Thursday, December 08, 2005


(Originally run 7/25/04 on our old site)

Dan E. Randle

All those movies! The one I remember the most is "The Thing", only because it was so scary.

You may remember my writing earlier about having to walk to -- and RUN from -- that movie. I ran all the way home with the hair standing up on the back of my neck at every strange sound along the way. I think it was about a mile from the Rialto to home, and I know I must have been the first person to break the 4 minute mile.

How about "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" in 3-D? It wasn't as scary, because I don't remember running home that night.

Some of the others I remember, "Written on the Wind,” "Green Mansions" (fell in love with Audrey Hepburn), "Gidget" (fell in love with Sandra Dee): it seems I was always falling in love in those days.

There was one movie I saw that I had read the book before seeing it, "White Witch Doctor". What a let-down the movie was. Very little of the book was represented in the movie. Just like Tom, I remember 1955 when the "Blackboard Jungle" came out and we started fast dancing, what a blast! How about "Boy on a Dolphin", "River of no Return,” "Rear Window,” "Love me Tender,” all the Road movies of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis movies. When you get start remembering, the list keeps getting bigger and bigger. I remember coming home from college one year and taking mom to see "Mary Poppins" (the first movie she had been to in years).

I still remember sitting in the front rows and having to lie back in your seat so you could see the screen. Now I sit in the back row when I go. With the prominence of DVDs, I only go to the movies that are really big, such as Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings; the rest of them I wait until they come out on DVD. I have installed a DVD writer in my computer and can copy DVDs. This allows me to watch them anytime I want to. I can watch a movie once and watch it again in a year and it's a new movie. I remember very little of it. Between my tape library and DVD library, I will never be able to watch all the movies I have. The reason I have amassed such a large library is the thought that, one day, I might not be able to get around like I do now. At least then I will have plenty of movies to keep me from getting too bored.


Thanks to Don Thompson for providing the link to the site called “Rialto Theater History, Searcy, Arkansas.” There, taken from “Searcy, Arkansas: A Frontier Town Grows Up With America” by Raymond Lee Muncy (pages 236-238), I read: “"Our Theater," located on the west side of the square where Mrs. Harris' Cafe is now, was opened Tuesday night, November 13, 1928…” and “Roy Shannon was as proud as a peacock when he turned on those new projectors….” I need to argue with Mr. Muncy about Roy Shannon’s turning on the new projectors--that was impossible. Roy Shannon died at the age of 22 years on March 29, 1928, when he was run over by a car, as recorded in a family Bible. Roy was one of my dad’s younger brothers. Instead of Roy, it was my dad, Ben Shannon, who was the excited movie theater projectionist. I talked with my uncle today, I. B. Van Patten (Mary Kay James and Becca Smith’s dad), and he recalled his wife Kathryn’s talking about her older sister Oma who was dating Ben when the theater opened. My uncle said, “Oma saw movies without having to pay, and she sat in the balcony to be near Ben while he worked.” My parents were married July 4, 1929. We just celebrated another wedding on July 4th, when our middle son, Andy, married Rosie, a lovely woman from England. We enjoyed several weeks of being tour guides/hosts to Rosie’s family and are delighted to welcome her to our family. The house is awfully quiet, now, without the two youngest granddaughters’ laughter. Maybe I’ll just leave their sticky little fingerprints on the patio door.

(Ann, you’ll have to wait awhile to argue with Dr. Muncy: he’s been deceased several years now. In any case, according to his wife, it’s a miracle he got so much RIGHT, since he was commissioned to write that book, and was given precious little time in which to do it. –tlp-)


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