The USA Today has a debate on the subject of watching movies on the big screen, or on DVD. I end up watching movies on DVD, or from Turner Classic Movies more by default than design. One of the arguments of the theater advocate, Susan Wloszczyna caught my attention, however. Wloszczyna contrasts the two experiences and notes, "You probably can recall your first film in a theater. Can you name the first DVD you watched?" Actually, I can't quite remember either, but I do have several fond childhood movie-related experiences. I remember my grandfather taking me and my brother to see Jaws when I was about eleven. I also memorably saw The Sting, Earthquake in "Sensurround." None of them would have been as good on TV.
But I also have fond memories of watching movies on TV. When I was a kid we watched the Wizard of Oz, almost every year around Christmas; and it was always great. I also saw movies that I would have never seen in theaters because they were not new releases or were for more mature audiences, such as The Assassination Bureau and Take the Money and Run. Then there were the cheesy regular movie programs such as Knoxville's Early Show, hosted by Rex Rainey on weekday afternoons and "Unknown Zone" on Friday nights where I first saw The Abominible Dr. Phibes.
Today, with dozens of movies on DVD and video, I don't have to depend on my local network affiliates for good movies the way I did when I was a kid. I know I miss part of the experience when I don't see larger than life projections on the silver screen, but in my own private movie palace I can see better movies.