs were generally able to keep away predators and other wreckers of childhood fun. I mean if I hadn’t been with my little sister when I went to see Millennium – I was 16 – they would not have let me in. I would have had to wait until a later showing. Ditto for Star Trek. My cousin was probably over eighteen, but she was accompanying three other BCT age appropriate patrons and so it was okay.

    Actually, in both cases, it was weird transition point. I was already going to the later showings of first run movies (Rocky IV, Back to School, Beverly Hills Cop I & II, Hellraiser) and going to early evening non BCT related fare with La Mommie (Ghostbusters) where the crowd was mostly GIs who kept telling other GIs to shut up cause there was “a lady and her kids” trying to enjoy the movie.

    And I’m sure I saw Beaches with my mom, during the day, on a Saturday with nary a child – bad or otherwise – around.

    I have such fond memories of the BCT. I wish I had time and bandwidth to write about all the movies I remember seeing.

  4. irishup permalink
    May 19, 2010 11:55 am

    (*grumblegrumble, I liked my caps where they were, I am not ee cummings, not your fault I know*)

    @redlami – Absolutely! I grew up on the upper east side, and at 13 was taking buses and trains to all 5 boroughs and biking all over central park.

    Snarky – your footnote is JUST SO! Our BCTs had $1 seats; tickets now at the one that’s still open go for ~$15, and the “matinee” is like $10-12. The other great thing about the old matinees was that the staff rarely made you leave. Staying through the movie 2 or even 3x on a slow day was more the norm. So harried parents could get kids out of the appt/house for a full afternoon on the cheap! I also remember fondly that audiences participation – clapping, cheering, boo-hissing – that seems absent from movies today. When we went to see “Rocky” the audience would stand and cheer durign the fight as if it was a real match -EVERY TIME!

    Gene Shalit frequented one of the BCTs. True story 1 – you have NO IDEA how big his hair is IRL. At one point in the late 70’s it was like easily 2ft in diameter – extending halfway into each seat on either side of him. True story 2- at said BCT, we sat through the original Dawn of the Dead 2 times one day. Mr. Shalit was a few rows in front of us – for both shows. He appeared to be enjoying the movie as much as any of us – laughing, clapping etc. That week, he panned it on his “Today Show” review.

  5. May 19, 2010 12:34 pm

    I also remember fondly that audiences participation – clapping, cheering, boo-hissing – that seems absent from movies today. When we went to see “Rocky” the audience would stand and cheer durign the fight as if it was a real match -EVERY TIME!

    Oh god yes! I remember going to see Rocky IV and it being completely interactive It was a fun experience! Folks got up and danced to “Living in America” and yelled at the screen every time Drago appeared. We cheered whenever Adrian appeared on screen. Yeah, they don’t really let you do that anymore.

    In contrast, when I caught an evening showing of Rocky Balboa, judging by the audience you would have thought we were sitting through a screening of The Sweet Hereafter. Somber and subdued does not even begin to describe the audience’s temperament.

    He appeared to be enjoying the movie as much as any of us – laughing, clapping etc. That week, he panned it on his “Today Show” review.

    Ha! Oh, you always have the best stories! I love this. I recall a similar experience with Kenneth Turan (LA Times) but I can’t remember the movie; just that he seemed to enjoy it during the screening, but went on to later pan it in his review.

  6. araymondjohnson permalink
    May 19, 2010 1:38 pm

    you are not alone in thinking IV is the best of the bunch. and no surprise, your photo caption was the favorite line from the movie in our household, we said it for years, everytime we walked from the mall parking lot into the store.

  7. May 20, 2010 1:08 pm

    ahhh, the $1 theater! known as “the chateau” in good ole irving, tx. i didn’t know my town HAD other theaters until i was about 10. the floor was sticky and they only had 3 screens, but it was a great place! while i was pleased with the quality and cleanliness of the starplex that opened when i was in high school, i was kind of sad when the chateau closed. my church youth group would go to the chateau a lot during the summer. it was good stuff! thanks for taking me back!

  8. May 21, 2010 1:46 pm

    I have a vague memory of going to a BCT with my parents (who were, in fact, badder children than I ever was, and they were 32 and 42!) when I was 4. It’s actually my first movie memory, and it’s of seeing a screening of Snow White. Kids were running up and down the aisles, screaming and laughing and singing the songs. I was right there with them. I also remember a theatre full of children crying while Snow White was carried to her resting place in the woods, and screaming/crying during the scene where the Wicked Witch tries to squirsh the Prince/dwarves with a boulder. Good times.

    We have a 15 screen theatre with fancy popcorn tubes and a theatre with putt-putt, skating, and a super-awesome arcade. But my favorite theatre is the $1 theatre ($2.50 on Friday and Saturday) that shows the second run films and the arthouse things. That’s where a group of us went for my birthday this year, and we watched Twilight:New Moon and drank the whiskey we snuck in. Again, good times.

  9. May 21, 2010 3:33 pm

    omg, eieioj, I’m bad at surprises. I want to respond, but I’m bad at surprises. I’ll respond to your comment tomorrow.

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