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A Flash and Glimpse: What's the First Movie You Remember Seeing?

By Mike Roorda | Comment Diversions | August 9, 2013 | Comments ()


flight-of-the-navigator.jpg

I remember a scared boy running through a dark wood and falling into a deep hole. I remember a giant, jaw dropping chrome spaceship shaped like a pointy pear. I remember feeling sad that the same boy who fell into the hole didn’t know where (or when) his parents were. Most of all I remember his little brother, who was actually older than him at that point in the story, setting off fireworks from his rooftop so that the lost older (but actually younger) brother and a friendly alien could navigate their way home. “Compliance!” The year was 1986, the movie was Flight of the Navigator, and according to my mental math I was about four years old.

It was the first movie my parents ever took me to see in the movie theaters. A relatively safe choice as it was produced by Walt Disney, it also happens to be the earliest memory of a movie (or any media really) that I can summon. The fear I had in some of the tense scenes was a real and visceral thing, staying with me to this day. The sorrow I felt at David’s loss of his family from 1978 when he became stranded in 1986 was deep and as real to me as anything else in my four year old life. I don’t actually remember my initial reaction to the ending from that first viewing, the naked terror and sorrow being the more lasting images in my mind.

I’ve gone back to Flight of the Navigator more than a few times since then, and can honestly recommend it as an entertaining 80’s flick that holds up relatively well. The story is that of a young boy who is scooped up by a friendly alien in 1978 and then time travels eight years into the future, meeting up with his family in 1986 not having aged a day since his disappearance. When their missing son shows up on their doorstep again, no older than when he vanished, of course the parents are worried and the authorities ( and NASA!) become involved. Paul Reubens voices the alien for a portion of the film in his classic Pee Wee Herman voice, and a young Sarah Jessica Parker makes an appearance as a filly that someone feeds sugar cubes and carrots to.*

So what is the first piece of movie or television media that you remember? What’s the first flash of entertainment burned into your young and impressionable brain? Have you gone back to watch it again since, and if so, has it held up?

*I blame any misremembered facts on my young and overly impressionable brain interpreting things as I saw them, rather than as they actually were.




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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • PollyQ

    "The Sound of Music" -- I was about 5, so this would have been 1971-72. Fell completely in love with it then, still love it now.

  • meadowdancer

    Also was going to say the next movie that I remember was Bambi. Am still angry at my parents for having my brothers and I watch that. I remember crying and bawling and grabbing my mother and not understanding why I felt such fear.

  • meadowdancer

    The Goonies. I remember that I was freaking in love with Josh Brolin's character (I was 8 and was so confused) and was so scared about One Eyed Willie. I remember all of the scenes and the location shots were gorgeous. I had no idea that it was supposed to be based in Oregon but remember falling in love with everything and wanting to move there :-)

  • PerpetualIntern

    The Neverending Story. I loved that movie so hard, despite being terrified of the wolf and still being traumatized by Artex's death.

  • BabyBearStrikesAgain

    I grew up in South America but I knew all the words to The Sound of Music before I could even speak English so I'm assuming I watched that a lot. The early Disney movies, particularly Sleeping Beauty. Clearly remember E.T. and being scared (also very confused by the concept of Halloween). We didn't go to the theater very often, but I very clearly remember going to see The Land Before Time with my grandmother at an actual movie theater.

  • Salieri2

    Can we spin this off into a Why The Hell Did My Parents Let A Kid My Age Watch This thread?

  • Berry

    Yes! My parents were so weirdly inconsistent about what they let me watch too. Bambi was completely verboten because it was Disney. But then I was totally allowed to watch North and South, the series about American civil war with Patrick Swayze, I guess because it was historical and therefore educational. But I was ten or eleven and there was a lot of sex and violence in that. Or at least that's how I remember it.

    Although to be fair to my parents, there might be a lot of sex and violence in Bambi as well. I wouldn't know, because I still haven't seen it.

  • Salieri2

    There's a bit of violence in Bambi. No sex that I recall, despite a bunch of horny rabbits and skunks and whatnot milling around at points.

    Shit I Should Not Have Seen At My Age: probably the 1982 TV film of the (touring version of?) Sweeney Todd with Angela Lansbury and George Hearn. Jesus, how horrifyingly awesome and horrifying. I had not been aware musicals could be like that.

  • Berry

    The first movie I can both remember seeing from beginning to end and put a name to: Peau d'Ane, or Donkey Skin, which is a fairy-tale adaptation comedy/musical by Jacques Demy. I watched it with my mom, and she read the subtitles for me. I must have been five.

    Yes, that probably sounds nauseatingly pretentious, but it's the truth. Allow me to explain. My mom had been a hard-line communist in the 70's, and even though she had given up most of the ideology by the time I was a kid, she still didn't want her children exposed to imperialist American culture. So Disney movies were completely out of question in our house. And she was also quite strict about violent or scary content. But apparently a movie were a widowed king wants to marry his own daughter was okay though. I do remember loving it. It was beautiful and magical and just a little bit scary.

    However, the are a couple of movies from my childhood that very nearly haunt me still because I can't remember what they were called and so can't revisit them either which leaves me wondering whether they really existed in the first place. One was a cartoon (presumably European or Soviet production, due to my mother's aforementioned antipathy to Disney and all things American) where an thing that eats books (a bookworm?) tells a scary story about a captured princess and a prince that saves her or something. It was deemed too scary for me, and I had to go to bed twenty minutes in. The other one was a live action fairy-tale type of thing with a plot similar to Ladyhawk, a Mathew Broderick vehicle, but it wasn't Ladyhawke. I may never find out what those films were and it's tremendously frustrating.

    ETA And don't even think of telling me to google. There are things that even the almighty google doesn't know.

  • Salieri2

    Hey Berry, if you dig-but-are-pissed-by-the-inherent-insanity-of Donkey Skin, consider reading Robin McKinley's Deerskin. It explores the creepiness of the incest in a much more satisfactory way, though I should emphasize, trigger warning.

  • Berry

    Robin McKinley has been on my radar for some time, but you know how it is: so many books, etc, etc. I didn't know she had retold donkey skin, so thank you for the tip. It was one of my favorite fairy tales as a child, because of the creepy factor. And the princess seemed to me pretty resourceful. I do like fairy-tale retellings, when done well. Angela Carter is a favorite.

    Unfortunately though, McKinley hasn't been too well translated which means most of her work is not available in any of the local libraries. So before my self-imposed book buying embargo is lifted, Deerskin will have to wait. Boo.

  • Fleur

    Could it have been the 1985 Cinderella version with Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Beals?

  • Berry

    Thank you for the suggestion, but most likely not. I don't think it was an American movie. And the plot really resembled Ladyhawk in that my movie also featured two lovers who transformed into an animal in turns, one for the night and one for the day. I don't remember if it was the same animal for both of them, but the girl at least turned into a goose. And there was a witch who could transform into anything and was therefore called "thousand faces" or something liked that. And then there were brothers who could feel everything one of them felt, so if one of them cut his hand, all of them would feel pain in their hands. If one of them was drowning, all of them would feel like drowning and so on. Those brothers at one point tried to kill and eat the girl in her goose form.

    I don't know if a movie like that even exists, to be honest. My mind might have taken several plot points and elements from different stories and put them all together to make that one awesome film that I thought I loved as a kid. There is at least one book like that in my head. An absolutely amazing fantasy adventure for kids that I'm pretty sure doesn't exist and is actually an amalgamation of Dark is Rising, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (and maybe also Magician's Nephew) and Elidor. My mind is a weird place to live in sometimes.

  • Fleur

    The Sound of Music, which made me develop a highly inappropriate crush on Captain von Trapp (seeing that I was about 5 or 6 years-old a the time). To this day I still find older men incredibly attractive. I also blame this movie for my penchant to break into song whenever I find myself in open spaces.

  • wiwille

    I do recall seeing Star Wars in 1978 (they rereleased it about every six months at the local dollar, then 50 cent, theatre), but my sister kept crying, so the projectionist took pity on us and let us watch the rest of the movie from the booth.

  • Bodhi

    The cartoon Oliver movie & I HATED it. I think the next one I saw was Who Framed Roger Rabbit &, though I couldn't have been much older when I saw that one, I loved it.

    Edit: I remember seeing a lot of the 80s movies other folks have mentioned (Land Before Time, Last Unicorn, American Tail, etc) & loosing my shit. Either those movies really are traumatizing to a little kid or I was super sensitive

  • e jerry powell

    I can't really remember. What I do remember is my brother and I in the back of the station wagon at a drive-through (I keep telling you people that I'm old), so I would have been about five or so, and I don't remember much of the movie because I fell asleep. That was kind of the point of being in the back of the station wagon, I assume.

  • DeltaJuliet

    The drive-in, maybe?
    My first movie memory was also at the drive-in. It was a double screen and although I don't remember which movie we were seeing (Sleeping Beauty maybe?) I do remember Jaws was playing on the screen behind us and I kept turning around to see if they would show the big shark.

  • Mrs.P

    The first movie I remember was also my first date. He was 7 and I was 5. We went to see The Last Unicorn. His mom sat in the row behind us, and he held my hand when the firebull scared me. He was such a gentleman! ;)

  • Justin Kuhn

    I thought this comment thread was about something much different. When I was younger the TV and videotapes were a restricted commodity, and there was never any cable. I watched a lot of Winnie the Pooh tapes.

    The first time I remember seeing a live action film was when I walked into the room where my dad was watching some war movie. The most vivid shot I recall was a blond soldier looking over his shoulder, in a closer medium shot, as bullets ripped into his back. You didn't see him "realize" what had happened, or fall, or scream; it just cut away to planes or guns, which made me think about finality in some vague way. The blood squibs were only accompanied by some low, meaty thumps as the bullets struck the young soldier's flesh, their gun silent in the space of the shot. I didn't know shit about squibs or sound effects at the time, I was 3. I only learned that man was dead, and that it could happen to anyone, in between one instant and the next.

    Later, I went to film school.

  • Jill

    The first movie memory is also my first memory in life: watching National Lampoons Vacation at a drive in in 1983.

  • blacksred

    I dont remember the first movie, possibly The Hand. But I definitely remember the first movie we watched at home on our state of the art Fisher VCR - robocop!!! First movie I saw with my mom that was R Rated - Steven Seagal Hard to Kill

  • sweetfrancaise

    I remember seeing An American Tail, but looking the year up, I would have been two years old... they must have re-released it when I was a bit older. Regardless, it traumatized me because Fievel couldn't find his parents and I couldn't think of anything worse. Called my grandpa Papa after that. I also remember seeing Oliver & Company, when I was 4, which I liked, but I know I haven't seen since.

  • Another ancient, here:

    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - first grade field trip to RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL. I'm sure I'd seen movies before then, but I do not remember them.

    TV Shows - Batman and Lost In Space. I'm sure that there were I Love Lucy episodes and the like.
    ~~~

  • John G.

    It's not the first movie I can remember seeing, but I was obsessed with Flight of the Navigator as a kid. I'd still give just about anything for that spaceship.

    well, I don't need Pee Wee Herman as the ship's computer. I'd change that.

  • Include Me Out

    I remember sitting in the dark and watching An American Tale. I wanted to draw all the mice when I got home. It was the beginning of a long obsession with animated films. I wanted to draw every character in every movie after that. I still sketch Mufasa on the margins today... as for TV, vaguely remember Bruce Willis & Cybil Shepherd on Moonlighting, nothing specific, just those 2 bantering.

  • emmalita

    I just looked up the three earliest movies I remember making an impression on me, Dersu Uzala, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and The Man Who Skied Down Everest. All three movies are from 1975, when I was 6 - 7. I know my parents took me to see a lot of movies, they usually had a choice between seeing a movie and getting a baby sitter. But those are the three movies I remember seeing as a child.

  • Strand

    Casper, the live action one. Yeah, I saw movies before that but I was born in '88 and that was my first cinema experience. I loved it but haven't seen it since and I'm sure my rosy-hued nostalgia will be ruined if I tried.

  • treatment_bound

    It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World---mid 60's.

  • kirbyjay

    Oh Gawd, yeah, and I think it was in Cinerama

  • JamesE

    Milo and Otis on VHS at my grandparents. That movie still appeals to me

  • brite

    101 Dalmations 1961...I probably saw it 1962 when I was 3 in a small but beautiful (and sadly gone) 1930's art deco theatre in a small prairie town.
    Also...most of the people here are really young, or it maybe that I am, in fact, old.

  • kirbyjay

    My mother took me to see101 Dalmatians for my 8th birthday ( also in one of those art deco theaters in the center of town) so that was about 1962. Yeah I'm old too, but I still love dogs.

  • marigi

    Cartoon: Snow White, film: ET I guess. It's the first that comes to mind. At the theatre without my parents I clearly remember Temple of Doom.

  • scotankhamen

    first one i remember was Disney's "The Boatniks" at a drive-in in Schertz, Texas. 1970, or 1971. I would have been either 3, or 4.

    First non-Disney movie was "Jaws" in 1975. Woulda been 8. Woody Woodpecker cartoon played right before it :-)

  • llp

    Star Wars! I was only about 3, and my parents took us all to the drive-in - we snuggled down in the blankets, and I fell asleep right after Darth Vader burst into Leia's ship. Awesome.

  • Michelle

    The first movie I remember seeing in its entirety is the '86 Transformers movie. I remember thinking it was SO scandalous that a character said "shit".

  • VohaulsRevenge

    In the theaters? "The Right Stuff". Still one of my top ten favorite movies.

  • flickfan

    My grandmother took me to see "The King and I" around the time I turned five. (Yup, I'm that old.) Don't remember much about it, but the whole experience of sitting in a dark theater watching a huge screen enthralled me. And perhaps that early exposure to Yul Brynner's masculine charisma explains why I married a bald-headed man.

  • ronniedobbs

    E.T. My mom had to carry me out of the theatre because i was hysterical when E.T. died. I was about four. I found out later that he comes back to life, but that movie still freaks me out. The men in the suits...E.T. in the river and then on the bathroom floor with Elliot...it's really a scary movie for a four year old. Even now it seems deliberately creepy, rather than a feel-good story about a boy and an alien.

  • Bistro

    I was 4 when Return of the Jedi hit theaters for the first time. I don't really remember much of the movie. All I remember is that it was sold out and they were selling standing-room-only tickets. We had to stand at the very top of the aisle for the entire movie. I remember the crowd more than the movie. It's my first movie memory, and maybe the oldest memory I have period.

  • TheAggroCraig

    Transformers: The Movie, you cannot imagine the emotional swing my little kid brain went through when I saw Optimus Prime first do that bitchin' backflip while shooting to YOU GOT THE TOUCH, YOU GOT THE POWEEEERRRRRRRRRRRR and then fucking DIE 10 minutes later. No idea how I recovered.

  • googergieger

    Probably something starring Pedro Infante or Cantinflas. Mexican, bitches.

  • AvaLehra

    Nosotros Los Pobres! Ustedes Los Ricos! (But Pepe El Toro was just meh.)

  • MrFroggie

    I don't remember it, but apparently Snow White was the first movie I saw in a theater. They figured it was tame so nothing would make me go nuts. But the first one I actually remember was Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. God, that was a fantastic movie.

  • Three_nineteen

    I know I saw Star Wars when I was 6. Before that, I want to say I saw Mary Poppins when I was about 4, but unless it was a rerelease for the 10th anniversary or something I am remembering incorrectly.

  • Re-released Snow White at the Folkestone cinema during the early 90s. Maybe even 90. Fond memories of the Flight of the Navigator from a similar period as well.

  • The first one I remember was The Muppets Take Manhattan, and I was six.

  • Mitchell Hundred

    A local movie theatre used to do this thing where they'd take a bunch of old Looney Tunes and string them back to back until they reached feature length. My mom used to take me and my sister to those all the time, until they stopped doing it.

    Shut up, it was shown in a movie theatre and it was longer than 80 minutes. That makes it a movie in my book.

  • PDamian

    First movie on a big screen: Peter Pan, the Disney version. And not in a theatre, but at DeAnza Drive-In, in San Jose, CA.

    First movie on TV that I can remember: Horror at Party Beach, part of the line-up for "Creature Features" with Bob Wilkins on KTVU, Channel 2, San Francisco. (This explains so much about me.)

    "Watch Horror Movies -- Keep America Strong!"

  • JaB

    Jim- Got you beat.
    1st movie- Tom Jones, I was seven?- but there was a conference between the usher and my parents, and my mom and I went home. But brother (11) and sister (13) got to stay. Go figure.
    1st movie all the way through- Dr. Strangelove

  • Salieri2

    Tom Jones is awesome, because Albert Finney is a god and Susannah York was both smart and BANGIN.

  • The Land Before Time. I was more interested in looking towards the back to figure out how the projector worked than in actually watching the movie. I like to think of my dad getting annoyed at the idea that I was a waste of a ticket purchase as his discouragement of a 4 year-old future scientist. Either that or maybe 4 year-olds with ADD shouldn't go to movie theaters.

  • Jim

    I'm an ancient in this group, so {sigh} it was Ski Party from 1965

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

    Yvonne Craig (BatGirl eventually), James Brown, DRAG! and Leslie Gore singing "Sunshine Lollipops"!!

    I was about 7 and my sisters (late tweens at the time) had to baby-sit but felt like a movie. The only clear memory I have is the Leslie Gore number on the bus and thinking how much fun it all sounded.

    I think that movie made me predisposed to enjoy travelling or it might have made me gay. Or both. Whatev's.

    {softly} Sunshine Lollipops and Rainbows...

  • lowercase_see

    Big screen? Home Alone. I was ... 5?

    The red eyes in the radiator scared me so badly I screamed till they took me out of the theater. I still don't do horror well. What? Shut up! Am not a wuss. Ugh. You suck.

  • Wigamer

    Get ready--Holocaust, the miniseries. Good job, Mom.
    ETA--Google tells me I was four at the time.

  • BWeaves

    For some reason, I want to say Pinnochio, but I'm not sure that's right. It came out in 1940.

    It was most likely Mary Poppins, followed by Sound of Music.

  • Bea Pants

    The Fox and the Hound. The only clear memory I have of it is leaping into my father's lap in sheer terror during the bear scene.

  • DeltaJuliet

    And I cried and cried when Copper "died". (I can't remember now, did he actually die or did he come back in the end? It was the old days so he probably just died. That would never happen in a movie today)

  • PerpetualIntern

    No one dies but I also was so traumatized I don't think I could watch it again.

  • gorge jung

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit. I was just about to turn 4. I remember being terrified of Christopher Lloyd and the dip scene. Then a year later I remember seeing Ninja Turtles and I remember a kid running up and down the isle yelling DAMN! like Raphael randomly throughout the movie. I was jealous.

  • A. Smith

    My second and third movies from a theater going aspect. If anything scared me in Roger Rabbit with Doom it was he reveal. That crazy voice change freaked me out.

  • MisterMJ

    Rocky III. My dad and I stood in line what seemed like 10 miles long (more like 100 people) and for 2 hours (more like 20 minutes). I was little kid but had watched and loved the first two Rockys. But watching the third edition live ... it was so exciting and some in the audience were treating it like a real-life sporting event (i.e. cheering the fight scenes).

    But this experience was most memorable because when ... SPOILER ALERT ... Mick dies and Rocky starts blubbering, I cried like I've never cried before right there in my seat - the whole, visceral "can't-catch-my-breath, hiccuping crying." Kinda like Julianne Moore. I couldn't believe it. How could Mick die? What would Rocky do now? My dad - being a manly man - could only give me a look best described as are you friggin' kidding me. The group of people around me tried to reassure/shush me, "It's OK, It's OK ... don't worry, don't worry." I remember vividly one person saying, "Mick was really old, he was gonna die one of these days anyways."

    An older gent sitting next to us got up and returned with a box of Junior Mints for me. Thanks, faux-father.

  • RipCity

    the first movie i saw in theatres was Twister. Flying Cows FTW

  • Batman. I was 5 and remember being obsessed not just with the movie, but with all the toys and even trading cards (which I found in the attic a while back). It held up ok until the Dark Knight Trilogy. Now I can barely watch it. But I give it a lot of credit for getting me into Batman in general.

  • Margrete

    The first movie I remember seeing was The Secret of NIMH. My grandfather bought it for me on VHS, to watch when I visited him. And it freaked me out. The mouse lady and her family were nice and all, but the rats were just disturbing. Seeing as I didn't have that many other things to do at my gradfather's than to watch it, it eventually grew on me. I still love it dearly.

  • Meli_V

    Star Wars, I was 3 1/2 and the scene which stuck out to me the most was Luke and Leia swinging from ledge to another.

  • kinoumenthe

    The Island at the Top of the World, 1974, but I probably saw it in 75 when it came out in my country. I was 5 years old and I very vividly remember the last part of the film with the heroes fleeing into a great ice hole in the ground and discovering the great Whales Cemetery at the other end.
    Looking it up on wiki, I just discovered it was a novel adaptation by a certain John Whedon, who turns out to be none other than Joss's grand-father.
    The world of American scenarists is a small one.

  • hindulovegod

    Star Wars! My mom and her sisters and friends took me with them to the drive-in. I became obsessed with all things Darth Vader. My Halloween costume? Vader! Favorite toy? Vader action figure. All my Legos? In service of Vader and his grand plans. I was only four and a girl, but good taste knows no boundaries.

  • Sars

    The God Father - It was right after the Iran-Iraq war and VHS was illegal in Iran-- I remember being a kid watching it on VHS and having no idea why Sonny was banging that nice lady against the wall.... oh and yes we were watching this at a family gathering with lots of aunts, uncles and cousins around...

  • Stephanie

    Robin Hood (the Disney cartoon). I bought the DVD a few years back and was pleased to discover that I still knew most of the song lyrics.

  • DeltaJuliet

    Is that the one where Robin Hood is a fox? I love that one....

  • My earliest vivid movie watching memory was seeing Homeward Bound in the theater with my mother. I was 5. When *SPOILER ALERT* Shadow and Peter are reunited at the end, I threw myself in my mom's lap and sobbed. My mom tried to console me by telling me that I should be happy because the faithful old dog had found his boy, and I could barely choke out that I was happy and that's why I was crying. That movie still gets me, cheesy as it is.

  • Captain_Tuttle

    Freebie and the Bean. At a drive-in. My parents wanted to see it, but couldn't find a sitter, so they made up the backseat like a bed, and off we all went. I'm afraid to check the year of the movie, lest I make myself feel very sad and old.

  • Star Wars was definitely close to my first. Not sure about the absolute first. I remember seeing Silver Streak in the drive-in.

  • Brooke

    The Last Unicorn. I can remember being terrified of the Red Bull and the talking skeleton. I watch it at least once a year now and I always wonder what the hell my parents were thinking, letting me watch it when I was four. It's a beautiful movie, but so very dark.

  • I watched this movie multiple times a week for a very long time as a child. My parents should be sainted for listening to Mia Farrow warble that often.

  • AvaLehra

    Jaws -- I was three. I saw it with my mom and older sisters. Oddly enough, instead of being traumatized, there began my love for horror films. Also seen with my mom and sisters: Suspiria. I was five. FIVE, people.

  • Arran

    Return of the Jedi in a theatre. I was three.

  • narfna

    Snow White in the theater. My mom took me when I was three because she thought it would be a cute first movie for me, but as soon as it got to the part in the forest where the trees have eyes and they start clawing at Snow White, I started screaming and crying. I'm positive the only reason I remember seeing this is because it was traumatic. My next memory isn't until about three years later, with The Little Mermaid and The Quiet Man.
    (My childhood film-watching consisted of a disproportionate amount of Disney and John Wayne movies mixed together . . . I might have issues because of it.)

  • We saw a Snow White re-release sometime in the 90s with a few other families. Most of the kids sat in one row with the parents in the row behind us. There was a definite age divide between those of us that were cool with the scene in the forest and the younger kids that scrambled over the backs of the seats into the closest familiar lap they could find.

  • Jiffylush

    The first movies I remember seeing were the older Disney ones. My grandmother would take me to the theater in the afternoon to see them. The first one I really remember was Song of the South. This was in the late 70s, which was apparently before Disney realized that some people might find it offensive.

  • DenG

    The Ten Commandments at a NC drive-in with the whole family in a 1964 blue Ford station wagon. Haven't thought of that in years.

  • Etaoin_Sherdlu

    The Absent Minded Professor, the 1960 one with Fred MacMurray.
    Or it could be Journey to the Center of the Earth, seen at the drive-in that same year.
    Either way, I was five years old and they instilled a love of Cinefantastique that never went away.
    Gosh, I'm old.

  • kyrailbird

    I love posts like these, because then I have a chance to show everyone just how old I am! :P

    Anyway, I remember my mom taking me to see 'Dumbo' at the theater, and I clearly remember crying when he was taken from his mother.
    The first 'grown-up' movie I got to see (I would say 'adult', but I wouldn't want to give you the wrong impression!) was 'The Sting'. I was 5 or 6 years old, and I still remember the first time Robert Redford smiled. I was smitten. Sigh.... :)

  • I'm pretty sure it was a screening of Bambi while we were visiting my grandparents in Fort Lauderdale (we were looking for a place to sit in a/c for a while). If not, then it was The Secret of Nimh which I was attending as a guest at a birthday party and the electricity went out while the movie was on. Both experiences were traumatic for a six-year-old. Obviously.

  • Salieri2

    Secret! Not Rats! God, I just mangled the movie title in some other Pajiba thread. I feel awful.

  • Don't feel too bad - the book's title was Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, so you weren't too off track, if at all. :)

  • birdgal

    My memory is certainly hazy, but the first movie I ever saw in a theater is one of two--Cinderella (1981 re-release) or ET. I would have been 7 in 1982 for ET and I'm pretty sure I'd seen a movie in a theater before then, but it's too long ago for me to remember correctly (though ET is probably the most clear memory I have).

  • Dennis

    The first movies I saw in the theaters was Herbie the Love Bug (1982) and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. I remember nothing from the first but the car, but the second shaped my imagination and got my 14-year-old self to read Moby Dick.

  • A. Smith

    It's weird because prior to 1988 I barely remember anything. That said, of my few memories prior I remember seeing An American Tail for Christmas in theaters (math: 3 yo in '86, 29 yo today). Like I said, I can't remember much from the movie (then) only that the giant mouse freaked me out.

  • Bodhi

    That movie made me cry hot little-kid tears because there ARE cats in America!

  • ljridley

    I don't remember the first movie I saw in a theater. But my dad used to work in a film library at a university and he brought movies home (along with a pop up screen and projector). "Yellow Submarine" was one of them. It was really boring. Much better as a 23 year old on LSD.

  • hindulovegod

    We also screened "Yellow Submarine" at home. It made me really seasick, so my family turned it off.

  • rabbi

    NYC 1977 Star Wars with my father, started the day at his office in mid town, where a co worker told me about the two 'robots' who steal the movie- they reminded him of Abbot and Costello.

  • cmatthews11

    I distinctly remember watching the Invaders from Mars (1986) when I was around 5 or 6.

  • kirbyjay

    There was a 50s version of that I remember watching. Strange Martians running through tunnels....so long ago...
    Hayley Mills was my idol when I was a kid, so Pollyanna is not the first movie I remember, but I remember it so vividly that it should count.

  • Nessun

    Tremors. I remember my dad being forced to take my sister and I - since it was rated AA and we needed adult accompaniment. My youngest sister went to see The Little Mermaid with my mom, but no - we were bigger girls and we wanted Giant Evil Underground Snakes. My younger sister had nightmares for weeks, and I...have adored giant snake movies ever since.

  • Salieri2

    This whole valley is just one long shmorgasbord!!

  • Natallica

    It was "Airplane!". I was about 5 or 6, I didn't understand half of the jokes and still I laughed my little ass off. It is still one of my favorite movies ever

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