Thursday, June 20, 2013

"Quiet on The Set!"

Mesquite Drive-in theater * Jacksboro, TX * photo by Suzanne * June 13, 2013

In the heat of the steamy August evening,  they remembered the hot, yet, exciting Saturday nites at the drive-in picture show in the 1950's.  Young teenagers, piled into cars, six to eight in one car, girls in their halter tops and shorts...boys in their blue jeans and t-shirts with the sleeves rolled up.  Back then, they could enter the grounds at one dollar per car!  What a great time it was..they were out for the nite and ready for anything!   And, they would gossip prematurely about the movie they were about to see, and how their favorite actors and actresses would come across on the open-air screen.  

There would be Elvis in 1958, as a teen in 'King Creole' (my favorite Elvis movie).  This movie awarded Elvis one of his best acting roles.  Plenty of teen boys could identify with this movie, high school dropouts, hanging around in gangs and committing small-time petty  crimes.  And, the girls, looking for the right boy in all of the confusion between good and bad.  There were those teens with big dreams for an exciting and successful life, but not quite knowing how to acquire those dreams.  And all were surrounded by societal wolves,  beckoning and luring them towards their dens of  hard knocks, that could only result in trouble and heart break.

1955...'Rebel Without a Cause'-Whoa! James Dean plays a mixed up, emotional and rebellious teenager.  Have we been there?  I think so, but, only to a point!  However, I don't recall in my lifetime and teenage years, knowing, or being involved with such a group of troubled kids-this film really projects an extreme view of  how a teen's life can change day by day.  I can't even begin to express my reactions to this movie in just a few words, so, how about 'SCARY'!  This movie was up for 3 academy awards, but, James Dean was not nominated in this role.  I believe that most of us who saw this film, were more enamered by the actors and the rebellious ideas that were presented-James Dean, the gorgeous 'bad boy', Sal Mineo, the weak introvert follower, and, Natalie Wood, the lovely rebel 'wannabe'.  This movie was based on an actual case study, and book written by Dr. Robert Lindner in 1944.  It was a factual book titled 'Rebel Without a Cause'. 
 Of course, in 1955, most of us weren't even ten years old yet, and had to wait a few years to see this movie.
My gosh!  You just let me blab on and on...give me another inch!

Last Thursday Karo and I took a road trip just for the day (it's ok, I did have the day off work!).  We traveled a bit over 100 miles one way to the west of Fort Worth, through some small towns.  One such town is called Archer City, which is where we got off!

~photo by Suzanne * June 13, 2013

I guess the main attraction in this town is a bookstore and a movie theater.  Archer City, Texas is the town in  which the movie, 'The Last Picture Show' was filmed.  And, the author, Larry McMurtry, grew up on a ranch just outside of Archer City.  Mr. McMurtry wrote this book as a semi-autobiography, based on some of the events of his own life as a teenager.  'The Last Picture Show' was filmed in black and white in 1971, in order to lend a more realistic perception of the 1950's in this small town.  Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd,  Ben Johnson, Cloris Leachman, Timothy Bottoms, and various others were cast in this film.  It was nominated for 8 academy awards.  Cloris Leachman and Ben Johnson won awards for best supporting actress and actor respectively.  If you have seen this movie, you know it is a story about teens coming of age, and, striving to find their places in this small, waning town in the early 1950s.  

Karo and I had seen 'The Last Picture Show' on television a couple of weeks before, and that stirred our interest in the town.  As you can see from the sign, the population of Archer City is a mere 1,848...I mean, this is the current sign as you head into town.  

And here is the movie theater used in the film.  It is named 'Royal', and,  this theater is no longer open.    There is no news that it will open again in the future.

 ~photos by Suzanne * June 13, 2013

This is one of the bookstores owned by author, Larry McMurtry, in Archer City, TX, that carried various books along with his book, 'The Last Picture Show'.  Mr. McMurtry owned four bookstores, and, I believe, the only one open at this time is "Booked Up Inc. No. 1."  This author also wrote ''Lonesome Dove" and co-wrote the screenplay for 'Brokeback Mountain'.
~The author and pulitzer prize winner, Larry McMurtry now resides in Houston, Texas.

By the way-if anyone is interested, the movie, "The Last Picture Show" will be showing on TV tomorrow (Friday) nite on the local movie channel.  Ours is KDFIDT2, or 27.  Oh, I don't know...I'll just say it's on at 9:35pm, Texas time!

I Got Help from:
Karo-thank you for the fun day trip to Archer City!
Archer City
Larry McMurtry, author

***  My dearest readers, thank you so much for traveling thru the reel to reel of the KardKorner!  I always enjoy your visits, and encourage you to stop by and say hello any time.  If it's hot and muggy where you live, please use caution in the heat...hey, you could stay cool indoors, and  read a few blogs! lol!♥  Anyway, it's the first day of summer, and, we're all feeling it, aren't we?  Please have a wonderful and safe weekend. 

Hugs to you all!
(you too, Cindy and Paulette!)

*** dusk gives in to darkness, they know they must allow the sleepy town to roll up its sidewalks one more time.  Once again, they make their way back into reality, channeling all memories into the archives of their minds, knowing they will re-surface again at a later date...
...And, the old drive-in stands by proudly in its bedraggled state, still reminiscing in its own right-because,  a monumental comeback is inevitable!!!
~photo by Suzanne * June 13, 2013 * Jacksboro, TX

Till we meet again, mes amis!
Bon soir!


  1. Jim Stark (James Dean): "You're tearing me apart!"

    Sam the Lion (Ben Johnson): "I've been around that trashy behavior all my life, I'm gettin' tired of puttin' up with it."

    Hi, Suzanne! Those are two of my favorite quotes by two of my favorite characters from two of my favorite movies.

    This post really brings back memories for me. There were 4 drive-in theaters in the York area when I was growing up. My brother started taking me to see double features at drive-ins when I was age 3, only we both preferred horror and science fiction movies over any other kind. (Example: Attack of the 50 Foot Mosquito! LOL)

    It was a treat to see these pictures of Archer City. I first saw The Last Picture Show the year it was released and have seen it a couple of times since. It's a great movie. Bogdanovich was smart to film it in black and white because that cinematic technique along with the Hank Williams soundtrack, the authentic sets, the costumes and the bored, restless teenage characters really took you back to small town life in Texas in the early 50s.

    Thank you for an interesting and very informative post, dear Suzanne. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Those are pretty good quotes...Ben Johnson was really a great actor. You know, I didn't care for the science fiction films when I was younger, but, I've caught up to a lot of them in these past few years, haha!

      In the beginning Bogdanovich didn't want to do the film...Sal Mineo bugged him about it, and said if he were younger, he would love to be in the film. Sal couldn't have been THAT old then, I know he perished at a young age, but always looked like a little boy!

      We plan to watch the movie again tonite...this time, we'll pay more attention to the surroundings-what critics! lol! Thank you so much for coming by Shady, sorry, I'm late coming back. I did enjoy doing this post. We hope to do some more daytrips this summer! Have a great weekend-will see you soon!♫

  2. Hi there Suzanne, beaut to read your post and to travel along memory lane with you.
    Love the old facade of The Royal picture theatre. It was fun going to the movies way back. We spent our teen years at the drive-ins too. Chiko Rolls and Hamburgers - yum!
    Hope the hot weather doesn't hit you too hard this year. We've just woken up to a real frosty morning, it's officially Winter now so have to expect it. One good thing about frosts, it usually means a sunny day.
    Cheers now and enjoy your weekend :D)

  3. Hello Susan, drive-ins were a lot of fun. I mean, even the greasy burgers and the stale popcorn was good. And, at the drive-in, you might run into your friends, and you could always meet new kids.
    I was just talking to my friend at work about you and your spaghetti pie. She was wondering how you made it. Yours did look good, is it easy to fix? We found a couple of recipes on the internet, but, wondered if you would lend yours to us.

    And, we are up in the 90's temps now, but not 100° yet. Your weather sounds so nice and cool.

    Thanks for strolling down memory lane with me, that was a great time of life! You take care, and, keep that little Sooky warm and dry. See you later!♥

    1. Hi Suzanne, I take a while to get around these days but get there in the end ;D)
      I made up my spaghetti pie recipe... just wanted something quick but nutritious I could make in advance and then pop in the oven.
      First of all, I chop up some vegies very small: onion, carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato and celery and stir fry them till soft in a little olive oil. Add in some browned off minced beef, a stock cube or two, a few slurps of BBQ sauce, a tablespoon of tomato chutney and a jar of basic ready made pasta sauce - you know the kind, tomatoes with basil and garlic. Last of all, throw in a big handful of chopped spinach - it melts down into the sauce and gives a nice hint of greenery. (Frozen spinach works well too I've found).
      Add a little water if it gets too gluggy, but simmer for a while until everything is cooked.
      After cooking the spaghetti and dividing it out between my two dishes, I just pour the sauce over and sprinkle the top with some grated cheese and pop into a moderate oven for about half an hour.
      We don't eat a lot of meat, so I find adding the vegies - as long as they're finely chopped - really extends the sauce volume as a whole. (Lol.. vegie-haters would never pick the amount of vegies in it, once the sauce is cooked up).
      Covering the spaghetti like that makes it beaut to freeze also. I just cover the dish and put it into the microwave to defrost gently, tweaking the sauce now and then with a fork so that it reheats evenly. Can crisp the top under a grill or hot oven for final few minutes if wanted, we usually can't wait by then - love the smell of it!
      The taste improves for the keeping - I try to make it at least a day ahead.
      Sorry I don't have proper measures, but I know you have a love of throwing things together too and adding your own twists.
      Hope you enjoy making it.
      Cheers now :D) xx

    2. Susan, that sounds fantastic...I've never thought of putting various veggies in spaghetti! The carrots and spinach, celery do sound great. Don't know about sweet potato, but it's worth a try. And a slurp of BBQ just might be the ticket! I always use mushroom and onions in my spaghetti, this altogether sounds good! I will have to print, and make a copy for my friend Cindy! Thank you so much for giving me your recipe! And, I hope you all are doing well this weekend. See you soon!♥

  4. Hi Suzanne. Hot and muggy???!! What's that then?! Weather is still so depressing over here that i've lit the woodburner three evenings this week. It's just not funny, and I'm really getting fed up with it! (Moan, moan!!). Apparently, the next four days are going to be good - well, I won't hold my breath!). Loved the photos of that old movie theatre. You certainly brought to life how it was to go to the drive-in movies back in the day! Strangely enough, we never had drive-in movies here in dear old England. Now I wonder why that could possibly be?!! I did actually go to one when I visited South Africa almost forty years ago, and it was quite an experience I must admit. Of course, I've seen them on lots of old movies. I was pleased to read on facebook that you had been on a road trip. Always nice to have a break like that, isn't it?! The photo you took of the old drive-in movie place was very atmospheric. I loved Elvis in King Creole as well. Always good to see you here my friend, and I'm sorry that I'm late in checking in. Still feeling pretty downbeat I'm afraid, which is not like me at all. Will be going to the hospital again tomorrow, so we will see what they have to say. Take care. Sending hugs your way.

    1. Good afternoon's directly afternoon here now! Gosh, no drive-in theaters in England? You did have the Beatles tho, lol! We came across that old abandoned drive-in quite by accident, and, backed up to get the photos. What a fun trip, and Karo, is checking the Texas map to plan another one for us! Thank you for your compliments on my photo of the drive-in! I have a fascination for them for some odd reason!

      I'm so glad you came by...I hope all goes well for you at the prayers, and, ballerina hugs are coming your way! See you soon, my friend!♥

  5. I'm trying not to be sad to see the old drive in torn down. We had some good times as children watching John Wayne movies with our uncle and aunt and cousins on the outdoor screens. Sigh.

    Good article, Suzanne!

    1. I agree with you Nancy. Drive ins were fun. My parents didn't take us often, but we would get to go with friends, and it was wonderful sitting out in the open watching a movie!

      Thanks a lot for your comments. Have a great week!

  6. i remember those drive ins...and now a days, around here anyway...most that i see have turned into weekend flea markets! my folks never took us kids to the drive-in, but when my sons were little...i took them!! it was always a fun time! i KNOW i've seen the Last Picture show...but i couldn't tell u what it was about! ha!
    i like those little quaint towns. so i wonder...were ALL the Booked Up book stores IN that little town of Archer? one on every street?? nah!!

    well...i'm s l o w l y easing my way back... =) happy saturday!

    1. Hi Laura, my parents rarely took us to drive ins too! But, as we got older, we could go with friends.

      I like going to the little old towns to see abandoned structures. Yes, Archer City had four of those bookstores, but, only one is open now-it's 'Booked Up Inc. No. 1'. The author has a few more bookstores throughout the states, and, he lives in Houston now.

      Welcome back, Laura, it's good to see you! Thanks so much for coming over and saying hello, and for your comments-happy weekend!


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