09 August 2007

Can You Fit This In Your Purse?


I grew up in the rainy Pacific NW so we learned to make the best of the indoors. At a very young age I was hooked on movies. I saw lots of great films.

My parents always took us to this dive of a theater. I remember it smelled like old drapes, wet plaster, and cotton candy. The Village Theater was perfect for a cheap night or weekend out. It was only $.99 for a double feature. They offered worn, red seats complete with lots of leg room to stretch your legs. Now only try to keep your shoes from sticking to the concrete floor.

I watched so many good films in this theater. 1985 brought us GhostBusters, Spies Like Us, Goonies, Back to the Future, & The God's Must Be Crazy. I'm convinced now the managers did drugs because honestly, the marquee above is an *example* of a double feature they displayed on their signage for a few weeks. (Post note: my theater wasn't a drive thru)

My parents and the four of us girls frequented the theater often in the summer. Where can you have almost five hours of air-conditioned entertainment for the entire family for under six bucks? This was ideal for my parents who also typically refused to buy anything from concessions.

Concession stand food was expensive, still is for that matter. My dad did cave on a rare occasion, but ordinarily they had us girls smuggle in contraband food by stuffing our purses with things from home. Cans of soda. Sandwiches from the freezer. An entire baked chicken (argued it was BiMart chicken). Egg salad. Even my dad's favorite, my mom's homemade brownies.

We always ate well at the theater, so it's a wonder they didn't kick us out. We had straws coming out of our purses. We gnawed on baked chicken and once left an empty boxes of girl scout cookies. Piles of peanut husks were left in a little mountain on the floor (thank you sis, for that forgotten tidbit).

There were a few close contraband calls but dad and mom sat behind us. I remember once getting kicked us in the seat when a pimply faced employee showed up, suspicious of that 'chickeny smell' as he'd check the crowd over with a flashlight. This unusual foot-in-the-seat code kept us incognito. I remember thinking, "What the heck am I going to do with these chicken bones?"

I could never understand with all we had going on, why one day my dad felt compelled to smuggle in an entire baking sheet of brownies.

An entire. sheet. of brownies.

I think back now and isn't that what ziploc baggies are for? Ziploc's existence is for the sole purpose of leaving the glass 13 x 9 baking pan at home.

I remember being completely mortified, walking into the theater behind my dad. I was told to walk close behind him, I suppose, because I was the tallest child and could provide maximum blockage of the view of his back.

Why his back, you might ask?

From where I walked, with my purse loaded with cans of mixed nuts and super-sized Snickers bars, I had a perfect view of my dad attempting to be inconspicuous in 70 degree weather. He was wearing a heavy coat with a huge, and I mean gigantic, rectangle-shaped, 13 x 9 bulge under his coat. It would have been impossible for him to carry the pan in the front because he was already smuggling in cans of Pepsi for him and my stepmom.

HEY! Don't knock it. Four hours in the theater, you'd be thirsty, too.

For six bucks, we had cheap eats and our entertainment covered. You can't make this stuff up.

38 comments:

Gwynne said...

Holy Betty Crocker! You have got to be kidding!! And a whole baked chicken?! I can't stop laughing. You know, something is truly wrong in a society where we have to be so secretive about "outside" food getting into our movie theatres...are there not worse violations in need of policing? Sheesh!

So when is your book coming out?

Tori :) said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one sneakin' in baked goods, hamburgers under a hat, etc... Awesome!

Millie said...

At first I thought you were talking about the drive-in. A baked chicken in a THEATER??? Gosh, that wouldn't smell conspicuous, would it?

Ba Doozie said...

heathens!!!! Blasphemers of all things concession!


just kidding, I think this is just golden. A moment in history that will never be lived down

~Jennifer said...

Where the heck did y'all stash the whole baked chicken to get it into the theater? I thought my purse full of candy that made a crackling sound when I walked was scary enough to smuggle in. lol!

Sheena said...

Nice little stroll down' memory lane there, sis. Ahhh, the good ol' days! I'm just wondering what you meant by "used to smuggle".

I still sneak munchies in my big fat purse ever time I go to the movies. I've gotten down to an art the incognito opening of a can of coke with a carefully-timed, asthmatically-enhanced, chest-vibrating cough (See, asthma's not all bad!).

SimplyAmusingDesigns.com said...

What? You mean not it's not normal to sneak a 13 x 9 inch pan of brownies into a theatre?

R said...

Emma, I am LITERALLY wiping the tears that are STREAMING down my face. The kids all rushed in the room because I was laughing so hard. Apparently I don't laugh too often.

I have to email this to Dear Sir. Too cool.

Stalker Cyberstalker said...

You have got to be kidding me?

Delia said...

This could have been written about my husband! lol. For him, it's unheard of to pay the outrageous concession prices when he can just bring his own. I would make him read this but I dont' want to give him any ideas; like taking a whole baked chicken and a baking sheet of brownies to the theater the next time we go.

Thanks for the laugh!

Stacey said...

Was this the theater that used to be on Capital Hill or am I thinking of someting different.

Not that I've seen a movie at the theatre or anything since the twins were born...but I swear when I do go go back I'm fully bringing in lots of contraband. Hell I refuse to pay $5.00 for a reeses when I know I can get at Grocery Outlet for $0.50.
So I guess my kids will be postin about this later too :)

Dapoppins said...

brownies? YES.
egg salad? NO.

My dad took us to the drive-in. 10 and under FREE. I saw all kinds of kung-fu movies. Go Bruce Lee!

Awww the memories. I can feel the sticky concrete now.

McBunni said...

I just snuck candy into the theatre for the FIRST TIME this summer. No joke. I was freaking out the whole time! LOL

Jeff said...

That's too funny. We do the same thing, only not with chickens and pans of brownies. More like pockets full of small candies. Halloween candy makes excellent movie snacks by the way.

cathouse teri said...

Wow. I would have paid six bucks just to read that story! Fun stuff!

My parents were at the drive-in movie watching "Psycho" when mum went into labor with me. There. That's my movie story.

Deputy's Wife said...

A baked chicken? CHICKEN?!?

Oh, that has got to be the best one I have ever heard. "Kids, no one touches the chicken until The Goonies are in the cave!"

The Lazy Iguana said...

Everyone has smuggled food into the theater.

The managers were probably smoking pot in the projection booth. I would have to smoke pot to have to sit through "My Little Pony" every day. You know someone has to be in that projection booth.

The Lazy Iguana said...

I am so going to totally steal your music thing.

Heffalump said...

The best thing I ever snuck into the theatre was Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. We bought our tickets, ran over to Cub Foods, bought the icecream, put it in our purses and went back to the Theatre (its the one in Vancouver right across the parking lot from Winco). Great times.
My sister was telling me last week that a large popcorn is up to $7 now. I would be sneaking something in too.

The Lazy Iguana said...

I can not steal the music code. For that matter I can not even create a user account. What is the website?

Diesel said...

That's sweet (ha!). I saw the My Little Pony movie and it scared the crap out of me.

The Lazy Iguana said...

I stole your music thing. But I added my own music. I like your code better, so expect that to get stolen.

Stalker Cyberstalker said...

Hey, I just thought of something. Was he carrying those brownies with potholders? Because that would be so darned funny.

Ba Doozie said...

what would be even funnier is if he was carrying a casserole dish with those handle thingies people use when it's really hot, and then he had 6 plates and all the silverware as well. and then you guys have this portable table you set up in there and dish up family style. in fact what if you got everyone else in on it, and you guys had like a potluck and everyone brought a dish, then you passed tyem around and got a little taste of other stuff. Or maybe even stab the workers, then set up your own grannys buffett out in the hallway? Or maybe.....

Redneck Mommy said...

You have no idea how fervently I wish your daddy was my daddy, right about now...

And as a former manager of a movie theatre, I'm going to ignore the fact that you totally annihilated their concession revenues by bringing in the good stuff from home...

lol!

Jenn said...

I see they had the same double feature here in Buffalo.

Kristi said...

Where is this theater and how can I get there? Your post just described my idea of Valhalla.

Brillig said...

Oh my gosh, I'm laughing so hard. There are actual tears coming out of my eyes right this second. HAHAHAHA. A BAKED CHICKEN??????

Hahahahahaha.

Kateastrophe said...

Yeah, you had me at baked chicken. I'm dying over here. I can smuggle an entire 44oz Diet Coke into a movie, but a baked chicken and a sheet of brownies? I bow to your parents genius!

Jen said...

This was too funny! GREAT stuff... and I love the image of your dad in his trenchcoat smuggling oh-so-g-rated goodies!

Happy SOS!

Clare said...

LOL Emma that's hilarious :). Thanks for sharing that story.

summershine said...

Okay, that is HILARIOUS!

anno said...

A whole chicken! An entire sheet of brownies! Your vehicle sounds like the vehicular equivalent of Mary Poppins' bag! I'd pay $6 for this, too...

Goofball said...

hihi funny...your dad rocks. What a great childhood memory

Luisa Perkins said...

Oh, you had me HOWLING. Good for your dad! He's a kindred spirit. My treats are WAY better than the stuff they try to gouge you for at the concession stand!

Foo said...

That's actually a pretty canny double feature. The teenagers can get their groping, pawing, and window steaming out of the way during the pony movie, and then enjoy the afterglow while some maniac dismembers a whole 'nother group of hormone-crazed teenagers with a weedeater.

Conversely, the little kids can enjoy the pony movie but will conk out by the time the violence starts, so their parents can enjoy their teenager massacree fantasies without worrying about warping the kiddies' tender brains.

That, and I just wanted to prove that I'm still alive.

wolfbaby said...

Been there done that alot.. well cept for the tray of brownies.. *giggle*

sarahgrace said...

I'm glad you explained how your dad smuggled that whole sheet of brownies in...because I was having a hard time figuring that one out on my own. I think he's lucky he didn't end up with brownies coming out the bottom of his jacket-ha ha! That would've been a sight to behold!

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