My Mother the Movie Freak, by Andrew Mungo

My mother was a movie freak. She would drop everything and go to the movies at the drop of a hat. We lived in Lawrence (MA) and in my growing up years, the 1950s Lawrence had what was called “theater row.” It was a street right off downtown with three large movie theaters in a row with a few more nearby. They all ran movies continually from late morning into the evening. 

So when my mother wanted to go to the movies there were always plenty of options. However my mother was so indiscriminate, so accepting of any movie that she would never bother to check what was playing or precisely when. She would just throw the kids in the car and head over to theater row. 

Her selection process involved no input from the children. She would just drive slowly, very slowly past the theaters and look at the posters in the window. When she saw a poster that appealed to her, that was colorful, had stars she liked, seemed to be a comedy or musical, she would choose that movie. Her selection was based exclusively on the poster in the window.

Recall she never checked show times. She would just march the kids into the theater whenever we got there. It would be the middle of the movie. So we’d watch til the end, sit in the dark for a while, catch the coming attractions, watch the first part of the movie, then leave. My mother figured she saw the movie. And I still watch movies that way.