The Cheapies

 When I was in school, my idea of a perfect night was going to The Cheapies a theater in Capitola by the Sea.  It was an old theater run by two little old ladies. 


On a typical night, you would call the “hotline” to see what was showing.  I can do a great imitation of the recording, but it does not translate well on the page.  The lady who did the message had a speech impediment like Cindy Brady.  Her S sounded like SH with a lot of extra air thrown in.


Thish ish the Capitola Theater.  Tonight’s feature is Tequila Shunshine.  Gene Shishcal of the Shicago Shun Timesh shays Shintolating Shinoma at it’sh finished.  Asho showing Earnesht goesh to Camp.


Two things to point out, first she always read a review on the machine.  If she picked a Gene Siskel review, it was a good movie.  If she quoted the Shackromento Bee (Sacramento), watch out.  Second, they alway put a bizzare mixture of movies on the marque. 


Typically I would go to Capitola hours before the show started.  First I would have to go to Pizza-My-Heart for a slice of pesto pizza.  Then I would hang out in Mr. Toot’s (coffee shop) for a couple hours.  Presuming my plans did not change, I would go to the show.


The price of admission was a couple of bucks for a double feature.  Snaggle Tooth (no really) sold tickets.  They just had a cash box and red tickets that you can buy in the stationary store.  Her partner sold refreshments.  The candy was equally cheap.  Really cheap like for $2 you could get popcorn and a soda.  They had Fresco on tap…LOL.  The floors were extremely sticky.  Up until the final years, you could still smoke in the theater.  The crowd was a odd assortment of misfits that can only be assembled in Santa Cruz County.  College students, old bridge club ladies, families, the homeless, bikers, you name it they were represented.  The sound and picture were awful, but if the movie was boring, you could just walk out. 


If I were on a date with one of my early pre-emergent lesbians, we could go for a walk on the beach after the show.  They had benches so you could sit and listen to the ocean for hours.  On a clear night, you could see the lights of Monterey across the bay. 


I would love to revisit those days.  Everything where I live now is shiny new.  Every store is a chain, every coffee shop a Starbucks.  I would not dream of going to a movie and walking out if it was lame.  It cost too much. 


Have a Nishe evening!

By Ben Posted in Life

4 comments on “The Cheapies

  1. The first movie I saw with my wife was “Danshes with Wolvesh,” at that *very* theater. Yes, you could smoke there. It was the last of those 800 person-amphitheater-type cinemas in Santa Cruz county, and it was interesting because, well, the smokers had their own section (it was the right half, or the back half) of the amphitheater which meant, if you cared about your lungs at all, it didn’t really matter too much because your carcinoma quotient equalled 80 packs at once. It was also a good place to hide your vices. If you smoked & were asked by an RA why your clothes reeked? you just had to say “I went to the cheapies” and they’d wink and you’d be off the hook. Right Ben? Oh and the beach he was talking about? That’s where my wife & I first kissed. Mr. Toots? It’s the place we spent our last anniversary. Lots of memories for us as well…


  2. “Pre-emergent lesbians”!!!!!?!?!?!?!?!

    I’m laughing so hard I’m crying!!!!

    Aaaahhhh, the memories of the cheapies!

  3. ok… don’t know how I missed this post… I think it was in the midst of me going back to Missouri, and I never got caught up until now… What Brian “forgot” to mention about that first date was that he also invited along Dina Scuto… now THAT was romantic! 🙂

    oh and tell Jessica that if she lets me know when she’s in Capitola, I’ll make sure that someone is there to help her up the stairs!!! 🙂

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