In the summer of 1995 I was dating a girl five years my junior. She hadn't met any of my friends, so one afternoon I took her to a restaurant with couches and fancy pizzas with mandarin orange slices. This was considered interesting in 1995. My friends were all around my age, born between '69 and '72, a collection of grad students, slackers and people with an embarrassing concentration of Rush and Vangelis albums.*
At some point the conversation turned to movies, and then to the first movie we'd ever seen in a theatre. She had seen The Aristocats, back when Disney classics rotated through theatres every five-seven years or so.** As for the rest of us, we had lost our movie virginity, every last one of us, at Star Wars.
I saw Star Wars at the age of six. It was playing at the Cove Theatre in Halifax's north end, which at the time usually played more adult fare. The place may have been seedy and small, but to my eyes the place was huge. We walked in on a cartoon already playing, and the darkness of the theatre combined with the bright screen gave me a sense of floating in space. Then the movie opened on a field of stars, and I was utterly lost.
*I was one of the only members of that circle who'd grown up on groups like The Smiths and Billy Bragg. The rest of the group tolerated my taste in music, provided I never mention Morrissey in their presence.
**Does anyone else remember this? For the longest time, Disney wouldn't release their classic cartoons on home video. Instead, they would release them in theatres every so often.