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4:05 AM Mon, Nov. 19th

Middle-aged Musings: The Force is still strong in this old chick

The intense excitement of my first science fiction movie has never left me – I can still remember being in the old downtown movie theater in 1977, sitting in the first row, head tilted up to the enormous screen, mesmerized by my first glimpse of Star Wars.

If someone had told me then, at 10, that I’d be back in the movie theater at 49 watching another new episode of Star Wars, I’d have laughed. Mainly because at 10 I assumed 49-year-old folks couldn’t move well enough to go to a movie!

It was one of the first “big person” movies that I’d been allowed to see without the parents. My girlfriend and I went together. Mom dropped us off, gave us a $1 for popcorn and $3 to get in. You can’t even get a small popcorn for that now.

The theater was a real theater — they had an orchestra pit and balcony seats. Red velvet cushions and thick, tasseled ropes across the rows.

A man in a suit, with a flashlight, led you to your seats.

I remember angels and clouds on the painted wall murals, too.

Star Wars was meant to be played big and loud, and that’s what we got. I remember my friend clapping her hands over her ears when the opening music started playing. It’s the first time sound made my insides rumble.

I leaned forward in my seat and never relaxed from the minute the opening story scrolled into the starlit background to the closing credits.

Now, on my next day off, I’ll be ensconced in a reclining seat, with a $10 bucket of popcorn — after paying about the same to get in — waiting for 2016’s Star Wars episode to start with just as much excitement as I had back then. Last year’s movie saw me surrounded by children and very young adults. I didn’t care at all. This old chick was excited!

That same anticipation followed me through the debuts in 1980, 1983, 1999, 2002, 2005 and 2015.

Some loves you just never outgrow and movies are one of mine.

From watching Nick and Nora in black and white to swooning over Thor in the Avengers, I’m a junkie.

I even go to cartoon movies — they are sometimes the funniest things you can ever watch.

So, don’t worry about your age while in a theater full of youngsters. They put out the lights, so no one can see you anyway!

Until next time, Robin