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A NIGHT AT THE MOVIE THEATER or WHEN THE BEST OF PLANS GO AWRY

I'm sure all of you have heard stories of Elvis renting the Memphian Theater in Memphis in the middle of the night to watch movies (about fifteen of us).

This particular night Elvis was dressed in one of his "SUPER FLY" outfits that he liked at the time. He really looked more like "Spy vs. Spy" actually, but I let him think he looked like Super Fly. He wore a huge brimmed hat, chains, and was carrying a Tommy sub-machine gun, along with the very long coat that touched his ankles. So darn cute.

Can't recall what we watched that night, but at about 4 a.m. when it was time to leave, we had the "plan for leaving the theater meeting" as usual, in order not to cause chaos with the crowds that had gathered.

I was told to exit out either the front door or one of the side doors so that the fans would expect Elvis to come out that way. I was the 'decoy'... ahem... Elvis was to go out a different side door. AHA... we knew what to do! "Yes... we've got it!" Yes!... another speedy, quick and Safe exit.


Legend: Elvis with his stepbrother, Ricky Stanley.

I told everyone that I needed to  make a quick trip to the powder room so I ran up front. As soon as I came out... the entire theater was deserted and pitch black. The only soft light I could see up front there was the soft glow of the "cooling-down" popcorn machine. Yes... I was LOCKED IN THE DARK, dark, (did I mention dark?) theater. Very frightening for some reason. There has always been something disturbing to me about an empty theater of any kind. My first thought as my heart began pounding was that some "crazy" was up to no good and that Elvis may be harmed and I didn't have the gun he had given me in my purse! I had relied on his sub-machine gun that night. I thought that would be sufficient protection. Ha! I began to panic, just knowing that no one would notice that I was 'missing' until they got back to the house. Or perhaps NO ONE would notice I wasn' there? Or worse... What if something awful is happening or did happen and... and... and..

I pounded on the front door and screamed... not in my "singer's protective voice".

Fortunately the young man who ran the movies/popcorn/sodas for us that night was just getting in his car and heard me! He unlocked the front door and thoughtfully decided to wait with me to see if anyone realized I wasn't home.

It wasn't too long before someone came to pick me up... thank heaven they noticed when they got home. BUT... the worst thing was that somehow everyone thought that 'the other' had picked up Elvis and me. In reality, NEITHER of us had been picked up.

They had left him too! Quick exit and a return "car-run" now to find... him!

He was casually strolling down the streets of Memphis at 4 a.m. dressed as Super Fly, carrying a sub-machine gun... alone... trying to walk home.

They had arrived at the house staring, looking around shouting... "I thought you picked her up... I thought You picked him up!"

When he walked in that front door... nervous laughter and monkey-chatter broke out... HE LAUGHED LOUDER THAN ANYONE surprisingly, saying and laughing loudly, "I've got the best 'blank-ity-blank' (expletive here) security in the world... better than the President of the United States, and here I am walking down the dark streets of Memphis trying to get home at 4 a.m. in the morning??!!"

Whew! Now this was the only movie I remember that night.

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