The cheese of childhood: The gestalt of the Saturday afternoon movie.


saturday afternoon header

Did you grow up in the 70s or 80s? If so, you probably remember the nebulously-defined but unforgettable ritual of the Saturday afternoon movie. While the term “Saturday afternoon movie” is not a specific genre of cinema, saying it is bound to evoke certain images in many people’s minds–like the image of a guy in a rubber monster suit trampling a miniature Tokyo, for example. I don’t know if Saturday afternoon kid cinema survived much beyond the 80s–it seems to be one of those things that the rise of cable networks and video stores in the 1990s was likely to have killed off–but if you watched TV, particularly UHF TV, in the 1970s or 1980s, you probably remember Saturday afternoons, whether literally or in spirit, with a mixture of fondness and embarrassment.

Between 1978 and 1982 my family lived in the Central Valley of California, and to this day…

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