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'Wizard of Oz,' the First Movie I Saw in a Theater

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My love of music began at an early age and over the years I developed an eclectic taste. Swing, Jazz, Rock and Roll, Blues, Pop.C&W !

Wizard of OZ - Off to See the Wizard

The five main characters

The five main characters

Wizard of OZ

As I sat down with my 6 year old granddaughter to watch The Wizard of Oz , I could not help considering a few things.

  • The Wizard of Oz was the first movie I had been to see in a theater. (TV had not been invented)
  • I was approximately the same age as my grand daughter when I watched the movie.
  • How impressed I must have been to still be able to sit down and watch the movie.
  • Do kids these days miss out on how good The Wizard of Oz really is by watching it on TV.

I can still remember walking across the road, It was Bourke Street in Melbourne and staring in amazement at all things wondrous.

There were Trams, probably still cable at that time (circa 194x), modern cars, (hey I didn't get out much).

I made this trip with an older sister and her two daughters, who were more like sisters to me, there was very little age difference between us!

Then we saw this magnificent cinema in all its glory. The photo shows the facade in the late 30's after the war. It was refurbished and renamed "St.James Theatre" when we made our exciting trip.

Then we got to see the movie. I just sat there gob-smacked, and when it changed from the sepia toning to full Technicolor I would be hooked on Movies for the rest of my life.

St. James Theatre

The first Cinema I  visited before being restored and renamed St.James Theatre

The first Cinema I visited before being restored and renamed St.James Theatre

The Cast

The cast of "The Wizard of Oz" included:-

  • Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale
  • Ray Bolger as Huck /The Scarecrow
  • Jack Haley as Hickory /Tin Woodman
  • Bert Lahr as Zeke /Cowardly Lion
  • Billie Burke as Glinda the Good Witch of the North
  • Margaret Hamilton as Miss Almira Gulch /The Wicked Witch of the West
  • Frank Morgan as Professor Marvel/Doorman/The Cabby/The Guard/The Wizard
  • Charles Grapewin as Uncle Henry
  • Clara Blandick as Auntie Em
  • Terry the Dog as Toto
  • The Singer Midgets as the Munchkins.

It was reported that Ray Bolger's contract with the studio stipulated that he must play any part the studio chose. He was not a happy camper however, when he was cast as the Tin Man.

The Scarecrow part had already been assigned to another up and coming lean and limber dancing studio contract player, Buddy Ebsen. (who later shot to fame as Jed Clampett in the 1960 TV hit series "The Beverly Hillbillies")

In time, the roles were switched.

While Bolger was pleased with his role as the Scarecrow, Ebsen was struck ill by the powdered aluminum make-up used to complete the Tin Man costume. The powdered aluminum badly coated Ebsen's lungs, leaving him near death. Ironically, Ebsen would outlive all the principal players of Oz.

Ebsen's illness paved the way for the Tin Man role to be filled by Jack Haley.

Trailer for The Wizard of Oz

Memories of The Wizard of OZ

My quest here is not so much tell you about The Wizard of Oz, as I am sure that you have all seen the movie, but to find out just how well anyone remembers the first time they went to a Movie Theatre, I suppose I should use the correct name, Cinema!. I would sure be interested to hear from anyone on what was their first movie experience and how well you enjoyed the outing?

Over the Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

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'Over the Rainbow' - Timeless Song

"Over the Rainbow", is in my opinion one of the best songs ever written.

"Over the Rainbow" (often referred to as "Somewhere Over the Rainbow") is a classic ballad song with music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. Harburg.

It was written for the movie The Wizard of Oz. The song's plaintive melody and simple lyrics depict a young girl's desire to escape from the "hopeless jumble" of this world, from the sadness of raindrops to the bright new world "over the rainbow." It expresses the childlike faith that a door will magically open to a place where "troubles melt like lemon-drops".

When you look around today it is still very relevant!

The song is so popular that it tops the "Songs of the Century" list compiled by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. It also topped the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Songs" list.

"Over the Rainbow" received the "best song" academy award in 1939

The song was adopted by the American troops in Europe in World War II as a symbol of the United States, the faraway land that, after long years of war, seemed like a dream beyond the rainbow.

I love this song so much that I have included three versions. There are many to choose from, I particularly like Izy's version and the late Eva Cassidy does a great cover version. The last cover is by the late Australian singer/rocker , Billy Thorpe. His version is more rock

I hope you like each of them .

Over the Rainbow - Eva Cassidy

Over the Rainbow - Billy Thorpe

Fact or Fiction

Here are some interesting things about The Wizard of Oz that I discovered doing my research, If any are not true or you have some information you would like to add just let me know and I will append it here.

  • The movie is base on a children's novel" The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W.W. Denslow.
  • It is reported that the author got the name "Oz" from a file drawer labeled "O–Z"
  • The slippers in the book were "silver" but were changed to "Ruby" in the movie for better effect.
  • Feminist author Margery Hourihan has described the book as a "banal and mechanistic story which is written in flat, impoverished prose" and dismissed the central character from the movie adaptation of the book as "the girl-woman of Hollywood". And I thought it was a feel good movie, Wow!
  • In 1967, The Seekers recorded "Emerald City" in which the vocalist sings of a visit to the Emerald City.
  • Many critics have tried to put political spin on the book and movie but the author insisted that it was written purely for no other reason than kids to enjoy.
  • For the technically minded among us, the film was photographed using the Technicolor process, and this processes entails splitting the image in the camera, thus reducing the amount of light reaching the film. All this meant that a greater amount of lighting was required. More lighting means more heat on the set and it was reportedly well over 100 degrees F on the set. There was also reports of damaged eyesight due to the heavy lighting.


Peter (author) from Australia on July 22, 2015:

G'day there Jackwms and thanks for bringing up Pinocchio it sure was a great film I think one of the first full length animation films if my memory serves me?

I love Jiminy Cricket and his 'When you wish upon a star'

I think in that era movies like Pinocchio and Wizard of Oz signalled to the world to 'not give up hope' there is a light at the end of the tunnel and with some good old G and D everything will turn out right :)

Jackwms on July 21, 2015:

The first movie I saw was Pinocchio in 1940, when I was 4 years old.

Peter (author) from Australia on July 21, 2015:

Glenn, I'm guessing from your comment that I would be a bit older than you and the Sound of Music sure had a powerful story!

For me one of the great things about the Wizard of Oz is that, regardless of age the audience can take something away from the viewing. Children the change from black and white to color, the transformation of the main characters, the demise of the evil witch etc.!

For adults the realization that while there is life there is Hope and if you keep trying you don't know what you can achieve ( now if I only had a brain) lol

I'm sure that was the intention of the producers as the whole World was going through a pretty tough time around that period of time!

Being a young boy and the last of 11 children I have vivid memories of the time after the WW and the Great Depression :)

Over the Rainbow is still right up the top there for me and I watch it whenever I get the chance :)

Thanks so much for the bump up :)

Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on July 17, 2015:

I remember going to the cinema with my parents when I was a kid. I think, as I can remember, that the first movie I saw on the big screen was The Sound Of Music. But it wasn't until I was older that I really understood and appreciated the meaning of the story.

The Wizard of Oz continues to be my favorite movie and I watch it on TV every few years. However, I don't recall ever having watched it in the cinema.

I like how the movie started in black and white and then in color while in Oz. - and then returning to black-and-white again when Dorothy woke up in Kansas. I wonder how many people actually noticed that.

I agree with you that Over the Rainbow is a wonderful song. I especially love the newer version by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole.

I enjoyed your hub a lot. Voted up. Well done.

Peter (author) from Australia on September 03, 2012:

G'day Jack and thanks for sharing your experiences with our readers.

It's funny but I guess being young when I saw Wizard of Oz I did not understand that the characters in OZ where the same characters as back in Kansas :)

Also having by now watched the movie a number of times I realise that there were a lot of 'In-Jokes' and digs at the 'Establishment' of the time. I have read somewhere that there were a number of requests by political figures for the plot to be altered in some way. Growing up in Australia and not a bit interested in Politics I have no idea what that was supposed to mean???

The Wizard of OZ never fails to entertain me especially 'Somewhere over the Rainbow' It would have to be one of my favorite songs.

It's great to know that the OZ movie is a favorite of your family. Our grandchildren have now got onto the bandwagon.

I certainly envy you for having spent time in Hawaii as everyone I know that has visited have given it glowing reports and what a great loss to the world was IZ, what an entertainer he was and seemed very true to his roots? Thanks for the tip and I will visit your hub when the opportunity arises:)

Pinocchio for me came after The Wizard of OZ and from memory was a little too sad :(, to say that I loved it! and yes maybe it was also hard to reconcile fiction and reality?

Jackwms on August 26, 2012:

An excellent hub agvulpes . Wizard of Oz is certainly an all time favorite . I am 76, but didn't see the movie until I was an adult. I've had the VCR tape for years and watched it many times with my four sons as they were growing up. My # 3 son loved the conversation between the woman, Miss Gulch (who also played the wicked witch) and the Dorothy's uncle regarding Toto.

Uncle Henry Says,"You mean, she bit you" Mis Gulch says "No, her dog" Uncle Henry says "Oh, she bit her dog, hey?"

They all loved the movie and it was probably their favorite.

I have been a fan of IZ for many years, having spent time in Hawaii. We love Hawaiian slack key guitar and ukelele music and have several CD's of IZ's music. I also used his Over The Rainbow song in my hub about The Journey.

My first movie was Pinochio which my mother took me to see when I was four years old in 1940. I remember loving it, but hard a hard time reconciling between fiction and reality.

Peter (author) from Australia on June 17, 2010:

mquee, I agree Wizard of OZ should be 'required' viewing for all children lol I still sit and watch it when it gets to re-run on TV.

Thanks for the kind comment!

mquee from Columbia, SC on June 17, 2010:

This is one movie I think all children should see. When I was young, Peter Pan starring Mary Martin also came on television but I guess it wasn't as popular as the Wizard of Oz. Great hub, bringing back old memories. Thank You.

Peter (author) from Australia on December 02, 2009:

aquaseaCreative, thanks so much for your kind comment. Strange we have the stage show 'wicked' on in Melbourne at the moment and it is breaking all sorts of records. However I'm not really interested in see the stage show.

As you say " Chk chk boom "!

aquaseaCreative on November 29, 2009:

Oh I love this hub. From the art deco cinema to the details I never knew about this movie (the toxic silver stuff for one thing). If you find yourself tempted by those new 'Wicked' books and you truly love the original - I'd suggest leaving them be. They are very different and mess with the original concept. Chk chk boom!

Peter (author) from Australia on May 27, 2009:

Are you serious , with that story you could get on Gerry Whoever or David Whathisname shows!

Our girl did it with her 'chick chick boom boom' story that was all b.s.

Christoph Reilly from St. Louis on May 27, 2009: mean the guy here? You've got to be kidding! That was big news? Uh, we haven't talked about it since the day of, but there was a thing that day where the family was upset about a will, that his live-in assistant had taken control of his life (he actually had some money) or something to that effect. I haven't heard anything about it since then, but some news people called the Mrs. when it happened because he would make appearances when she did the show and she's the public relations/advertising head.

Peter (author) from Australia on May 27, 2009:

Man I would love to see that done live and I love the Munchkins, there was a rumor about a suicide or something anything your Mrs. knows about that ?

Christoph Reilly from St. Louis on May 27, 2009:

Hey Ag: Nice job. I love this movie. My Mrs. works at the largest outdoor theatre in the states and they do it on stage periodically with a cast of hundreds. A local fellow named Micky Carroll who was one of the last surviving Munchkins passed away a couple of weeks ago. Made a career from being a Munchkin (but no one was ever quite sure which one in the movie he was. I think he made it up, but....)

Peter (author) from Australia on May 07, 2009:

Herald Daily thanks for dropping by.

I sure do remember 'Night of the Living Dead' that was a great horror movie, up there with the best of em.

Thanks for the kind words.

Herald Daily from A Beach Online on May 07, 2009:

I have to agree about the monkeys being the scarey part. Never forgot those from the first time I saw The Wizard of Oz when I was knee-hi to a grasshopper. I did like the wicked witch melting, too. Oh, and who didn't like Glynda, the good witch. :)

I've never outgrown my love of Lion. He's such a character and played so well.

Not sure but I think the first indoor theatre movie I saw was A Hard Day's Night. I very distinctly remember my first drive-in. When I was 10, my dad took my younger sister and I to see Night of the Living Dead. I've loved horror movies ever since.

I really enjoyed reading your hub, thanks for sharing.

Peter (author) from Australia on February 06, 2009:

G'day CC Riter thanks for sharing your moments of childhood . Sounds like you must have had some great Sat nights. I sure wish I had been there sounds like a Drive-In for Kids.

I can't think of who that sqirrel was ( I can only think of the Chipmonks), but I'm pretty sure you are right about the cat being Felix. He was a real cool Cat.

I wonder why your favorite character was the bad person or was it just the fact she melted away. LOL.  I fell in love with the good witch?

Thanks again for sharing.

C. C. Riter on February 06, 2009:

Great hub Ag. I had to take a trip down nostalgia lane to finally recall my first 'movie' experience. I must have been about 4 years old. Most people we knew had no TV, and if one did there wasn't much to see at that time where we lived, it would have been too 'snowy'. Anyway. a neighbor had a projector and on Sat. nights during summer he would hang a white sheet up in his backyard and show movies under the stars. We even had soda pop and popcorn. I can only recall a cartoon, I think it was Felix. I fell asleep on a blanket and awakened the next morning in my bed with no memory of the movie. I vaguely remember a monster.

My first real cinema experience was a Disney vehicle about a Squirrel, what was it called? I just cannot recall but I was about 7 years old then and my oldest sister took me to see it for 35 cents I believe.

My favorite character in Oz is Hamilton, what a superb performance she gave. thanks

Peter (author) from Australia on February 04, 2009:

G'day ripplemaker, thanks for dropping by and leaving a nice comment.

Now I could not imagine you playing anything other than the Good Witch of the North it would have been a given, surely?

Thanks again for dropping by. :-[)

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on February 04, 2009:

Hi agvulpes, I am actually trying to remember what the first movie I saw was. I am pretty sure it wasn't a kiddie one since I can't remember LOL When you talked of the Wizard of Oz, I am inclined to remember the play more because I played the Good Witch of the North. :-) But I surely enjoyed reading your first movie/cinema experience.

Peter (author) from Australia on January 25, 2009:

JamaGenee how silly of me to get that wrong. In this Land of Oz it is now 8.36 pm and a very nice 16C. So its goodnight from me!

I found out Hopy's mate it was actually "Gabby Hayes"

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on January 25, 2009:

Sorry ag, Rowdy Yates (played by Clint Eastwood) was Gil Favor's sidekick on the TV series "Rawhide".  Pulling that bit of information from the depths of Forgotten Trivia (with a *little* help from Google, for Gil Favor) used up my last working brain cell, so I'm calling it a night.

For what it's worth, right now in Oz Land it's a nippy -7C (20F but windchill makes it 10F, or -12C) with snow predicted for Sunday afternoon.  Aren't you glad it's summer where you are? ;D

Peter (author) from Australia on January 24, 2009:

G'day JamaGenee, we will have to stop meeting like this, people will talk.*smiles*.

I used to love Hopalong Cassiday movies, did he have the side kick Rowdy Yates?

Fair Dinkum about the "Toto" rag. That's as bad as Tourist's asking us if we know "Crocodile Dundee". Of course I tell them! I know him well, I taught him everything he knows.

Thanks for dropping in a leaving a nice comment. :-[)

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on January 24, 2009:

Being from Kansas, I'm still chuckling that an Aussie did such a great a hub on the movie that most native Kansans wish had been set somewhere else.  Well, except for the revenue generated from being the "Land of Ah's" (the Tourism Board's misuse of the apostrophe, not mine).

Oddly, I can't remember the first "picture show" I saw as a kid, but would've had to be a Hopalong Cassidy Saturday matinee, with a two-cartoon opener.  But I do remember first seeing the Wizard of Oz on TV.  In B&W, because color TV didn't exist, or if it did, we didn't have one.  What a surprise then when I saw it on a color set and everything turned to color when Dorothy's house landed on the Wicked Witch!  Wowwww...

Kansans who travel out of state are used to being asked "Where's Toto?".  Therefore, I can't imagine anyone finding anything "political" in the movie other than a bad rap for Kansas that it's never lived down.  Hopefully, Obama's mother and grandparents being from there will change that.

Peter (author) from Australia on January 19, 2009:

Hi Neil.

I agree with what you are saying about the sub-concious mind.

I do not think in the era this book was writen the knowledge of how strong an effect the sub-concious mind has on own behavior. So I do tend to go with the theory that Baum believed he wrote the book ,  "solely to please children of today"" .......

On the other hand how would it have looked in that day if he had written something like. " I wrote this book to show the kids what sort of bastards are running our country......."

Might be a best seller today but then, No I don't think so.

Nice analogy with Bob Dylan, that's a whole other story.

Neil, Thanks for adding a bit of spice to the Hub.

Neil Sperling from Port Dover Ontario Canada on January 19, 2009:

Interesting agvulpes - ""Both Baum and Denslow had been actively involved in politics in the 1890s. Baum never said that the original story was an allegory for politics, although he did not have occasion to deny the notion. In fact, Baum himself states in his introduction to the book to have written The Wonderful Wizard of Oz "solely to please children of today"" .......

The sub-conscious mind may have inadvertently given rise to sharing political beliefs, while consciously writing a children's story for nothing more than entertainment.

Not unlike Bob Dylan's claim that his songs were nothing more than songs. ... the wonders of the mind.  LOL

Peter (author) from Australia on January 18, 2009:

moonlake, thanks for dropping by.

Gee 1959 seems like so long ago, you sound like you have an very interesting story hiding behind that small comment?

moonlake from America on January 18, 2009:

The Wizard of Oz was the last movie I saw before heading off to Germany to meet up with our Dad in 1959.

Peter (author) from Australia on January 16, 2009:

Hi Neil, thanks for dropping in and leaving a comment

Regarding the political aspect of the movie. Please note I did have that quote in a "fact or fiction" section.

To me it is rather immaterial to politicise the movie, as it was catering to children who more than likely don't appreciate the implications of Politics. Speaking for myself at the age I saw the movie I would not have known what politics was about.

I have read the description I heard from your reference, it possibly came from the same place I got my info, it gives both versions.

""Both Baum and Denslow had been actively involved in politics in the 1890s. Baum never said that the original story was an allegory for politics, although he did not have occasion to deny the notion. In fact, Baum himself states in his introduction to the book to have written The Wonderful Wizard of Oz "solely to please children of today""

I would like your further comments.

Thanks again for the contribution I like a good discussion!

Neil Sperling from Port Dover Ontario Canada on January 16, 2009:

Not sure I agree that it is not political... where did you get this from? The author or some others quote... "Many critics have tried to put political spin on the book and movie but the author insisted that it was written purely for no other reason than kids to enjoy."

--- do a google for "wizards of money" and listen to Smithy's account of the the monetary engine, compared to the story "wizard of Oz" .... there are over 20 audios to listen to - rather enlightening info on them!


Great hub - nicely done



Peter (author) from Australia on January 16, 2009:

Thanks christine, 2000 miles is a long hike in any language. Brrrr -5 below is a bit too cold for me! Is that John Denver country?

Thanks for the kind comment.

christine almaraz from colorado springs on January 16, 2009:

aguvples- about 2000 miles apart and yes, Colorado Springs is a nicer, cooler (sometimes -5 below). Loved your hub by the way:)

Peter (author) from Australia on January 16, 2009:

christine, it sounds rather a harsh life for a youngster to be growing up in, but you sound like you adapted pretty well. Colorado Springs has a much nicer sound to it than Death Valley.? Are they far apart?

christine almaraz from colorado springs on January 16, 2009:

agvulpes- my dad is an electrician and got a job at a nearby mine in Death Valley. We lived in a small trailer park that his company set up (everyone that lived there worked at the mine). I went to school there for six years (Death Valley Elementary). The guy would come once every other week in the summer time and show us movies. He had a concession stand set up too. We had a rec. room in the trailer park that had a pool, pool tables, juke box ect. It was a pretty interesting way of life but I have fond memories of the place.

Peter (author) from Australia on January 16, 2009:

earnestshub, thanks for the kind comment,

It sure is good to remember the old days. I can recall the serials like "Superman" with Steve Reeves and " The Lone Ranger"

I don't know if it is just me but I feel that the sound in the cinemas these days is much too loud!

Peter (author) from Australia on January 16, 2009:

Angie, thanks for dropping by, sorry I haven't replied earlier!

Now that you mention it I do agree with you about those monkeys. It reminds me of the demons in the movie "Ghost" when they come to take away the bad guys. Scary!

earnestshub from Melbourne Australia on January 16, 2009:

Great hub agvulpes I enjoyed it as I usually do with your hubs.

I too remember Zorro and cartoons and Saturdy afternoon movies.

I still like to see movies in a movie theatre when I can. it is such a nice feeling of nostalgia and brings up child like feelings that are very pleasant to enjoy again.

Peter (author) from Australia on January 15, 2009:

G'day G-Ma thanks for dropping in sorry I've been kinda busy. People did not realise how good a singer Billy Thorpe was, I don't know if you have heard him sing his signature tune "Crazy"

Can you remember the name of the 2 black crows in the cartoons?

We use to throw the "jaffa's" at the bad guys on the screen as they were creeping up on The Lone Ranger. Yelling "Watch Out" "Watch Out"

"Some of the first movies I remember going to were Saturday afternoon matinee's for kids...we took our lunches and snacks with us..Z-oro.. The Lone Ranger..Tweety cartoons and Felix the Cat..Popeye..Alice in Wonderland..Blackboard Jungle...oh dear there were so many..."

I can relate to all of these! ...G-Ma :o) hugs & Peace right back at ya. :-[)

Peter (author) from Australia on January 14, 2009:

SweetiePie, you conjure up great images of the old west, You did not go off tangent that was exactly the info I was looking for.

It brings images into my mind like the old movies such as "High Noon" and "Shane"

117 degrees that sure is hot. That's about 47 degrees C. We had a town not far from us record 45 degrees today.

thanks for dropping by.

SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on January 14, 2009:

Fernance Creek is the main town in Death Valley National Park with a general store, restaurant, post office, museum and elementary school, but that is it folks. Yes and a golf course and the hotel :). There are many ghost towns nearby in the surrounding hills, and I walked deep in the mining cave with my dad back when we went camping out there.  Did I meantion it was a 117 degrees, my dad's idea of a vacation and not mine lol.  I almost took a teaching job out in Death Valley, but decided against it.  I opted for Blythe, which was not much better really.

I enjoyed your memories very much, sorry I went off tangent. The Wizard of Oz will always be a classic!

Peter (author) from Australia on January 14, 2009:

Hi christine, Death Valley, is it actually a town, pardon my ignorance but I thought it was a desert?

That would have been quite an experience, like a "drive in" without any cars, how often were you able to do that?

yes I guess like most things the first impression is the one that stays with you the longest. You must think about it everytime you watch the movie?

Thanks for dropping by and I'm glad I brought back some good memories.

Peter (author) from Australia on January 13, 2009:

Hi SweetiePie, it is hard to know where to draw the line with the old buildings, we still have old theatres in Melbourne well over 100 years old and as beautiful as ever.

Yes when I was a young boy we certainly enjoyed the simple things in life. I can remember going to the corner store with our weekly supply of coupons to get staples we take for granted, like bread and milk.

But you know what they say, you can't stop progress, but I think we should only change things if there is a benefit not just because we can. Oh well on my soap box again!

Thanks SweetiePie I hope you enjoyed hearing about my memories as I did recounting them.
















Peter (author) from Australia on January 13, 2009:

G'day Ardie, I see not everyone loves the movie now, oh well cant please everbody.

I cannot prove that all those facts are true although they do make good reading. There are a few more about suicides appearing on the finished film, not too sure about that.

I would love to have seen it as a stage show it would have been awesome, I remember my first stage show was called Kismet, and I still think its the best, although "Phantom" would certainly give it a run for its money.

I'm glad you enjoyed the Hub. Thanks for dropping by!

Angie497 on January 13, 2009:

For me, it's the flying monkeys that are permanently burned into my brain. Forget the witch, the monkeys are the scary thing!

Merle Ann Johnson from NW in the land of the Free on January 13, 2009:

Billy Thorpe all the way...OMG Love it....Land I dream of...Somewhere... :O)

Some of the first movies I remember going to were Saturday afternoon matinee's for kids...we took our lunches and snacks with us..Z-oro.. The Lone Ranger..Tweety cartoons and Felix the Cat..Popeye..Alice in Wonderland..Blackboard Jungle...oh dear  there were so many...

We used to walk about 4 miles to the Movie Theatre and it was so fun...very wonderful memories...and thanks for the thoughts..nice hub sweetie...G-Ma :o) hugs & Peace

christine almaraz from colorado springs on January 13, 2009:

I used to live in Death Valley for a time as a child (I know, who lives in Death Valley?) and because we were so isolated, every once in a while a guy from Las Vegas would treat us kids to a "movie under the stars" on hot summer nights and the very first movie we saw was The Wizard of Oz. It was great to see it on a huge screen with the loud speakers belting out all the songs! I can imagine that's how you felt the first time you saw it in the movie theatre. I still watch it every year when it comes on during the holiday's. Nice hub:)

SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on January 13, 2009:

One thing I love about the town where I live is we still have much of the older architecture from around the 1890's-1930's. Other cities have torn down their older buildings, but I like how here there is an emphasis on restoring the old buildings by allowing new ones to come in. Sometimes I like to think about what life would have been like back in the 1930's-1940's and often I think people appreciated what they had more. Now we have so many material possessions we often take things for granted, such as being able to watch movies on TV. For my grandparents it was a treat to be able to go to the movie theater and see a movie. Even though by the 1950's my parents had a television, she remembers it only being on for about two or three hours a week. It was a much different world than people live in today. Thanks for sharing your memories, I enjoyed this hub.

Sondra from Neverland on January 13, 2009:

Wow...the results from the poll are 100% loved! I love the information you provide in fact or fiction. I have heard a few but never about the O-Z funny:) I have always loved the movie and just got to see it on stage for my 30th bday this past October. It was surreal. Sadly, the theater playing it just closed. Thanks for a wonderful hub to remind me of the experience.

Peter (author) from Australia on January 13, 2009:

Hi rockinjoe you are right who could hate it, especially when you get to go through it all with first your own kids and then your grandkids. But I think it loses some atmosphere on the idiot box, don't you think. Bit like the "silence of the lambs"?

There was a lot I did not know until I did the research.

Joseph Addams from Standing right behind you! on January 13, 2009:

Hi agvulpes Who could hate the Wizard of Oz? I' ve been a bit tired of it at times, but still sneak one in every year. Thanks for the trivia. There was a lot I didn't know.

Peter (author) from Australia on January 13, 2009:

Ah yes the "flicks" when I was a teen trying to earn some pocket money I got a job selling the "film chat" (I think it was called)before the movie started. When the movie got going I was given the rare privilege to go into the projection room and watch and help the projectionist. So I know why they are called flicks!

Amanda thanks for provoking my old memory bank.

Amanda Severn from UK on January 13, 2009:

My Mum and Dad used that expression, but we would generally say 'pictures' or 'flicks'.

Peter (author) from Australia on January 13, 2009:

Nice to see you Amanda and thanks for the comment. Ever since I heard the Billie Thorpe version I liked it until I heard the Izy version, which if you remember was in "50 first dates". I love Eva Cassidy but I haven't heard her sing "rainbow".

Mary Poppins was a good movie but "Ben Hur" for a kid? and to coin a phrase I could never get into Jane Eyre.

So you called em "picture houses" we had some great names such as "flea pits"


Amanda Severn from UK on January 13, 2009:

Hi Ag

Neat hub. I liked your second choice for 'Somewhere over the Rainbow' better than the Judy Garland version. It has a nice 50s/60s feel to it. I'm also a big fan of the Eva Cassidy version. I've heard it used a number of times at funerals lately, and it's incredibly moving.

My first trip to a cinema was to see Mary Poppins in the picture house at Horley, West Sussex. We took a train over there, which was a big treat. I also recall seeing Ben Hur, and also Jane Eyre at the pictures as a child. Interesting choices for a young family now I look back on it. Hmm.

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