Let’s play movie trivia. I will give you clues, and you guess the name of the movie. What movie featured ruby slippers and flying monkeys? What movie had a dead horse’s head appear in a man’s bed? What movie had priests trying to rid a girl of the devil inside her who gave her the power to turn her head all the way around and spit green goop? The answers are The Wizard of Oz, The Godfather, Part 1 and The Exorcist. These are easy because movies make memories. I saw The Wizard of Oz at the the movie theater in Preston with my Aunt Ruthie when I was in grade school. I saw The Godfather while visiting my brother in Santa Barbara when it was brand new. My husband and I saw The Exorcist in La Crosse, Wis., and neither of us slept very well that night.
Movie culture has changed over time. It used to be a date night experience to dress up and watch a film on a wide screen with surround sound. When I was in ninth grade, a junior boy I liked a lot asked me to go to a movie in Harmony. I was nervous and excited. We saw Lawrence of Arabia, which with a cartoon and previews of coming attractions ran about three hours. He held my hand which got sweatier over time. What is a girl to do? I did nothing; he took a break to put his arm around my shoulders. My only memory of that movie is that there was a lot of sand!
In the olden days there were outdoor theaters in Spring Valley and Rochester. You would drive your car in and hook up speakers to your window. We would sneak in snacks. Girls knew to beware of outdoor movies because you were all alone in a car with a boy. Most girls insisted on double dating. The movies were never very good because theater owners knew most of the audience was not watching the film anyway so why spend the money. One memorable outdoor movie experience was when my boyfriend, who is now my husband, took me to Rochester to see Night of the Living Dead. Zombies were new, exciting and scary. So all the way home I scanned the side of the road expecting zombies to come shuffling out of the cornfields. Now zombies are old school. You can see them in movies and on television. They walk and they talk and they eat humans. Fortunately, they can’t run.
If you have children, you take them to a different kind of movie or hire a babysitter. Thelma and Louise, Fargo and Pulp Fiction are not for kids. I actually walked out before the end of Pulp Fiction because it was toooooooo much for me. I have toughened up since then by watching shows such as Game of Thrones on HB0. Nowadays with big screen TVs and streaming services, many people watch movies in their comfy pants or jammies or binge watch whatever. Movie culture has changed but people still eat while watching movies. Try this twist using taco seasoning.
Coat 1 lb. chicken tenders with taco seasoning mix. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and stir until lightly browned. Stir in 1 can (14 1/2 oz ) diced tomatoes undrained and 1/3 cup apricot preserves. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 10 min. or until chicken is cooked through. Makes 4 servings.