Kathy, my best friend, and sister of my heart, and I had some crazy and fun times in our younger days. We have been very close for 23 out of the 27 years we have known each other.
Way back then, Kathy and I lived together at my house, with my parents, and worked two jobs together.
One was at a local movie theatre, the last one in our area that was small and still privately owned. This past Saturday, I was at the strip mall where the theatre was located, it is a short 2 miles from my house today, as it was back then.
The family, including my parents and I, had dinner at the Houlihan's restaurant at the strip mall, and it made me think back on those days.
Cinema 35, was our own private playground of sorts.
We worked there with another girlfriend, LeeAnn, and in the beginning, back in the fall of 1983, we were the only cashiers and candy girls there.
The cashier area and candy stand was connected, and that was our domain. Occasionally, one of the managers or ushers would come back to help us, but usually not! We did better ourselves; we had a rhythym that worked for us when it was busy.
As a perk, we got one candy bar, and all the popcorn and soda that we could consume during a shift! Kathy was a Coke-aholic, LeeAnn drank Diet Coke, and since diet gives me a headache, I drank seltzer, lots of it!
After the last show went in and we cleaned up, we would turn the area into our beauty shop! We plugged in curling irons to spruce up our hair, and we did up our make-up in the decorative mirror that hung on the candy stand wall before going out dancing for the night.
Sometimes, we would have theatre parties. After the people exited the last movie, other workers from the strip mall we were located in would come over, and some of our friends. We would have food and drinkand music, and have a blast!
We would stash the vodka in the ice machine early in the night so it was nice and cold. I have vague recollections of playing frisbee in the theatre, or maybe it was Nerf football.
Sometimes, we would go the restaurant and bar in the strip mall; back then it was a mexican restaurant called El Torito. I remember many nights of having a few drinks, and laughing our heads off while melting drink stirrers into different animal shapes.
Other times, we would all go midnight bowling together! After bowling until about 3 am, we would eat breakfast at the Denny's next to the bowling alley.
There was lots of flirting and drinking and having fun, no matter what we were doing.
Everyone looked out for everyone else though, and we would always have designated drivers for the evening. Of course, back then the legal limit of blood alcohol was higher than now, so even the person driving could have a couple of drinks early in the night.
Sometimes, when Kathy and I would get home we would play Trivial Pursuit for a while. Usually, one of us was pretty drunk which made for an interesting game! Sober, I was very proud of being the Trivial Pursuit champ of our circle of friends. Kathy used to love it when she was the driver and I was blitzed and she could give me a good beating because my brain was mush! lol
I remember one time passing out or falling asleep standing up in my closet! Thank goodness, Kathy was there to wake me and get me into the bed!
Kathy and I could party our butts off all Friday night, and still make it to work at our second job together in the Sears credit offices. We would work until about 1 pm, and then go home and nap for a few hours.
Then, we would head out to dinner, go to work or not, and out to dance, doing it all over again for the second night in a row.
I wish I had an ounce of that stamina now!
It is so true that youth is wasted on the young!!! Oh the things I could accomplish now if I could get by on 3 hours sleep for a few days a week, like I could then!
I know Kathy feels the same, especially since she has a 3 1/2 year old toddler!
Another perk was getting to see the movie showing there for free. The summer of 1984 was Back to the Future, and we all watched it so much that we had competitions to see who could do lines the longest without screwing up!
The perks extended to the other theatres in town, a tenplex and a triplex, with one phone call we could go there for free movies and they would come to our theatre for free movies. It was great, and my love of movies started and was cultivated back then. Now, it costs $50 just to get our family of five in the door, so we wait for a lot of movies to come to pay for view.
Cinema 35, our play place, is gone now. The new owner of the strip mall turned the whole theatre area into a large retail space. They are still trying to rent that store; I will be watching to see what goes in there.
And, if I go shopping at that store, I will wistfully remember my younger days at Cinema 35, simpler times, just hanging out with Kathy and our friends, all about having fun while making a few a bucks!