As Ionia Woman Sees Her First Movie in 84 Years, Five Things She Missed
This is a sweet story put together by Fox 17 reporter Max Goldwasser. Goldwasser spoke to Justina Thalison, who turned 94 on Sunday. Thalison’s birthday wish was to do something very simple – go see a movie. What makes it unique is that Thalison hadn’t been to the movies for 84 years. You have already done the math. She last saw a movie in a cinema in 1938, when she was only ten years old. What closed the story was that Thalison was back in the same theater (she saw Sing 2) where she saw the one and only movie she ever saw (which she can’t remember) at the Ionia Theater.
Which made me think of how much you would have missed if you were like Thalison and had gone 84 years between visits.
So here are four things you would have missed if the last movie you saw was in 1938.
Today, if a film is released in black and white, it’s almost stunning. It was quite the opposite in 1938. Color had been around since about 1900 but didn’t start appearing in major movies until the mid-1930s. The Wizard of Oz wasn’t the first color movie, but it was the first big blockbuster, and in that movie it went from black and white to color after about the first twenty minutes.
2. All the Great Movies
When it comes to a great movie, it doesn’t matter if it’s color or black and white, but in those 84 years, think of all the great movies you’ve seen or wish you had seen in of their first outing. . My favorite film is Casablanca, but it came out about twenty years before me; It’s the same for Citizen Kane. I missed Some Like It Hot (possibly the greatest comedy of all time) but managed to get my parents to take me to The Sound of Music. In high school and college, I saw American Graffiti and The Sting, Star Wars and more, and in the 80s classics like Raiders of the Lost Ark. And all of these films lead to the following reason.
3. See great movies on the big screen.
I guess if you say big screen to a kid, they’ll think about a 60-inch HDTV or so. No, not even close. There’s something about seeing movies in a movie theater. Maybe that’s why movie stars were movie stars back then. They looked bigger projected on a screen. There is something to be said for “larger than life”.
4. Air conditioning.
Air conditioning was invented around 1900, as was the color film process, but it’s not like it’s in every home. Back then, people were sweating. And one way to escape the heat was at the movies. Maybe the heat didn’t bother Mrs. Thalison much, but a lot of people used to go to the movies to cool off; it didn’t matter how horrible the movie was. The theater was cool.
5. Those great movie theaters of the past
Have you ever been to the State Theater in Kalamazoo? 84 years ago, most theaters were like this. In Kalamazoo alone, there was The Regent, The Fuller, The Uptown, The Michigan, The Orpheum, in addition to the state, and it’s right downtown. In Ionia it was perhaps the only one, or at best two or three.
(Fox 17 WXMI via YouTube)
Hope Mrs. Thalison had a great time and can go back soon.