Merril and Jay Osmond are keen movie-goers: meeting John Wayne was one of the most amazing experience in their infancy

Jay and Merril Osmond

Recollects Jay Osmond: “One cinema that immediately comes to mind is Coleman’s Motor-Vu, a great little drive-in, in North Ogden, Utah. As kids in the late ’50s and early ’60s, we went there all the time. Incredibly, our father somehow managed to take all of us there in his pick-up. I was a great John Wayne fan and particularly loved The Alamo, The Searchers and The Sons of Katie Elder”.

When we met John Wayne

“Once, in 1967 or ’68, we actually got to meet him in person. He was, just as you’d expect: larger-than-life and such a giant of a man; and one of the things I remember most was his hand being three times the size of mine! As we parted, he said to my father: ‘Well, it’s an honour to meet you, George…’. Our dad instinctively replied: ‘Well, it’s been an honour to meet you, too, Mr Wayne...’. That was quite a surreal moment.

Going to cinema: a family passion

“Our family’s always loved movies and, in fact, whenever we’d have a day off while on the road – well, just ask any of the Osmonds about our favourite pastime, and that’d be watching movies. Plus, it’s true: life can be stressful and so going to the theatre can be good therapy.

However, our father wouldn’t let us see just any film, but always made us do our research first. He’d said that in the same way you would choose your books and your friends, you should also be selective in what you watch. Today, I really like the Jason Bourne series, as well as the likes of Mission Impossible”.

“Back to the Motor-Vu drive-in, there was just something real special about that time and about being out in the open-air and everyone being in front of that huge screen which was, again, all bigger-than-life. I know there’s still a few drive-ins left around; they are special and I wish they’d make a comeback”.

Merrill Osmond’s favourite cinema

Recalls Merrill: “The one that we go to a lot is the Sunset Megaplex Theatre in St. George, UT. What do I like about it? I love the popcorn, obviously… and I guess I’m a hotdog-lover, too; but one thing I really like is the good surround-sound, it’s like you’re in a ‘sound cell’ when you’re there and all made that much better by the comfortable seats and huge screen. It’s eight screens and so the programming is good, too, where you can pick-and-choose from between 8-10 movies at any one time.

We’re keen movie-goers, and I like Adventure – The Greatest Showman being one of the best we’ve seen in a while. Yup, just put out an adventure movie and we’ll be there”.

Sit back and relax

“There’s another cinema we go to when out in Vegas, called Eclipse Theaters. I love it for its recliners and where they’ll also serve you food so that, even if the film is boring, you can at least fall asleep in comfort… actually, my wife often has to wake me up during films.

Being in Entertainment, I’m all about the theatrical experience being the best it can be. I think the Eclipse’s recliners and food-service gets about as near to being the ultimate in cinema-going… also, if you can find an experience where you can relax and not have to rub elbows with others, then I think this is definitely the way movie-theatres should go”.S

The Osmonds will be playing a one-off concert at The Union Chapel, Islington, in London, on Thursday, 21st February, 2019. Also, for December 2018 tour dates: www.merrillosmond.com

IMAGE: Skywall Photography