Movie Magic

I have been very excited, like many others I’m sure, for the release of Les Miserables this month on the big screen. But I had a special reason to be excited (other than the fact that I wanted to see it). Dev and I had asked my grandmother if she’d like to go see it with us for her 92nd birthday. I haven’t been around to celebrate many of my grandmother’s birthdays, but I know she always says she doesn’t want gifts, so this seemed like a great option.
You might not think this is reason for excitement, but here’s the best part: we asked her when she last went to the movies, and she said, “Well, I can remember going with Bill and my mum to that really epic film – I can’t think of the name of it…”. Turns out, she meant Gone With the Wind! And then she remembered a much more recent one that she had been to with my parents. Before they were married. That one was The Sound of Music, which was released in 1965.
So that’s why I was so excited. How often do you get the opportunity to give someone a birthday gift like that?! To let them experience something they haven’t experienced in almost fifty years!? I couldn’t wait to see her reaction, to hear her stories of what it had been like at the movies back then…
So, we went yesterday. Les Miserables in all it’s gruesome glory. She was amazed at the size of the theatre, the size of the screen, and the number of different theaters in the building. When we first got to our seats, she thought the cup holders were ash trays, and she told us how you used to be able to see the smoke curling upwards when the projection lights came on because everyone smoked. She told us how little and dirty the cinema had been, and how hard the seats were. How the sound would often disappear. How they had to stop the film to change reels. How they passed around sticks of rhubarb and a bag of sugar at intermission. She marveled at the amount of leg room we had, and how comfy the seats were.
It was fantastic. There is something very special about spending time with someone who has experienced the vast and unimaginable changes the world has seen over the past century. She was born four years before John Logie Baird gave the first public demonstration of television at Selfridges in London. Now people watch movies on their cellphones. It is amazing. She is a piece of living history, and we are so lucky to learn from her. It is so much fun seeing her reaction when we FaceTime her great grandchildren who are 3000 miles away. Or when she watches our nieces play on the Wii. Or when we show her pictures of herself on the ipad that we just took 3 seconds ago. I keep trying to think what other “new” experiences we can have together!
Maybe a 3D movie next time:)

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Movie Magic

  1. Deneen

    Wow Jane! What a brave woman your grandmother is… and what great trust she had to have in you!Leaping through a few decades of technology had to have been a little scary for her…
    ‘So exciting! A great gift indeed, that will be on-going with your time and interest in her stories! Thanks for posting.
    D.

  2. Guess I know where you get your spunk from! Amazing and awesome. Being that the other two movies have become classics, does this mean her going to the theater makes Les Mis an automatic Oscar winner? She certainly has good taste in movies 🙂

  3. Loved reading this!!

  4. Marie Nantes

    What a beautiful experience, Jane 🙂

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