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Doris Day: What we have taken for granted in her movies is Illuminated by a new generation’s perspective.

By Mary Anne Barothy, author of Day at a Time: An Indiana Girl’s Sentimental Journey to Hollywood and Beyond.

Guess we don’t always realize what we take for granted until we hear it discussed with the fresh insights of a younger person.  Case in point: a good friend of mine, Joy, who is also an avid Doris Day fan, just turned 60 in June.  She was born in 1959—the year Pillow Talk was released.  I remember going to see Pillow Talk at the Keith’s Theater in downtown Indianapolis when I was 15 in 1959.  AND, I also remember very well going to see Calamity Jane with my mother in 1953 when I was just 9 years old!  The old Emerson Theater in Indianapolis used to show many of Doris Day’s movies in the late 1950s and 1960s.  Yes, I was there often and became friends with the manager, who would often save the movie posters and give them to me. That fan enthusiasm was what started me on my journey to Hollywood, to eventually become Doris’s secretary and live in her home.

In my chats with Joy, I didn’t realize until she told me that she had never seen one of Doris Day’s movies on the big screen.  Yes, she had seen them on TV and on DVD, but never on the big screen.  I guess I just took it for granted that every DD fan had seen Doris’s movies in theaters, but depending on their age, that was just not so. Doris is one of the few Golden Age celebrities who have continued to have a huge and enduring fan base today, including many younger people. Recently Joy had the opportunity to see Pillow Talk at the Marcus Theater in Williamsburg, Virginia, on the big screen for the very first time. It seems some theaters around the country are starting to have special showings of classic movies that stand the test of time. Needless to say, I was anxious to ask Joy what it was like for her to go to a theater and see a DD movie. She was bubbling over with enthusiasm, saying that it was totally different from watching a movie on TV. First, it effortlessly engulfs you in happier times. Then, with the dominant surroundings in the theater and following the plot, you get so much more involved with the movie.  With large scenes circling you and excellent sound, blocking everything else out, you become more a part of it.  The large big screen is definitely larger than life than a TV in a living room and it’s not just another show. That was what she experienced.

Joy went on to say, “When you are home lounging around you are easily distracted either by a dog, a phone call or someone else in the room. In the theater, you are totally focused. I picked up a lot more of the humorous, sexy lines that just seemed to get lost when watching it on TV.  I have seen Pillow Talk at least 10 times before, but never appreciated it as much as seeing it on the big screen.  There is something wonderful and different about going to a theater to see Doris Day.”

Joy also said she had the opportunity to meet an older lady, a fan of Doris Day, who was seated next to her at the theater.  Before the movie began, both confessed how much they were looking forward to seeing “Pillow Talk” and exchanged their views on The Girl Next Door!.

I’m delighted some theaters are bringing back classic films. I say, HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD!!!

Day at a Time is available from Hawthorne: Click back to purchase!