M is for Movies, Magic and Memories

 I don't know the date on this photo; but this is what motion pictures use to run on. There were two huge projectors. The film reel would run out on one;  there would be a change over to the other machine. You had to manually switch the film reels with a foot pedal.  I can still spot changes over on older film. Times sure have changed~

I grew up in a theatre;magic arrived, when my Dad told me, it was almost show time. I would head downstairs, to get a good seat. Sometimes I had friends save one for me. Magic arrived when I heard one of the movie logos. YOU know you the anticipation that builds as you gear up for the main feature. My Dad was a projectionist at the Colonial Theatre; my Mom the candy girl at the concession stand. I grew up with movies. I can't remember a week, I didn't go, unless it wasn't age appropriate. This theatre did feature a children's matinee if their main feature was rated R. My Dad wore a star by day(Texaco Man), by night he played them on the silver screen. When I think of my life, there have been a lot of M's. My parents met at this theatre, fell in love and were married. I made my debut three years later in May.

Music was huge part of growing up;  guitar parties almost every weekend. Their would be a house full. My Dad invited the carpenters doing our new addition, to come. He later convinced two of the to buy guitars. They would come by the house, for lessons. My Dad played by ear; he wasn't much for teaching. My Mom and I also were learning and helped them out. It seemed like there was always a parade with my father; an entourage if you will. He had this guy to help him do that, this one at the station, he also was selling cars from a local dealership, and sound systems from another store in the garage. He would play music for the customers. He was  always wheeling n' dealing.  

He was a magician of sorts; he could make money disappear fast. I remember one time we lost the power. I looked out the window into the neighborhood; everyone else had lights.This was when my Mom would get creative and tell us there was something else wrong. She would make  magic muffins to keep us busy. Mystery muffins, each one had a different flavor. She would make plain muffins and add nuts to some, chocolate chips, or cherries or blueberries. (we had a gas oven). My father then would be creative enough to call the electric company and tell them they also owed him money and maybe he wouldn't deliver their oil, if the didn't turn his electricity back on. His words, "I can't pay you if you don't pay me".  Tah Dah, the lights came back on; he was a magician, alright.

I sort of did become a gypsy marrying a guy in the Navy..  I have roots in Maine, with movies, musical ties, and moving has been my life.  I have moved 17x in 27yrs.  Magical, some of it yes, but the real magic lies in the memories you create, the moments that define you, and making soulful connections. 
And for some famous last words, from my Dad and Porky Pig, "That's All Folks"~



This was so interesting to read Ella and wow that photo was really something.

Ellie said…
Fascinating post! Mr. G worked as a cinema projectionist in his early twenties so I'll have to show him this post.

Ellie Garratt
Anonymous said…
Ella, I love the way you repeated the letter "M" through your post. It made it very enjoying to read. Clever.

I rarely had the opportunity to go to the theater as a child. My first movie was Benji. It was a big deal. =)
Sherry Blue Sky said…
Oh I love stories from your life, Ellie. Your folks sound like they were a blast! Cool childhood memories. I remember the magic of the Saturday matinees. Especially before tv's, it was sheer magic. Still is, when I infrequently go (I'd go oftener, but this town rarely has a good movie playing, they only bring in fighting movies). Loved this post and your site always has such artistic photos and design changes.......love it.
Ella said…
Beverly-Thank you; Benji was a big deal! Thank goodness we have dvd's now~ I'll visit soon~

Ellie-I have other pics, too. I think this was probably back in the 50's. The other pic has a different machine. I was born in the 60's~
Yes, he will love the fossil; I mean antique.

Yvonne-Yes, I am not sure when it was taking, but it really is unique. I did see in the 80's a computerized model, named Christi that had the latest bells n' whistles. Thank you!
Ella said…
Sherry-Thank you; My Dad was a clown. It was like living in a circus sometimes. I guess I can say that because my Mom collected elephants, lol.
I soo want to go to the movies, this weekend. Going to check the local theater. Thank you; I'll be by.
Marjorie said…
It's great that you have so many memories of your Dad to look back on.
Ella: Fantastic post! I can relate to your love of movies and music (I play the guitar, too!) Magic muffins and Maine! Excellent! Love the photo.
Siv Maria said…
How wonderful to have a childhood filled with the magic of the big screen. If you haven't seen the Majestic with jim carey, you really should :)
Bossy Betty said…
What a fascinating childhood!
What wonderful childhood memories to recall.
I too went to a Saturday Film showing, within the Ulster Museum in Belfast.
It felt so special!

Best wishes, Eileen
septembermom said…
These are wonderful memories that you are sharing with us, Ella. Thank you. I bet you could write a novel based on your experiences!
GigglesandGuns said…
This is a fun post -- like taking a walk with you.
upinthecosmos said…
Excellent & fun:-)

Stop in & give M is for Mogli a read
Karen Walker said…
What a fascinating life you've led, Ella. Thanks for the support on my blog.
That's a lot of cool life experiences, Ella!
Spenc said…
You have had a fascinating life, full of fun adventures, thanks for sharing some of your memories.
Katie Mills said…
wow, minus the movies your childhood sounds a lot like mine. My parents were professionals by day (mom was a student and then a teacher. dad was in engineering) and musicians by night with a pretty successful pop rock group. We always had music in the house, their band friends over for rehearsal and band jams on no-gig weekends. His favorite phrase was 'buddha provide' whenever we lost electricity or the cars broke down, etc...never let us worry about anything. Thanks for sharing your memories! They really are important to who we become and how we see the world!
movie and musical ties? Ella you should do a musical :)))
Hi Ella .. loved this story of your life .. and no wonder movies feature so strongly .. great post on the history of film and a family life in and around the cinema theatre..

Thanks so much .. so interesting .. Hilary