Established May 2010.

Gordie: Do you think I'm weird?
Chris: Definitely.
Gordie: No man, seriously. Am I weird?
Chris: Yeah, but so what? Everybody's weird.

Film Critic for Twin Cities Live

Member of THE LAMB: The Large Association of Movie Blogs LAMB #1588

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Making Memories at the Movies

When I first started this blog two and a half years ago, it was not solely focused on movies. In between writing about the movies, posting little reviews, and giving my Oscar predictions, I also wrote about my general thoughts and rants regarding my chaotic life at the time. In my second post, I wrote about my grams. She was an amazing woman that left us last December. Today, October 3, would have been her 88th birthday. I feel like I have come to handle death fairly well. These memories I have with her helped me get through her funeral, and I hope my positive disposition helped some of my other family members on that day as well. She was pretty witty and funny, often times in the end saying something somewhat inappropriate.

I will never forget all of the memories I have with Grams that involved us going to the movies when I was a child. I swear, I made her take me to some of the dumbest movies and some of the best movies that came out and really everything in between. Somehow she went along with it. These trips to the theater often came on the days I didn't have school. I would call her up a day or two before to see if she was interested and she would always say, "Oh, sure. We can do that." On the morning of, I would scour the movie selections with a pen or highlighter to find whatever was playing at the Northtown 4, Apache 6, Pavilion Crossroads, or Har Mar Theaters. Unfortunately, all of those movie houses are now torn down and have become something else. To this day, I can still smell the popcorn at the Northtown 4 and close my eyes and visualize what all of those theaters looked like to a "T".

She made quilts for my brother and I one Christmas when we were young. If I remember correctly, Adam's quilt was decorated in football themes. My quilt consisted of movie titles stitched into every square. Sister Act, Star Trek, Mr. Holland's Opus, and of course, Stand By Me were just some of the titles. The quilt is now worn down and sits in the linen closet. I have a newer one currently adorning the guest bed.

Like I said, we saw a variety of movies. I have distinct memories of seeing Jack the Bear with Danny DeVito at the Apache 6. We were two of probably six people total in the theater. I remember getting so scared during the ending that she held my hand to get me through it. We went to the department store Banks afterwards to make up for it. After we saw Mission: Impossible at Har Mar, we got ice cream at Lunds on Silver Lake Road. Both Har Mar and Lunds are no longer there. We sat through some dreadful movies like Waterworld and Spawn. My brother,Adam, picked out Spawn and I will never forget how he loved it and Grams and I were severely disappointed. Needless to say, he didn't have a say in the next movie after that. One of our favorites was Mr. Holland's Opus, a beautiful movie starring Richard Dreyfuss as a high school band teacher who had a massive impact on his students. I am pretty sure I cried at the ending of that one. Now comes the movie that I was so embarrassed I brought her to see. I'm sure we all have those movies that we were so uncomfortable watching with our parents or grandparents.....Drum roll, please.....EYES WIDE SHUT. Yes.Yes.Yes. You read that correctly. The infamous Cruise/Kidman/Kubrick movie. Kubrick had died before the film was released. I was just dying to see it even though I knew very little about it, apparently not enough to know it most definitely was not a good choice for a grandmother/grandson trip to the theater. We went to the very first showing on opening day at Wynnsong 16 in Mounds View and I will never forget it. I mean, how do you forget seeing a movie with your precious grandmother that has a masked orgy sequence in it.

As I grew older and moved on in life, our trips to the theater became less and less. Her health began to decline, and she was no longer able to drive. In college, I remember taking her and my mother to the theater here and there during Thanksgiving or Christmas breaks. Even into the later years, she would always join us for the traditional movie and dinner to celebrate my birthday. She was one hell of a fighter, but it was her time. On those days when something random will trigger a memory of Grams, I take a moment think about these memories at the movies or even one of her witty one-liners. I have a good chuckle and carry on.
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  1. What a wonderful post, Paul! Brought me to tears! I feel so very blessed to have known Grams and to have you and your whole family in my life.

    1. Jaime-
      Thanks for the kind words. We are blessed to have you in our lives too. You are an amazing friend and Grams always loved having you over.

  2. Paul, thank you so much for sharing these wonderful memories. I've read this 3 times now and sobbed every time. Grams was an amazing woman and I am so grateful that the two of you had that special bond. I know she loved going to movies with you and that made her very happy. She would be very proud of you today.

    I love you,