12-21-11 Books, Films – Part 1
As a child, my Mom made sure we all had library cards! My earliest book memory (apart from school) is probably either the Dana Branch Library in Long Beach, CA – or the massive “Acres of Books” in downtown Long Beach, CA. I wanted to read about Groucho Marx, Harry Belafonte, The Beatles…
Crown Books, B. Dalton Bookseller, the bookstore at U.C.L.A., Larry Edmunds Cinema Bookshop, A Change of Hobbit (Westwood)…at some point, I think my Mom took me to a place in downtown L.A. to get “back issue” Mad magazines, or possibly DC comics – my sets were invariably incomplete.
My 21-Year-Old self wandered Charing Cross Road in London, England – Foyle’s, Compendium! In Paris is was Gibert Jeune, Shakespeare & Company! FNAC! Powell’s in Portland, Chapters / Indigo in Toronto! Kinokuniya Shinjuku – that’s right! It doesn’t have to be in English! Verbeelding on Utrechtsestraat in Amsterdam! Parco Book Center in Shibuya! Book Soup! Vroman’s! City Lights! Black Oak! Cody’s! Moe’s! Book Shop Santa Cruz! Bank of Books! Warwick’s! Numerous places all called some variant on “Recycled Books”…Rooks & Becords, Book Off…powerful places all.
As I grew up in the 60’s, it was TV time – and my Mom and sisters liked to go to the movies. Yes, I got taken to a lot of movies as a youngster. Two films that my Mom took me to see resulted in her going out into the lobby to have a cigarette: “200 Motels” (too weird!) and “Woodstock” (too long!) – But while in elementary school, it was possible to buy a book of tickets to go to a double feature every Tuesday (or Wednesday) during summer, when a youngster was out of school – relatively low price, maybe $3.00? “Chisholm”, “The Valley of Gwangi” – films of this nature; stuff that could be shown to children without incident. And afternoon TV in L.A. was slightly oddball, too: “Bedazzled”, “Morgan”, “The Knack”!
I only remember going to a Drive-In theatre once (twice?), with my Dad. Mostly, I went to local Long beach theatres: The Towne, The Crest – scary places too: The Rivoli, The Atlantic! The movie theatre complex that was built behind the Lakewood Center! My first “revival house” was The Art Theatre, which fortunately still exists! “O! Lucky Man!”, “La Strada”, “Swept Away”! Anything with Laura Antonelli! Later on, we all went to Filmex in Hollywood – a nifty alterna-festival where I first saw “Derek & Clive Get The Horn”!
How many times did you see “A Clockwork Orange” in a theatre? I saw it about 30 times, over the course of a year or two.
But Beta and VHS killed the need, for me. I could watch Albert Brooks’ “Real Life” in the comfort of my own home (or my friend’s home). Writing about all of this – movies used to be so important to me!