Trauma at the movies

Olivia Fowler

Olivia Fowler

On The Way

By Olivia Fowler

Over the weekend we went to see the new Meryl Streep/Julia Roberts movie “August: Osage County.” The acting was remarkable, but this was not an uplifting, feel-good movie. It was about a monstrous, self-centered, drug-addicted, psychopathic mother who could have prevented her husband’s death but chose not to.

If you think your family is dysfunctional, go see this. Even if your parents are serial killers, they will look like Ward and June Cleaver in comparison.

It was fascinating. You couldn’t tear your eyes away from the screen… The effect on the audience was the same as if they had witnessed a fatal train derailment with no survivors.

Although the movie was disturbing, our trip to the concession counter was even more so.

We thought we might like to have some popcorn and something to drink. We saw there was a special package deal on a large popcorn and two medium drinks, but the price wasn’t listed. So, in our innocence, we asked how much it cost.

How does $19.95 strike you? It struck us dumb. When we recovered our ability to speak, we asked to have the amount repeated. There was no mistake.

And no, we didn’t buy the “special.” What was even more amazing than this was that other people in the line were buying the special without protest.

So it costs as much for popcorn as it does to order the “Two for $20” special at Applebee’s. And that meal can include an appetizer and two steaks.

Yes, we know that there are many expenses connected to running a movie theater. And maybe they need the 1,200 percent markup on popcorn to make a profit.

It is hard not to bring up what popcorn used to cost at the movies. In downtown Easley, when the Colony Theater was in its heyday, there was a popcorn machine in the lobby. You’d take a paper bag out, open it, put your dime in the slot and fill your bag with hot popcorn.

If memory serves me correctly, the price of admission was 75 cents for adults. And that meager price was considered expensive.

Some people can remember going to the movies for 15 cents. At that time, a fountain drink was a nickel. We could all afford to go at that price, even though minimum wage was less than a dollar an hour.

We didn’t have television way back then, so a trip to the “show,” as we called it, was a marvelous experience.

Tarzan, the Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and Walt Disney came into our world and set our imaginations on fire.

We’d openly take our own snacks into the theater if we wanted to. No one had a problem with it.

Now it isn’t allowed. But that’s what those big tote bags are for.

Next time, we’ll pop our own popcorn and take in our own canned drinks or bottled water. And we will not feel any guilt about breaking that particular rule. After all, we’ll just be avoiding highway robbery, and there’s nothing wrong with that.