Age: 72, almost 73
Town of Residency: Homosassa, FL
Date of Interview: 9-28-16
“Now that’s a good question for a preacher’s daughter,” said Joyce Pegram, 72, in reply to a question about how often she went to movies as a young girl. For her, a trip to the movie theatre was a special occasion, because she was at church “all the time.” She said, “whenever I would go [to the theatre], we usually would always go as a [church youth] group.”
However, when referring to the special occasions when she did get the chance to go see movies, Pegram has fond memories. As a child living in a mill village in Gastonia, N.C., the community offered monthly outdoor movie nights. Her family would take blankets and sit in an area where they could see the big movie screen that was set up on a hill.
Pegram also remembers going to the local drive-in theatre. According to her, “those were the exciting times.” It was very much “a family thing,” she said. Her daddy had a pick-up truck, and the whole family would pile in with their picnic basket full of snacks and watch old westerns or World War II movies.
With two Salvation Army officers for parents, Pegram moved around quite a bit as a child. But, she can remember that in any place she lived, there was always a theatre downtown. At that time, theatres were smaller, with only one movie showing at a time, and it had the appearance of the Don Gibson Theatre in Shelby, N.C. She said, “I liked it better [than drive-ins], because just to see the big screen, to be inside, and the sound system was so much better.” It was in these theatres that a 12-year-old Pegram saw her first colored film, The Robe. She said that the color made the movie “more real.”
In 1965, Pegram gave birth to a son, who helped to change her movie-going experiences. “We went to crazy movies, like Wolfman and Dracula…movies you wouldn’t think you’d take a kid his age,” she said. They went to see movies all the time. We “made up for lost time,” she said, comparing her son’s childhood to her own. After taking her son to so many of those darker, scarier films that he was interested in, Pegram says that she eventually lost interest. Now, she prefers a good action flick.
She enjoys the improvements that theatres have made over the years, such as the fact that they are “so much bigger” and “offer so many more movies to go see.” She still goes to see movies on a regular basis. She also utilizes Netflix’s streaming services. “I like to be able to watch what I want to watch when I want to watch and where I want to watch,” she said. She splits her time between Homosassa, Fla. and Maggie Valley, N.C., and she appreciates the portability that Netflix offers.
“I feel like I’ve had the privilege of seeing so many great actors and actresses throughout my life,” she said, which include some of her personal favorites: Charlton Heston, Sean Connery, Clint Eastwood, Nicolas Cage, Tommy Lee Jones, and Goldie Hawn.
Check back here next week for my next review.