I grew up in the 50s and spent almost every Saturday at the local movie theater, absorbing every kind of movie magic I could. We’d spend less than a dollar for a whole day of entertainment and get a box of popcorn and drink to boot. Movies were on the cutting edge, with cinemascope – three dimensional glasses which were more like looking at unfocused green images – epic movies depicting incredible times in history, musicals, adventures and westerns. There were also the episodic shows which would keep us coming back every week to see what happened next. This was before there was a TV in every house and a long list of viewing options.
The theater was splendid. The seats were posh, even though sticky underneath with gum. The floors caused you to cling to their adhesiveness. There was an amazing crimson velvet curtain covering the stage. Ornate statues and carvings filled the walls, making us feel like we were in a grand concert hall. That didn’t deter the popcorn flinging, giggles and guffaws as kids vied for attention.
The magnificent curtain opened and all fell silent. The enormous white screen came to life as animated cartoons would begin the show. Laughter ensued and really revved everyone up for the main feature. Cowboys rode across magnificent plains on horses us city folk had only seen in books. We were part of worldly adventures like the saga of Ben Hur and his bloody chariot ride, or Robin Hood and his merry band, or the science fiction characters – the Blob and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Eyes were riveted to romantic scenes, which left everything but a kiss to the imagination. Then there were the musicals.
Musicals were my favorite. It seems strange to have a story where people all of a sudden break into song in the middle of a scene, but that’s precisely what I loved about it. Wouldn’t life be lovely if we could do that? I mean right in the middle of a catastrophe, a disaster, a crime or tragedy we’d let the old vocal chords chime.
Well of course life doesn’t imitate the movies, although I think time has tarnished the idea of entertainment and turned it into an extension of life – but that’s another post. We used to go to the movies to escape from the cares of the world. Now we’re witnesses to them.
In God’s Word, there’s a whole book of worship songs by David, Asaph and other musicians. Solomon wrote the poetic Song of Songs. Music is an important part of our worship as well as our lives. Sometimes we can express ourselves through music in ways we can’t through normal conversation. Think of how boring our lives would be without music.
“To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable.” Aaron Copland
“Music is the voice that tells us that the human race is greater than it knows.” Napoleon Bonaparte
“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!” Psalm 95:1