Roger Ebert 1942-2013

The first movie I can recall seeing at a theater was Pinocchio. From that first time I became enamored with movies; following my brothers, parents and grandparents in our love for cinema. I was fortunate to have sat in some of the old regal movie theaters with their intricately carved terra cotta walls and bright marquees. There was one theater that stood out from all the rest for me. It had a lobby with marble columns that soared up towards a high domed ceiling. Between the candy counter and the aisle entrances were black wrought iron gates trimmed in gold. Seats were covered in a maroon colored velour fabric. They probably looked deeper in color due to the orange glow of lights coming out of the cauldrons and pots that were part of the carved reliefs along the walls. I loved going to see a film in this movie palace. In fact, I thought I could easily get hired as an usher there because of my strong affection for movies; not understanding I was underaged by a few years. As times changed so did movie houses; going from the ornateness I just described to square, flat walled boxes that were void of any personality. I will say the plus for me was when stadium seating was introduced; eliminating my anxiety over the possibility the seat in front me getting occupied by a tall person.

I see this bridge between old and new being similar to Roger coming on the scene. There were movie critics before him, but he took movie reviews in a new direction. Roger made them personal, adding a quick turn of words that could be sarcastic as well as funny. What I liked most about his reviews were the way they made me feel as if he was talking directly to me. Roger’s reviews were not only the highlight when I read the newspaper, they instilled a comfortableness that I still get to this very day when holding the pages of a newspaper. Because of him, when I decided to write movie reviews; I wanted to make them personal. To show how the movie related to me was something important I wanted to share with the readers. There is nothing like having a movie surprising the viewer and taking them away to a different place. I will sadly miss Roger’s reviews but I can just see him now having spirited discussions with his dear friend Gene Siskel and  some of the classic movie stars from yesteryear.




About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on April 7, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. linda leavitt

    Hi, I really enjoy reading your blog. I remember those beautiful movie houses too (the Granada especially). Also have a ‘it’s a small world story for you’. When I was a student at of University of Illinois in Urbana I went to the union on Sunday nights to see foreign and avant – guarde films organized and shown by a young Roger Ebert! I also never missed a Saturday night watching him and Siskel on PBS. I never went out until after 7- it was before taping. Keep enjoying those films and staying healthy!

  2. Of the tributes I’ve read in tribute to Roger Ebert yours so nicely fits the meaning of why you write reviews. That why I keep coming back to moviezoltz. You put you into your reviews as Every understood it is more than what’s on the screen, it is what you bring to it as a viewer.

  3. He was a great reviewer.

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