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Friday, September 28, 2012

Movie Memories 02 | Jeff Hite

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When I was too little to remember where I lived, or who I was with I got to go to the movies for the first time. This experience changed my life forever for some obvious and not so obvious reasons. I always think that it is strange that my movie going experience is more about what happened during the movie than what happen in the movie.

That first movie was the Muppet Movie, but I don’t remember many of the details of Kermit and Fozzie and their cross country adventure. What I do remember was that it was something special. And that I was little enough that whoever took me had to put their purse on the seat next to me so the seat would not fold me up in it.

That experience shaped much about what I think of the movie experience. Things have changed over the years but I still think of going to the movies as a very special treat that I only get to do every so often.

A few years after I got to see my first movie, my parents piled my brother and I in the back of the station wagon and we went to our first drive-in movie. Again as interesting as the movies were, we saw Condroman and The Last Flight Of Noah’s Ark, what I remember about that movie was the Japanese Satellite that burned up as it re-entered the atmosphere as we watched. It streaked across the sky for what seemed like a really long time.

When we moved to Germany going to the movies again changed. The on base theater was always packed so the experience was as much about getting through the huge line and sitting in a theater with hundreds of other people as it was about watching the movie. Also there was the fact that we never got to see movies when they first came out, they were almost always a year late. But I do remember seeing Ghostbusters with my brother sitting next to me and thinking it was very cool.

Fast forward a half dozen years or so and the first real date I went on with my wife-to-be was a movie, I think it might have been Sibling Rivalry but I don’t know for sure. What I do know was who sat next to me and how that made me feel. Between that time and the first time I took my wife to a drive-in, when my wife told my mother that it didn't matter what movie we were going to see, I don’t remember going to the movies at all. It is possible that I did, but it must not have been a very memorable experience. By the way, that time we saw Dragon Heart and Rob Roy.

Since then and now, I have gone to the movies a few times, the greatest times are always the first times with each of the kids. We saw the first Vegitales Movie,  Kung Fu Panda, Toy Story 3 and Despicable Me, and several others in the middle each time for the first time with a new kid. Watching them see a movie on the big screen for the first time is always something special.

Most recently I went to a movie for the first time where it was the movie I was really after and not the experience. I went to see Brave, a fantastic movie by the way, but again this turned out to be one of those experiences anyway. I went to see it with my wife instead of with my kids. This is something kind of new for us since our oldest is finally old enough to stay with the younger kids for a couple of hours. We sat in the theater and held hands like we were a couple of teens again.

But as in the past this movie experience ended up being as much about the experience as it was about the movie. For the first time ever, I went to see a movie more than once while it was still “In the theater.” The second time I took the kids to see the movie and I am glad that I did because that movie was really something special.

Jeff Hite is primarily a husband and father, but when he is not at home playing with the ever growing number of kids he is an IT professional by day. In his "spare time" he is a writer, one of the co-founders of Flying Island Press, and a co-editor of A Method to the Madness a Guide to the Super Evil. He lives by the motto: "I am a pirate your rules don't apply." You can find out more about him and his rather crazy life at Something I've been enjoying on his site is his Stories 365, where he is writing a story bit by bit for a year. Pretty cool idea, and one that inspired me to upload the pages of my novel The Meadowhill Ghost as I write them longhand. A big thanks to Jeff for kicking this off with the first submission.


  1. I didn't mention that probably my favorite movie (that I didn't see in a theater) when I was growing up was Explorers My friends and I were determined to get into space. I even have a picture somewhere of a space ship we built. Anyway. That was one of the memories I didn't include.

  2. Which is why it's awesome to have a comments section. :) Thanks Jeff for expanding on your movie memories. I loved your post. I can really relate to it. Taking my oldest to the movies for the first time was awesome! We saw How To Train Your Dragon. He loved it! So did I :). Thanks again for being my front man Jeffrey. You rock.