By on February 2nd, 2012

le0pard13 is the internet moniker of a father of two, spouse to one, who blogs on family and the popular arts out of The City of the Angels. If you ask him, he’d say this about himself: ‘Born in the 50s, grew up during the 60s, and survived the 70s.’ The late baby-boomer (or maybe Generation Joneser) has wondered the later years with an unexpected IT job at a medical center well past a third decade now. Just don’t ask him to explain it.

I became an instant fan of Filmplicity once I discovered it last year via our mutual friend Ruth over at her Flixchatter site. Our Man Ronan’s generous invitation to actually contribute something to his wonderful site (I’m not saying what I’m bringing is good, mind you) is nothing short of awesome for moi. Can you tell I’m not from those parts the blog editor calls home, yet?

His guest appearance on my blog last month really kicked off the blogging year for me in unexpected ways. His Five Ways to be a Happier Blogger in 2012 not only has had the most views in the calendar year for my meager site, it offered valuable avenues to what I do, which only benefitted me and those that stop by and read what’s there.

In a good many ways, what Ronan espoused in his guest article, and his recent list of Steven Spielberg films, gave credence to a line of posts I have been running called A Theatre… A movie… and a Time. It seems the most common reader response they’ve generated is to ask how exactly I do it – put them together, I mean. They’re not much, really. Usually, I try to keep this set of articles relatively short — no less than 300 words, but no more than 500, if I can help it.

For the curious, my life outside of this activity is pretty much taken up by work and family, as most folk. Let it be said, though, I don’t think I’m so much a writer than an online reactor to others and their ideas. Hence, the subject of this piece came from my readers.

Why It’s Done

The series of posts I began in the Spring of last year seems to scratch an itch I’ve had ever since I began scribbling down my lazy thoughts in the ether back on Father’s Day of 2008. I guess I didn’t know I had such things to offer or knew what do with them. Unbeknownst to me, the blogging communities, of which Ronan and Ruth, their Filmplicity/Flixchatter readers, and others were at the heart in solving this. It appears the only thing I’m good at, except irritating my long-suffering spouse and haranguing my kids to no end, is remembering things – both good and bad. My wife has accused me of having, along with passing down to her children, the nostalgia gene.

Guilty as charged. Though, to be accurate, I myself inherited that chromosomal trait from my mother. Such a thing wouldn’t have come from dear ol’ dad… the old man had little time for sentimentality. Besides, if he hadn’t smoked, I think he’d have had a problem remembering the names of the people he met (mostly women, btw) if they hadn’t written their names on the back of his matchbooks. So, with that, along with my love of watching movies from an early age, an idea formed to create an arc for a series of memory downloads I christened TMT, for short. The a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time entries, in essence, are an archive of these memories.

Full disclosure, I credit to my good friend, blogger and writer over at Colonel Mortimer Will Have His Revenge for the inspiration. Reading his look back at the films and theaters in his life triggered all of this — hey, original I’m not.

You see, existing as an organic being I know my memories, like me, are not destined to last. Born in the 50s, growing up during the 60s, and surviving the 70s, I know this as a certainty. Besides, having a memory like my mother’s, a woman who treated her children to the stories of her youth during her all too brief time on this mortal coil, would be considered a waste by she-who-wouldn’t-let-her-sons-forget. In essence, this is my small way of repaying that debt.

Hollywood Sign

How It’s Done

Initially, I came up with a list of movies and the theaters I visited over the decades. Here, too, I was plain (and circumstantially) lucky. As the old saying goes, “Choose your parents wisely”. Is doing so a godsend, I wonder? My begetters, both from the state of Texas, would never have met in that most unique southwestern area of the United States. El Paso and Corpus Christi are on opposite ends of that shire, like they were. Their respective families moving to the City of Los Angeles in California, where they met, are what brought me (and my brother) forth.

It also had the unexpected benefit of placing me in shouting distance of Hollywood and in the midst of the film capital of the U.S. And, one loaded to the gills with old and new movie theaters screening all kinds of fare.

As much as these engrams are bioelectrical, and very much analog, the method that carries them to the annals of my blog remains purely a digital exercise. Without a doubt, Evernote, the online digital assistant that helps “Remember Everything”, is invaluable at keeping track of every little thing it takes to put a post together. If I find something, be it an online post of a specific film that triggers a memory of mine (this occurs a lot and I try to give credit in the piece to those who sparked it*) or driving by an area where once stood a demolished movie palace (which happens a lot these days), this cloud app captures it (on my phone, tablet or home/work computer). It’s invaluable as an overall tool in an endeavor such as this.

Of course, the first step outside the memory is centering on the initial ‘T’ of that acronym. You’re not getting far without the Theatre. There are two web sites I frequent for the task of identifying and highlighting them. Cinema Treasures and CinemaTour are it, with the former getting the most of my attention. Cinema Treasures is as they describe themselves:

We’re passionate about movie theaters and going to the movies. Since 2000, Cinema Treasures has united movie theaters and patrons to build the world’s most comprehensive guide to movie theaters, and help celebrate and preserve the moviegoing experience.”

Even the New York Times cited them in a news article from last summer for their work and preservation to that effort. If you read the various comments for the diverse movie halls listed, you’ll note I’m not the only one wispily recalling their experiences tied to a specific theatre of yesteryear. I’ve even added some remarks to the site myself (mainly in regard to my stint as a movie theater projectionist many years ago). CinemaTour, also, is no slouch for the information and images it captures by contributors and readers for their ever-growing “cinema history around the world.

M’ comes next, and the best resource out there for the thing we call a Movie, especially to those who blog about film, is the Internet Movie Database, or IMDB. Want to find out the release date for film, shooting locations, trivia, or quotes, this is where you want to me. Surprisingly, those who contribute worldwide details (again, full disclosure: I be one) to Wikipedia offer some splendid information on individual (mostly well-known) films, as well. Most of the time, I’ll obtain a copy of the movie poster from the folks at MoviePosterDB. If I can’t find a representative one-sheet image there (rare), then it’s off to Google or back to Wikipedia, or Wikimedia.

Finally, we’ll arrive back at the last ‘T’, which in this case has morphed to the quintessential Time. This is where I begin the triangulation of it all. An entry doesn’t mean anything without context. Sometimes, it involves locating the release date of a film, the calendar of the period (the Time and Date site is indispensable for the obtaining any schedule of yesteryear), or delving into these databases of movie houses and film to pull from this old brain of mine the associated landmarks and events to help nail it down.

A good portion of the time, I can pinpoint the day and date of that particular memory. Families, and sometimes friends, help for some of the older recollections. Other times, I have to estimate the period it all happened, or give less personal tidbits because the remembrance of it has worn away through daily living and the loss of brain cells (I blame the drinking ;-)).

Either way, it all amounts to what I can personally impart to the reader of that past movie-going experience… a snapshot in other words. An impression in my life. My favorite writer of the last few years, Robert Crais, recently gave an answer to a question posed by another good friend of mine that I found fitting. It came from the blogger also known as Pop Culture Nerd doing a Q&A post about his new novel release. I think it sums up both the why and how of this archive venture I’ve come to find myself in. One accomplished through the support of the blogging community and those more generous than I (and thus is a good point to end on):

PCN: “Best advice ever taken?

RC: “Write what you love.

Thank you.

* Truth be told, what really kicks off an entry (whether it’s on that list of mine or not) most of the time is other bloggers. As Ronan stated, “We are what we read”.



  1. 1 le0pard13
    February 2nd, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Ronan, I wish to thank you once again for inviting me to contribute something to your excellent site and community. It’s an honour and you and your blog continue to inspire. I look forward to your return to my neck of the woods this year… if not in person, at least in the ether. Of course, if you do make it out to L.A., the Margaritas are on me ;-).

  2. 2 Matt Stewart
    February 2nd, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Ah, such a cool series! So great to hear the thoughts behind it. Thanks guys!

  3. […] GUEST POST: IT RAINS YOU GET WET EDITOR le0pard13 SHARES SOME OF HIS ‘LAZY THOUGHTS’ ON THEIR … Share this:FacebookStumbleUponTwitterMoreRedditPrintDiggEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Read more from ephemera, film blog, Filmplicity, Ronan Wright ← The Maltese Falcon Film Review […]

  4. 4 Scott Lawlor
    February 2nd, 2012 at 9:53 am

    TMT is probably one of my favourite series on the interweb. It is full of nostaligia and I am very jealous of the great cinemas you have visited…

    That is all

    Thanks for putting this together matey

  5. 5 Ronan
    February 2nd, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Haha, my pleasure Michael. You’re very kind but you flatter me. Filmplicity is only as good as the people we follow and interact with and thankfully we have been fortunate enough to cross paths with some truly admirable bloggers, yourself included. So allow me to thank you for agreeing to contribute to Filmplicity and I look forward to future collaborations.

    The Margaritas sound good, it’s a date! :-)

  6. 6 Ronan
    February 2nd, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    It is a great series. I think we all remember a time, a movie and a place/theatre that evokes different memories for us and tempts us to indulge in a bit of nostalgia. Thanks for reading and commenting Matt!

  7. 7 Ronan
    February 2nd, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I’m right there with you on the jealousy front Scott. Unfortunately Belfast doesn’t have old school type movie theatres like the ones we are so familiar with from the movies, at least none showing movies. I’m sure you have lots of lovely old fashioned theatres still showing movies in Brighton?

    Thanks for taking the time to read and comment Scott!

  8. 8 Ronan
    February 2nd, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    One movie going experience that evokes good memories for me is from 2006 in the U.S. which is the summer I met my wife. I remember taking her to a pokey little theatre in Butler, West Milford, New Jersey for some forgettable film or other. But the two of us there together is a cherished memory. Great series Michael, thanks for this valuable insight into how you put it together.

  9. 9 ruth
    February 2nd, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    What a splendid piece! Michael, you said you’re not much of a writer??? Are you kidding me? Your writing is phenomenal, it puts mine to shame, frankly. Plus I LOVE the fact that your posts are always so personal on top of being so exquisitely written. I think that’s the point of blogs isn’t it, to add that personal twist to the subject that we are passionate about. That’s why your TMT series are such a joy to read! Thanks for this and for Ronan to initiate this whole guest-blogging thing. Many thanks for mentioning me, Michael, you are ever so generous!

  10. 10 le0pard13
    February 2nd, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Since I’ll supply the Margaritas, you can pick the movie to watch 😉

  11. 11 le0pard13
    February 2nd, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Very kind, Matt. Thank you very much, my friend.

  12. 12 le0pard13
    February 2nd, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    I appreciate your words, Scott. I enjoy hearing about the places you’ve gone to with regard to film, as well. Many thanks.

  13. 13 le0pard13
    February 2nd, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    I’m sure you have lots of lovely old fashioned theatres still showing movies in Brighton?

    Is that why Jude Law’s Watson keeps mentioning Brighton in the recent Sherlock Holmes movie sequel?

  14. 14 le0pard13
    February 2nd, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    You were in Jersey? In 2006, as ‘The Sopranos’ was reaching its finale? Awesome. And you met your wife there?!? You had to cross the Atlantic to meet your lovely bride? I’d like to hear more… worth a post on your part (here or on my blog)?

  15. 15 le0pard13
    February 2nd, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    BTW, if you’d ever want to do your own TMT of that event and would like to ID that “forgettable film“, look here (it might spark what it was).

  16. 16 le0pard13
    February 2nd, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    I appreciate your kind and generous words, Ruth. And I had to, in all good conscience, mention you. You really have built an extraordinary community of bloggers and readers at your site, and I wouldn’t have found Ronan and Filmplicity without it. Many thanks.

  17. 17 Pop Culture Nerd
    February 2nd, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Michael, you are much too humble. Your posts are wonderful, with beautiful memories and insights about life in general and yours in particular. The day you decided to start blogging was a good one. Your children are lucky to have your thoughts archived in this way.

    Thanks for the mention. I think what Crais said is sound advice for anyone to do anything.

  18. 18 Castor
    February 3rd, 2012 at 2:54 am

    I love the TMT series. I’m always amazed that you remember so much and have such interesting insight from trips to the movie theater that most of us would find completely ordinary and not worth remembering 😉

  19. 19 Poncho
    February 3rd, 2012 at 10:52 am

    I love TMT.

    As a guy of the Generation Y, and from Mexico that is, I didn’t “meet” that many theaters (which were replaced by the multiplexes soon in my life).

    But I love the nostalgia and the insights into the cousin‘s life. The series is just fantastic, indeed.

  20. 20 Ronan
    February 3rd, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Given that you always seem to have golden oldies shown over there at the drop of a hat, it’ll probably be something like Brief Encounter or Casablanca. Something timeless and classic, a bit like you Michael 😉

  21. 21 Ronan
    February 3rd, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I must revisit the earlier entries in the series!

  22. 22 Ronan
    February 3rd, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    I think it might be for other reasons than that, eh Scott 😉

  23. 23 Ronan
    February 3rd, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    It’s nice to hear the geography behind people’s movie memories.

  24. 24 Ronan
    February 3rd, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Yeah, we were both at Camp America that year and our camp was in New Jersey, that’s where we met. I might do a TMT post at some stage, it would have to be something worthwhile because my memory is great at the best of times. I was really into The Sopranos at one point but I got over that quickly. That Boardwalk Empire seems to be a 20’s version of it.

  25. 25 Ronan
    February 3rd, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Thanks for that Michael, that may well come in handy if I decide to do a TMT post and it might be nice to reminisce about what I saw that year.

  26. 26 Ronan
    February 3rd, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    My pleasure, it is my good fortune to know such good bloggers and decent folk like yourself Ruth, so it is hardly a stuggle :-)

  27. 27 Ronan
    February 3rd, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Ditto Michael, I came across It Rains… on Flixchatter, so I owe Ruth for that aswell!

  28. 28 Ronan
    February 3rd, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    I don’t know about ‘worth’ remembering but my memory is pretty dodgy, it would have to be a pretty special movie going experience to give me enough material to do this great series justice.

  29. 29 Ronan Wright
    February 3rd, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    I think ‘insight’ is the word Poncho. As Ruth said in a comment above, blogging is what it is, at least at its best (imo) when passion and personality meet on a topic that is interesting and enjoyable to read. Michael has captured this winning formula in his great series and I look forward to watching him continue to do so. Thanks for the comment!

  30. 30 Ronan Wright
    February 3rd, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Here, here Elyse! Michael certainly is giving good example when it comes to doing what he loves. He is an inspiration to bloggers like myself. It’s a pleasure to share his memories. Thanks for the comment!

  31. 31 le0pard13
    February 3rd, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    I can go with that :-).

  32. 32 le0pard13
    February 3rd, 2012 at 7:38 pm


  33. 33 le0pard13
    February 3rd, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    I look forward to it.

  34. 34 le0pard13
    February 3rd, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Thank you, Elyse. I can tell you that it means a lot coming from a good friend like yourself. BTW, for those reading this, meeting and befriending PCN was directly associated with this blogging thing of ours. Even though we live in the same city, I don’t think we would have met unless other bloggers shared an great article of hers which brought me to her excellent blog.

  35. 35 le0pard13
    February 3rd, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Very kind of you to say, Castor. I appreciate it greatly, my friend.

  36. 36 le0pard13
    February 3rd, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Hey, cousin! So glad to see and read you over here at Filmplicity. And thanks very much for those words. It means a lot and keeps me going :-).

  37. 37 ruth
    February 3rd, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    I know, Castor, it’s incredible that Michael is able to recount even the theater and places he went to eat, etc. from years ago. And on top of that, able to write it down so eloquently for others to vicariously live through him. Well done!

  38. 38 Ronan Wright
    February 3rd, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Haha, thought you might 😉

  39. 39 Ronan Wright
    February 3rd, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    That’s the beauty of blogging, sharing is caring :-) We’re all one big happy family. And you’re the daddy Michael! lol

  40. 40 Ronan Wright
    February 3rd, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Wish I had the memory for movie details that you do Michael. Maybe I could just make some up. Hmmm… I wonder if anyone’d notice?

  41. 41 Ronan Wright
    February 3rd, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    I can’t wait to see what the next in the series will be!

  42. 42 Rachel
    February 6th, 2012 at 6:04 am

    TMT is one of my favorites, too, and I so enjoy this “behind the scenes” look.

    Also, I’ve always been so jealous of your excellent memory; now that I know Evernote is the secret ingredient I’m getting it. I know it won’t get me the memory you have but it might be fun to try and drudge up some of my past. Course, I never “drive by” it as I’m rarely in the same state as my past. :)

    Great post! I really enjoyed what both of you added to each others’ blogs. Way to keep the community going.

  43. 43 Ronan Wright
    February 6th, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Hi Rachel, glad you enjoyed the post, I just happy Michael agreed to lend his time and talent to Filmplicity (I hope to coax him back in the not too distant future).

    My memory is ropey at the best of times, I wish I could remember the movies of my youth but I just can’t go back that far (and I don’t go back as far as some, eh Michael ;-). I may have to test drive that Evernote if I’m to take Michael up on his kid offer to do my own TMT post. Have you thought of doing your own Rachel?

    Thanks for the taking the time to read and comment Rachel and for your kind words, a community spirit really is the best reward for all our hard work! Welcome to Filmplicity! :-)

  44. 44 Rachel
    February 7th, 2012 at 4:58 am

    Thanks for the kind welcome and I’m sure I’ll be back again.

    As to your question, I already have! :) And, if I did this correctly, my name on this comment should link to my very own TMT.

    I’m currently in my Evernote test drive. I anticipate using it mostly for my story writing and traveling (especially baseball park visits). I think it’ll be more like capturing what I don’t want to forget rather than trying to find what’s already lost. 😉

    Good luck to you in your Evernote endeavors!

  45. 45 le0pard13
    February 7th, 2012 at 6:23 am

    Yes, Evernote is the secret ingredient for all those memory-centric tasks, even if your personal RAM is busy with other things.

    “Course, I never “drive by” it as I’m rarely in the same state as my past.”

    Ha! Love that! I always enjoy your comments, Rachel. And Ronan deserves the credit for much of this. His joy and promotion of community in the blogosphere is infectious (in a good way). Many thanks for the kind words, as always.

  46. 46 le0pard13
    February 7th, 2012 at 6:32 am

    I can’t wait for that TMT, Ronan!

    And Rachel, who I had the distinct pleasure to meet in person last summer, is one of those bloggers that draws me through her wonderful perspective and writing. She’s also my duo post book/film partner, so you know I enjoy her readership.

    A welcome indeed. Thanks, Ronan.

  47. 47 Rachel
    February 8th, 2012 at 6:40 am

    The interdemons seem to have swallowed up my reply to replies. :/ Ah well, many thanks for the kind welcome. I hope to have many more visits in the future and I look forward to your TMT. Good luck with Evernote; I’m test driving now. To answer your question, I have already done a TMT and anticipate using Evernote to not lose what I have rather than trying to recover what’s already gone. 😉

    lp13 – I look forward to your future posts at your “home” blog and here. Looks like you and Ronan have a good thing going.

  48. 48 le0pard13
    February 8th, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Many thanks, Rachel.

  49. 49 Ronan Wright
    February 8th, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Ditto! Sorry about the replies not getting through Rachel, I’ll see if I can find them. Thanks for commenting!

  50. 50 Ronan Wright
    February 8th, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    I found your original comment Rachel, sorry about that. Thanks for re-commenting :-)

  51. 51 Ronan Wright
    February 8th, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    ‘Perspective’. That’s the kicker isn’t it. Writing can be many things but if it doesn’t offer an original perspective well it’s just not achieving its potential is it? Bloggers like yourself remind me of this Michael, so I thank. And I’m glad I was able to run into Rachel through your blog. I’ll have to pencil in that TMT post now that I’ve committed eek!

  52. 52 Ronan Wright
    February 8th, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    Your welcome for the welcome Rachel, I do hope you’ll be back again :-) Looking forward to reading your TMT post. If it’s the Jurassic Park one I’ve read Michaels part of it so it’ll be nice to round it off with yours. I’ve committed to doing the TMT myself now so I will probably have to use Evernote myself, my memory is terrible! Thanks for the good wishes.

  53. […] entire TMT series can be found here. If you’re interested how it’s put together, click here. Share this:FacebookTwitterMoreRedditPrintDiggEmailStumbleUponLike this:Like6 bloggers like this […]

  54. 54 TMT: Hush, hush | It Rains… You Get Wet
    June 15th, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    […] entire TMT series can be found here. If you’re interested how it’s put together, click here. Share this:FacebookTweetMoreRedditPrintDiggEmailStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  55. 55 Richard Kirkham
    August 31st, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    I just found this series connected to a link on Fog’s site. I look forward to scanning all of the stories since it sounds so parallel to my life and the original project on my site. The great movie experiences I had in the sixties and seventies always include my memory of the theater and the times. Being from Southern California, we had so many neighborhood theaters to visit that my memory sometimes conflates them. Today’s movie complexes ought to give us greater diversity in film but also in experience. A multiplex is not a substitute for a neighborhood cinema, but it is all we have left.

  56. […] entire TMT series can be found here. If you’re interested how it’s put together, click here. Share this:FacebookTwitterStumbleUponMoreRedditPrintDiggEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  57. 57 TMT: Ran at the Royal | It Rains… You Get Wet
    November 13th, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    […] is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. As I’ve stated before, “… what really kicks off an entry… most of the time is other bloggers.” In […]

  58. 58 le0pard13
    November 19th, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Thank you very kindly, Richard. Since we have this in common, I’d love to read the posts in your project. I don’t see, or can connect, to the site. Could you provide another link?

  59. 59 TMT: Now, Back Then | It Rains… You Get Wet
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    […] entire TMT series can be found here. If you’re interested how it’s put together, click here. Share this:FacebookGoogle +1TwitterStumbleUponMoreRedditPrintDiggEmailLike this:LikeBe the first […]

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