It was the summer of 1976. The family car was packed with PJs pillows and blankets. In those days two you ng boys could sleep easily in teh back one across the back seat the other below behind teh front seats on the floor. As a Kid I din’t seem to mind the little hump that seperated the left and right front seats.
We played infront of the gigantic screen as the fading daylight turned into darkness. I rememeber the playground just emptying as the first image hit that towering screen. My Brother and I crawled into the back to find stale popcorn and rubbery hot dogs waiting for us. It was a banquet.
My dad had two speakers hooked to the windows (I was sure he was only supposed to have one) and the volume was turned low. I don’t rememebr the first feature except it had something to do with a windmill and a kidnapping.
We tried to stay up as late as we could. The house rules didn’t apply in that giant parking lot. When the movie was half over we all treked to the washroom.
The cold night air and the brightness of the bathroom are still vivid to me. It was unreal. That burning of the eyes from fatigue and the giddiness that comes from doing something new and exciting made for an odd mixture that left butterflies in my stomach. And as much as my body tried to beat me I fought off sleep.
We were supposed to have fallen asleep for the second feature. I pretended to be asleep to the strains of “let’s all go to the lobby” and almost succumbed.
Then teh second feature came on. Jaws. I sat there wrapped in blankets just staring at the screen beyond the smudged windshield. At least until the little boy on the raft was eaten. At that point I buried my head in the back covered my ears with my pillow and somehow, despite the fear, fell asleep.
I still love that movie… it always reminds me of that night.