The magic of the movies

Patrick Fisher, New Prague Times

I don’t know about anyone else, but I miss being able to actually go to a movie theater. To me there is almost this magic to the entire experience. From getting a popcorn and sitting in a darkened theater and just putting my entire attention on what is happening on this huge screen. Watching the images flash by and the reactions it creates for me and everyone around me.

For me the magic of the movies started at a young age. Growing up in the 1970s there was really only two ways to see movies. You either had to see what was on TV or you went down to the theater. Broadcast television stations had more movies on the weekends or a special showing during a weeknight. Sometimes my parents would make it a family night when a movie was being broadcast. They would cook up a few pizzas or make popcorn. Of course this was the time of either Jiffy-Pop or air poppers. Anyone else have memories of just watching the popcorn break through the aluminum on a Jiffy-Pop container or seeing the popcorn bounce out of an air popper?

For the theater experience, in Thief River Falls we briefly had two movie theaters. A two screen theater in the downtown and another on the outskirts also with two screens, but also a drive-in movie theater. I think my parents took my siblings and I to see a few movies in the drive-in. Mostly we went to the downtown theater when we could. It was less of a drive and from what I remember of it, it was an older theater with the decor from the 1950s or ‘60s that gave it more charm. If I remember right there was a single ticket booth in the center near the main entrance, inside there were posters for upcoming movies and a popcorn machine in the center of the snack counter. That theater eventually closed with the space being converted to an assortment of shops and offices.

Being able to see a movie is even better when you have friends or family with. Sometimes seeing with a large group of people adds to the experience. Sometimes it’s one of the best aspects of a movie when a lot of people react to a scene.

I’m hoping a vaccination and common sense will let us get back to theaters in 2021. We will just have to see.



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