A Night At The Movies

Movie Popcorn Drink Watercolor Illustration

When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to do was to go see a movie, our prompt for today. I still love movies, of course, but back then it was extra cool to to go see a movie with friends without requiring parental supervision. I loved spending a couple of hours immersed in a visual story, and the treats were a favorite as well. That strange and other-worldly butter substance tasted like nothing else on the planet. Indeed, it wasn’t real butter at all, but something else entirely, a mystery of ingredients that once solved is far less appetizing. In truth, I loved the popcorn we made at home the very most. Our family movie nights were something I looked forward to, definitely for the time with family, but also for the popcorn. We’d melt real butter over the top and it was amazing! On rare occasions, Philippe and I will actually take the time and attention span to watch a movie at home. It’s such an event that I always make some popcorn to go with it. Our dog Phineas gets a few stray kernels as well that we’ve set aside for him. These are dry and fully popped, and would taste like nothing to us, but he’s in heaven and adores our family popcorn nights.

These days, I still like watching animated movies the most. For starters, they’re usually only 90-105 minutes, which is still quite an accomplishment for my limited attention span. Though, when I actually worked on a movie for the Hallmark Channel, called Northpole, even as it was delivered in a 2 hour block with commercials, it was actually a mere 81 minutes, which I loved! Yeah, I watched and enjoyed Titanic, even with its over 3 hour running time, but upon watching it again in 3D with Philippe in France, accompanied with French subtitles no less, I found myself getting a bit bored. Many movies these days seem to add time to the story in an effort to be epic or, at the very least, justify the cost of the movie ticket. These have indeed gotten a bit high, so Philippe and I only got to matinee movies at the theater these days. But ultimately it’s the story that one is telling that makes it all matter. Tell me a great story and I’ll stay with it until it’s complete. If it shifts into something else and tries to do more than that, I start to lose interest. In the end, I just want a good story nicely told. Perhaps that’s why I adore hearing all of your stories that are often shared in the comments of these posts. A world of wonderful memories that always make me smile.

When I was young, I dreamed of being in a movie and secretly wished that life were like one. But now that I’m older, I realize real life is definitely the best movie of all. The kind filled with all of those surprising, yet inevitable, outcomes that make the heart of any good story. The best part about this kind of movie is that I get to write it as I go. There’s no single outcome, no denouement, just a bunch of stuff that appears and manages to trigger a bit of memory. By movie standards, my life is hardly a story worth telling. Yet, I believe that real life has much to teach us and that if we take the time to stop and watch our own movie, we’ll learn more than we ever dreamed possible. Sure, there’s lots of bad bits, but like all good fiction, that’s not the real story. Our real story is made up of the good bits, those pieces that manage to defy that antagonist and overcome everything in the end. Because, that’s what we can all DO! We can’t rewrite history, but be we can write our own history as we move along. One sketch at a time. And so I’m thrilled to show up each and every day to enjoy that moment of reflection that can only come from a night at the movies.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Quinacridone Red, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Day 11 - Movie Popcorn Drink Watercolor Illustration_IG
Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
21 Comments
  1. Karen Fortier 2 weeks ago

    Milkduds were the best! Brings back childhood memories.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Yay, Karen! 😃💕They totally were! Glad this brought back good memories!

  2. Sandra Strait 2 weeks ago

    I still love movies. For a while, hubby and I went to the McMenamins pubs where you could sit on couches and stuffed chairs with a full meal and a pint of stout. They eventually got too spendy though, so now we just go to the local 2nd run theater. Had to go see Godzilla in 3D though. On account of he’s a venerable monster that deserves respect, lol.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Yay to movies! 😃💕 They’re such an exciting way to tell a story! hehe… we haven’t seen the Godzilla movie yet… hope you enjoyed it!

  3. Reely, Bernie? 2 weeks ago

    Great post! The smell of buttery popcorn and Milk Duds was my first sensation when renting a movie. Did you ever frequent Blockbuster? https://reelybernie.com/2019/06/10/lets-make-it-a-blockbuster-night/#more-416

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 hehe… oh yes! I was a regular at Blockbuster! lol Those were the days! 😉

  4. Robert J. Coleman 2 weeks ago

    Ah, those days when we were allowed to go to a Saturday kids’ matinee; with 35 cents in my pocket, 25 for the movie and 10 cents for a kid’s popcorn and soda. It was Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, or Tom Corbett Space Cadet after a Loony Tunes cartoon, and we loved them all. Life’s plot has become more complicated as have those of today’s movies and yet we wish for those nice, tidy happy endings. But a Happy Ending (sundae) is only guaranteed after a meal at Friendly’s! (Nwe Englanders know what I mean…)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      hehe! Friendly’s sounds like my kind of place, Bob! 😃💕 And yeah, life and its stories have gotten much more complex. There was something amazing about going to a movie without knowing that someone is actually trying to amaze you. 😉

  5. Robert J. Coleman 2 weeks ago

    edit: “New” not “Nwe”!

  6. Lisa 2 weeks ago

    I see you hiding those MilkDuds so you don’t have to share. God, I used to love to go to the movies! Jaws has long been my favorite movie, but there are so many. The shared experience of a group of strangers sitting together in the dark, snacking on popcorn, and sharing the emotions brought forth by the flickering story in front of them is just magic.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕hehe… yeah, sharing Milk Duds is a true act of love. But I’d share with you! And I totally agree… movies at the theater do have a way of always delivering magic!

  7. Sharon Nolfi 2 weeks ago

    Amazing realism in this sketch! Life is definitely better than any movie, especially the “action” movies being made today.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah… I feel like it’s all action and no story with movies these days. I love story most of all!

  8. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 2 weeks ago

    Ah, the days of buttered popcorn, soda pop, and boxes of candy. What a fun Doodlewash, Charlie. When my sons were 9 and 13, they begged me to take them to see a brand new film I hadn’t heard about. We arrived to find hundreds of people in line and waited through a showing and a half, but my kids got to see Jurassic Park on its opening day in Orange County.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Oh WOW!! I just read your comment out loud to Philippe is a total Jurassic Park fan… his words, “that was SO AWESOME!!” 😃💕 hehe

  9. smzang 2 weeks ago

    Charlie says, “real life is definitely the best movie of all.”

    Yes! It is so true.

    Reading your article and seeing your painting has filled this room
    with the scent of fresh popped corn. Yum!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕hehe.. I’m still an addict when it comes to buttered popcorn. But I do stand by my quote. Life is definitely the best movie of all, with or without popcorn. Though with popcorn, then YAY!

  10. LoriCtoo 2 weeks ago

    Lol, these days I judge movies by whether or not I drifted off during it. I have a hard time sitting still at the theater. At home, i am usually listening more than watching. I like your take on this prompt!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕Yeah, we only go to the theater to watch animated movies… we can barely make them through one at home though. I married someone with my own attention span, so we watch only 1 show a day that’s 30 minutes or less! lol

  11. Sharon Mann 2 weeks ago

    I was eating popcorn last night when I saw your art on Instagram, haha. Your delightful art brings back great memories…especially when you could get into the movies and buy popcorn for 50 cents. (1956)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Hehe! yay! Good timing, Sharon! 😃💕 And glad this brought back memories. WOW… that 50 cents has grown well beyond normal inflation! Yikes!

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