I live 45-75 minutes away from three different cities, and my favourite place to go in all three is the movie theater. If I had a choice to receive a gift card for a restaurant, favourite store in the mall, or a movie theater, it would be no contest. I’m like a kid when I’m there.
Walking into the building, sometimes even walking along the side of it, the experience starts. Movie posters! Every time I end up leaving the posters sooner than I want to. Not only is it fun to see what’s out and what’s coming soon, but also they just look so cool. They give clues to what the movie may or may not deliver. They are creatively fashioned and even communicate moods. For me it’s the best form of window shopping.
And now it’s confession time for me. Here goes… I have a very difficult time not buying a bag of popcorn from the theater concessions. Phew, glad I got that off my chest. Being both a Maritimer and a descendent of Scottish heritage, buying anything at all at a theater is scandalous. Even sinful. “That’s where they git ya!” I’m so cheap I even refuse to pay attention. I mean, I went bald just to save on haircuts for crying out loud.
But I’m afraid it’s true. The experience of smelling the popcorn both in the lobby and in the theater itself and hearing the rustling of hands digging out fistfulls of kernels has always been aesthetically pleasing to me. And now, tasting that buttery awesomeness is just too much for me to say no to. I feel like Emmet in The Lego Movie. They tell me the bag will cost me $87 and I just say, “$87?? That’s awesome!”
Then we nestle into our cushy seats and watch the pre-show. Too many commercials, but I’m used to it now. When I watch hockey, wrestling, TV shows, or even when driving down the street, commercials are yelling at me from every angle. I’ve learned to shut it out. (Though I do boo when they show commercials in between the previews and movie. Telus, I’m this close to boycotting!) This is a good time to read the movie magazines you can get for free in the theater hallway. Or, a good time to talk to your friend. Depending on the movie, you can probably pick up a conversation with a stranger sitting behind you. Say what you want about Trekkies, comic book nerds and Star Wars geeks; but, if you’re at one of their movies, they’ll see you as a familiar friend just because of what you’re about to watch together. I guarantee you can start a nice convo with anyone there without breaking a sweat.
And the previews. Who doesn’t love them? Usually I try to avoid seeing trailers because I like knowing as little about a movie as possible before seeing it. But in the theater it’s totally different. I watch them, enjoy them, think about whether I want to see each movie, and frankly I get cranky if I’ve arrived too late and miss seeing them.
Of course watching the movie is the highlight of the experience, unless the movie itself quickly becomes a disappointment. But even then, you get to have that after-movie conversation with your friend and/or date about what you didn’t like about it.
The whole thing is awesome! When Joy and I go on a date, plan A is always a movie. If there’s nothing we think we’d both enjoy we usually go to Chapters, hang out for a couple of hours and buy a book.
None of this week’s nominees have I seen in a theater. Though my favourite of the three would be The Godfather, if I had a choice to watch one of them on the big screen it would be Jaws. If I was to watch Grease on a big screen I would rather it be at a drive-in, for obvious reasons.
Congratulations Grease. This is your week.
And the Oscar goes to…
Best Actress: Olivia Newton-John as Sandy in Grease.
Best Actor: Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather.
Best Quote: “That’s some bad hat Harry.” — Roy Scheider as Brody in Jaws.
My favourite theater experiences…
10. Titanic (1997)
9. Forrest Gump (1994)
8. Original Star Wars trilogy (when they were re-released in 1997)
7. Iron Man (2008)
6. The Revenant (2015)5. Jurassic Park (1993)
4. Avatar (2009)
3. The Passion of the Christ (2004)
2. Schindler’s List (1993)
1. Lady and the Tramp (a re-release in the late 70’s)
Movie of the Week