Memory of childhood movie theater lingers

Every true movie lover has a favorite movie theater; mine happens to be the Bayshore 8.

When I was going into sixth grade, I moved to Cape May, N.J.

I had moved a lot before that, so I was used to it.

That being said, the older you get, the harder it is to make friends.

I mean, I knew that I would eventually find some companionship, but I also realized this would take time.

So then, I decided that the Bayshore 8 – which happened to be about a five-minute walk from my house – would have to serve as my best pal for a while.

Sure, I had to rub my mom’s feet for 20 minutes to be able to pay the price of admission, but that was just a necessary evil in my mind.

The Bayshore 8 had a total of eight theaters and as I remember it they probably cleaned each of them once a day.

Yeah, it was filthy and the employees were all super shady characters, but in retrospect, that’s part of what I loved about it.

I didn’t mind the filth one bit because this theater was always there for me.

This stint of going to the movies unaccompanied didn’t last too long, but it was a really important time in my life. It proved to me that I could do things alone and still enjoy myself and, in my opinion, that’s a vital component of happiness.

Once I finally made friends, I went to see movies even more frequently.

My friends and I were at a weird age where we wanted to hang out without parent supervision, but we were too young for them to ever allow us any sort of privacy.

So then, we went to the movies.

Sure, it was dark, but our parents weren’t there, and we thought that was cool.

In fact, the first time I held hands with a girl was in the Bayshore 8, and there was nothing cooler than that when I was 13.

When I was a freshman in high school, a new theater was built in a town called Rio Grande; about a 15-minute drive.

The Rio Stadium 12 was a much nicer and cleaner theater than the “8,” and on top of that, it had four more theaters.

I don’t remember exactly how long it took, but I’d say that the “8” was closed within about four or five months from the time that the “12” opened.

Of course I was sad and swore I would never go to another movie theater, but in a weird turn of events, I ended up working at the Rio Stadium for 12 for four years.

Even though I have mad love for that cinema as well, it never captivated me in the way the theater I grew up in always had.

There have been other movie theaters, and there will undoubtedly be more down the road, but filthy and seedy as it was, there will never be another Bayshore 8.



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