MovieChat Forums > General Discussion > Did people in the '50s turn up to movies...

Did people in the '50s turn up to movies drunk?


... or did they generally treat the cinematic experience more seriously?

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Smoking was allowed in theaters back then, so getting drunk isn't out of the question.

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I have to imagine they turned up smashed, unless it was a film they particularly wanted to see.

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Nope. There were movie ushers who made sure people behaved themselves. I vaguely remember people being physically removed from the theater by them. I don't remember anyone ever being drunk.

There were smoking sections. When the law changed, smokers would try to sneak a cigarette which never worked since the ushers would tell them to stop smoking. It was common for moviegoers to get an usher to have someone behave or have them removed. I usually found that very entertaining.

I also explained in my other comment that people didn't only see one film. Two films, a cartoon and a short feature were the norm. Most films were for families or a general audience - no rating system back then. Drunks would not have been tolerated by moviegoers nor ushers.

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Yeah, that's where the term B movie comes from, I believe. The second movie they showed tended to be more of a low budget kind of thing.

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Interesting. Vinyl records had the main song (A-side) and the B-side. Same concept.

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A kinda off-topic question. Did people used to dress up when they took flights back in the 50s? These days people wear even sweat pants and other obscene outfits to airports. Quite disgusting.

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These days people don't even go on flights at all. Welcome to the future.

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In the future, people would wear Hazmat suits on flights.

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If I'm on a flight that's 20 hours long, you bet your butt I'm dressing for comfort. I don't actually own sweats, but I certainly don't dress for the office.

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I've heard that people in the 50s and 60s dressed up to travel on a flight. Flights were still considered something of a novelty and were expensive, so people dressed accordingly and dress up much more often in general now than they used to.

There's a high end hotel not far from me, where people used to dress up to go there, even in summer when it's hot, and now no one does. Kind of a shame because IMO it's nice for people to have occasions and places to dress nicely, as long as you're not uncomfortable.

Hey, why am I responding to another of your posts?

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ESPN was showing a program about the 1967 AFL-NFL World Championship Game (now known as Super Bowl I) which included some crowd scenes. You would be surprised at the number of men who were wearing shirts and ties to the event.

I agree that it's quite disgusting the way people appear in public these days. The way some of them dress in restaurants is enough to make you lose your appetite. Pride in ones appearance and grooming seems to be a thing of the past. I'm not suggesting formal wear to a fast-food place, but at least have some self-respect, and remember that others have to look at you while they are eating.

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Exclusively.

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I didn't know until I read about Psycho (1960) that people didn't even show up at the theater for the beginning of the movie. You just came whenever you felt like it, and whatever you missed at the beginning, you just stayed for the next showing. Hitchcock changed all that with a massive publicity campaign that you would not be allowed inside unless you came at the beginning.

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I'm not sure I believe that was the norm. Movies were shown differently back then. You didn't watch just one movie. There were movie trailers, a cartoon, short film or travelogue, a movie and then the main feature.

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Truthfully I don't know. My uncle mentioned to me once about how one just showed up at the theater when you felt like it. He may have even told me that movie times were not published in the paper. I don't quite recall. By the time I can remember in the late 60s the newspapers did publish movie start times.

I can understand what my uncle was saying if it was regarding B or schlock movies of the 50s. It didn't matter. But I do find it hard to believe that nobody ever cared about seeing the film from the beginning.

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I remember missing the beginning a few times. You just stay and watch the beginning after they restart the film and then leave after you watched it so you end up seeing the everything, but slightly out of order.

There were movie ads with the theater address and sometimes a phone number. You can show up when the theater opened which was normal for my family, or phone the theater for times.

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How many people here remember the 50s?

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I was born in 1959.

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So you remember going to the movies???

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I don't even remember pooping.

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In a few years you won't even remember pooping 5 minutes ago!😘

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You and me both ! I'll bet we've met somewhere along the way, such a small world and all and we have so much in common. ;-D

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I was born in 1950, so yes I remember the 50's well.

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Good for you! So do you have an answer to the OP's question???

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LOL - I forgot what the original question was. No, I don't ever recall seeing anyone drunk at a movie theater. Going to see a movie was a special event - we dressed nicely and were well behaved. Except for the smoking part, which honestly I don't recall, everyone was respectful and considerate of others.

And then came Saturday Night at the Movies - wow did we think that was special - to be able to watch a movie at home on TV.

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I was born at the end of 1951, so yes, I remember some of the 50's.

As for the OPs question, I only remember going to the movies during daylight hours, thus I have no memory as to whether or not adults drank at the Meadows Theater at night. Probably not though.

Btw, the Meadows Theater, located in Fresh Meadows, in the borough of Queens in N.Y.C., was huge!
It even had a balcony, which you had to be over a certain age (I forget how old) in order to watch a film from there.
The theater was so big, we even had our Junior High School graduation there -- this in the days of the Baby Boom.
[For the record, there were 1,600 kids in my High School senior class.]
Then while I was away at college, they "twined" it, i.e., made it to two theaters.
A few years after that, they made it into four. All without expanding the footprint of the building.

The days of paying 25 cents to go to the movies sure seems long ago and far, far away.

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My dad used to take beers in with him.

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And a smoke

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When I was young, there was a local independent movie theater that had a bar, and which would allow adults to take cocktails into the theater. I doubt that sort of thing was legal everywhere, and certainly no corporate main office would allow it because of the legal issues, but this was a local, independently owned "revival house" theater that showed old movies and foreign films. For all the hundreds of trips I made there, I don't recall anyone behaving badly, presumably because people who like to get hammered and behave badly, don't like to be distracted by old movies with subtitles.

I loved that place, and miss the "revival houses". Sadly, VCRs killed them all, decades ago.

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EVERYONE WAS DRUNK ALL THE TIME...BABY BOOM!

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