In the late 1970s and through the mid-80's, Groves Theater was the second favorite place for teens to hang out together in Summersville, WV.
The first choice was the parking lot of White's Funeral Home. Some kids claimed to gather there because it was the most centrally located parking lot in town, and you could see the passers-by so easily.
But I'm convinced it was for the macabre.
That, and the faint smell of formaldehyde.
But Groves' was a happenin' place. It had the only movie screen for 45 miles, a fairly well-stocked concession stand and a reputation for allowing 15 year-olds in to see R-rated flicks like Porky's.
So, after some Pac-Man at the Go-Mart and a thick crust at the Pizza Hut, those of us lucky enough to have a date for Saturday night would head over to the theater, regardless of what movie was on. Some of the stuff we saw was magical; others turned out to be just a way to kill a couple of hours. Once in a while, though, I'd walk out of the movie unsure of what I'd seen. So caught up in trying to impress a date, or simply too absorbed in teenagery, I'd let the plot of what I'd just seen slip by.
Some of those date movies I'd like a second chance with are:
Super Fuzz (1982). Here's what I remember: (1) A cop gets dunked in some kind of toxic waste; (2) Cop develops super powers that help him fight crime; (3) Cop temporarily loses newly-gained super powers when he sees the color red; (4) Rather than simply drop me off at the movies my Mom went too, and sat a few rows behind me while I tried to get busy on a first date with Mary Beth.
I don't recall the movie in detail. And, there was never a second date with Mary Beth.
On Golden Pond (1981). Henry Fonda's final big-screen flick was, I'm told, well acted and highly sentimental. But c'mon, I wasn't paying attention to anything other than my girlfriend's tearful reaction.
Sentimental movie + tears + sensitive-guy act from me = a fun time someplace other than White's parking lot after the movie. It took some concentration, but it worked!
My Tutor (1983). The father of a horny rich teen hires a gorgeous 30-year old blond to tutor him in French.
OK, I have to be honest. I remember a lot about this movie.
I have, however, forgotten the name of my date.
The China Syndrome (1979). Jill, my date that night and my first real girlfriend, really dug Michael Douglas with the rugged beard and hippie-looking hair. I was jealous. So much that I had trouble watching the movie any time he was on screen.
Now that I take a second glance, she was right. He is pretty hot.
Private Benjamin (1980). Even the beautiful Goldie Hawn couldn't keep my attention when I saw this movie as one half of my first double date. Both couples were on our first dates, and nervous as hell. I remember Goldie crying a lot in this movie, and a funny reference to oral sex. Other than that, I draw a complete blank.
Later that night, we mixed things up by going to the Go-Mart before White's parking lot.