Golden Age Movie Serial. The Phantom Creeps starring Bela Lugosi. Chapter 11: The Blast! How will they die this chapter?
Kids lined up for a city block to get into the afternoon Saturday matinee at the Covina Theater. Hot little quarters burning holes in their pockets. 25cents to get into a double bill movie. An A movie like Forbidden Planet, a B movie like Earth Versus the Giant Spider. Laps filled with hot popcorn and icy cokes dripping across pants and skirts. Huge screen! Big sweeping movement of light then the first of a number of cartoons: Bugs Bunny versus the Pirates. Casper the Friendly Ghost in Ghastly Neighbors. Popeye Versus Bluto in Submarine Friends.
The last cartoon dims on the screen. Tiny hands throw spitballs, blow straw covers across the seats, pluck hair in front, yell, jump up and down, and then the next chapter of The Phantom Creeps slides onto the screen, showing the fiery, horrible death of last week and then how the lead character escapes death yet again miraculously.
Ah, those were the days!