This is a wide-ranging memoir telling not only about the author's experiences as a kid going to movies but of his thoughts and theories on movies, who made them, who wrote them, produced them, directed them, as well who went to see them in movie theaters when radio and movies were pretty much the only forms of entertainment the average American could afford to see.
Saturday afternoon at the movies!
Ten cents bought a lot of entertainment back in the 1930's: a double feature, an animated cartoon, a western, a comedy short, previews of coming attractions...
It was easy to get hooked.
Chris O'Grady's enthusiasm is contagious. Growing up back then, he went to the movies almost every weekend, developing a lifelong affection for even the most obscure productions of the period.
Love Song To A Long Gone Time is guaranteed to get you browsing through the late show listings in your TV Guide, hoping to find some of the gems he describes, or searching through the lists of movies on CDs and DVDs and any other way you can get them.
On one of my earliest visits to Los angeles, I caught a great nickel trolley ride: nearly twenty miles up from Long beach to the terminal in LA. There I had to take a second trolley (What? It's gonna cost me another nickel?) still farther north, through Hollywood, over a low range of hills they call the Cahuenga Pass, and thene along Ventura Boulevard on an angle toward the northwest.
I was unaware that at one point i passed Universal Studios, with Warner Brother's Burbank lot just a little beyond it. But some distance farther west I was gazing northward out the trolley-car window, and there it was! I was seeing it with my own eyes, me in the flesh, in person!
Republic Pictures Studio!
It was real after all, even if it did look like a poor man's Alamo after a heavy shelling: a rambling, Spanish-style wall, topped with those red tile roof-trimmings, looking dull orange-yellow in the late afternoon sunlight, with that curved up-thrust in the center of the wall fronting the boulevard, gracefully rising to what may once even have been a bell tower.