One Saturday afternoon, about 20 years ago, I had the television on while I was cleaning my apartment. At first I wasn't paying any attention to it, it was just random background white noise. Then I realized that an old Yogi Bear movie was playing. I'd always loved Yogi Bear and his little pal Boo Boo!
After a while, I took a break and found myself sitting on the couch, watching the movie.
It was springtime in Jellystone Park, and Yogi was up to his usual antics, stealing picnic baskets from unsuspecting tourists as Ranger Smith did his best to thwart Yogi's mischief. Then there was this business about the San Diego Zoo ang Yogi's girlfriend Cindy, and suddenly...it all seemed terribly...familiar. Was it just a deja vu? Or had I seen this before?
And then it all came back in a flood of memory. Hey There, It's Yogi Bear was the very first movie I had ever seen in a movie theater! I was only three years old, but I remember it with amazing clarity. The dark theater, the huge, mesmerizing screen, sitting on Mama's lap so I could see over the people in front of us.
Remember that this was back in the days before video tape, much less DVDs. Seeing a movie in a theater was a special occasion. The next time you could possibly see that movie again was years later when it ran on network television.
The next two movies I remember seeing were Mary Poppins, which I made Mama take me to at least ten times, and then The Sound of Music, which we saw probably twenty times. Clearly, we loved our musicals. Mama bought records of the soundtracks to each, and we memorized all the music and sang and sang, and both had huge impacts on me.
But that first powerful cinematic experience with Yogi Bear led to a lifelong love of movies and eventually to a career as an actor. I guess Yogi and Boo-Boo aren't exactly Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep, but they must have made an impact on my small but curious mind.
Do you remember the first movie you saw in a movie theater?
Be sure and check out Ginny Marie and my fellow First Movie spinners! And come back on Monday for next week's Spin Cycle topic!
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