The first time I went to the movies was in 1994 at the age of five. It was the first outing that my sister and I were privy to that didn’t involve coloring mats, kid’s menus, or a playground. This was something adults got to do. This was something magical. The Regal theatre didn’t appear to be very large driving past it a couple of times a week, but walking in through the entrance everything appeared larger and more grand. The lobby was checkered with posters of coming attractions and standees for summer blockbusters. Four hallways led to sixteen individual screens for that weekend’s exhibitions.
My father handed me my ticket and I ran quickly to hand it to the older gentleman in a red satin vest. “Is this your first show?” he asked, I nodded enthusiastically to signal yes. “Well enjoy the show” he added as he gave me the bottom half of the stub and pointed the way to the movie I was going to see, the film in question being Disney’s The Lion King. The lights dimmed as the trailers started and a hush fell over the audience. I sat entranced by the beautiful animation and vivid colors dancing across the screen. As much as I loved that moment, I didn’t really discover movies for a few more years.
The moment when movies transcended escapism and became a passion was when I popped in a VHS copy of The Godfather. I was entranced immediately, the score, the cinematography, the writing all blended together into a journey with characters that felt like you could reach in and touch them. Fortunately, my parents had Part II as well, so I experienced the birth of Michael’s (Al Pacino) criminal status, and the dark spiral that consumed him all in one sitting. It was a frightening transition and a compelling one. Movies ceased to be escapism for me that day. I understood that film offered a look into the worlds undiscovered by audiences. A brief glimpse of a life that is not our own offers profound experiences and lessons we otherwise would not have gleaned if not for movies. After that day, I was hooked.
– Colin Biggs