Saturday night, we went to the SouthTowne Theatre in Ephraim and saw the movie “News of the World.” It’s Tom Hanks’ latest movie. There aren’t that many major movies being released into theaters these days. It was fun to get out and see one on the big screen. There was room for more, but we sat with 14 other people in the socially distanced auditorium.

I recommend the movie. Tom Hanks did really well with his part and the young girl, Helena Zengel, did a great job too. She’s a twelve-year-old German actress who plays the part of an orphaned girl. Tom Hanks’ character is chaperoning her across 1870’s Texas.

The movie would be classified as a “Western.” The production of Westerns has been in decline for quite a while. It’s kind of a sad thing to me

The movie theater of my youth was the Huish in Richfield. The admission price was 35 cents for me as a kid there. If I had 50 cents, I could get into the show, buy a drink, and get a Three Musketeers candy bar. It was $5.50 per ticket for seniors Saturday night. As inflation goes, movie going probably isn’t a bad deal these days really.

Many people have memories of the show houses of their youth. One memory for me was meeting a “sweet young thing” at the Huish for the movie “Born Free.” The movie was about Joy Adamson, a wildlife expert, preserving lions in Africa. The theme song that went along with the movie was titled the same as the movie — “Born Free.” Some comedian used to sing the song changing the beginning lyrics, “Born Free, My old man’s a doctor.”

As I recall, it was at that movie, sitting with that “girlfriend” that I first “held hands.” I remember that it took a lot of courage to reach that degree of “intimacy.” I think girls then, as now, kind of help promote the displays of public affection.

The Huish Theater used to have free matinees on special occasions and always had scary midnight movies for Halloween. It was best to either sit in the balcony or under the balcony to avoid being hit with something thrown by rambunctious kids.

I hear people talk about the Sanpete theaters of yesteryear. They get a faraway look in their eyes and recount stories, just like I did now. They like telling how much it cost and who they were with and what the show was etc. etc.

The Star in Gunnison and the Towne in Ephraim have been around for a long time. I arrived in Sanpete in time to see a few shows at the Queen in Mt. Pleasant. But I was too late for the theater in Manti or any of the other Sanpete towns.

There are lots of reasons for hoping that the pandemic gets under control soon. Of course, many reasons are higher priority than others. But it will certainly be nice when businesses are able to open up fully.

I’m glad that we have the movies running in Sanpete even if it’s a little different than normal. They are running older shows at discounted prices, as well as the occasional first run movies.

When you can’t stand being at home any longer on these cold winter nights, find your way to the movies. The big screen, the popcorn, the Diet Coke, and the chocolate covered almonds will make you feel better. It worked for me. — — Merrill

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!