i grew up (literally) in a movie theater, the child of nyc artist parents. in the early 60's they moved upstate to the village woodstock, this was before woodstock became hippie central when it was still an artist community. both of my parents were big movie buffs, my father spent every weekend when he was growing up going to the movies with his dad. both saturday and sunday- a movie after breakfast, lunch, a double feature, dinner and a movie.
feeling the lack of good foreign and art movie in the country my parents opened a movie theater. at first it was only summers in a borrowed space, then year round in the town hall (when there weren't town meetings). when i was 5 a local church moved to a new space and my parents moved the theater into the renovated space. a few years later my dad turned an unused space in the back into a loft- like home for us. we had a secret entrance into the theater, so every night was spent at the movies. even my dog, harpo spent many a night in the theater. I would sit on the stairs to the projection booth and watch movies with my friends. when i was in my late teens my dad sold the business, moved back to the city soon after that and went back to photography. i am thinking about all this because recently after the theater being owned by people who never seemed to quite give it the love it needed it has been sold to upstate films. upstate films runs a similar theater in rhinebeck ny and will nurture the theater the way it was when my family ran it.
it's funny growing up i yearned for a conventional life- a "normal" house, and evenings spent in our own living room. know looking back on it i love my unconventional history.
my favorite movies that my dad played-
any marx brothers movie
charlie chaplin's - the great dictator, limelight and modern times especially
truffaut's - day for night
altman's - nashville and mcabe and mrs miller
woody allen - sleeper and annie hall
jaques tati- traffic and playtime
mel brooks - young frankenstein
john schlesinger's - midnight cowboy
scorsese's - the last waltz
hal ashbey's - harold and maude and shampoo
sydney lumet - dog day afternoon and serpico
lina wertmuller's - swept away, definitely not the madonna version
i tried to keep this list to 10 so as not to overwhelm you but this is actually the condensed list, perhaps i should make this a regualr feature??
so let me know your favorite movies, and try for ones that you haven't seen recently.