Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Why I Like Movies

It's telling the kid behind the counter which film I came to watch, the imagined moment where he judges me for telling him the title of a movie he would never watch. The same created moment when I hand the other kid the ticket that I quietly wish he didn't tear. All reservations disappear as I walk into the theater and the aroma that throws me back to the memories of a much simpler time, washes over me.

And though I would never in my life pay a five hundred percent mark up on popcorn, soda, or a hotdog anywhere else in the known universe; I do so here, happily, without question, and with a smile on my face. Perhaps it's for that blissful, infrequent moment where the popcorn dissolves in a medley of salt and butter on your tongue. Or the snap of a lovingly steamed hotdog with the perfect ratio of condiments to enhance the flavor. All washed down with that frosty, cold beverage that you know is mostly ice, but really don't care because heaven resides on your taste buds at the moment.

As you walk by the arcade, you fall into the cliché of thinking how kids don't know what it's like to truly have an arcade at the movie theater. The handful of games pale in comparison to the game rooms of old. Where the clickety clack of buttons can be heard as someone furiously attempts to pull off a combo, a reversal, or the infrequent "Babality".

As you make your way to the line, reality setting in as you remember that the reason you're not in that sorry excuse of an arcade room is because you have to queue in line now, mom and dad aren't around this time to hold your place. But it's there that the anticipation builds. Conversations are had about the film yet to be seen. Will it be good? Why it will rule? Why it will suck and the only reason why you're going to see it? And the every-so-often person that knows way more than he/she particularly should about the film and drops some mad knowledge on the folks in the line, whether someone asked or not (guilty).

The elation of the line moving. The rush to your seat. Are you a center sitter or aisle sitter? In the back, middle, lower tier? Whichever you decide, as long as it's not the "pit" seats, those are for the people who didn't come here early, and for those who like to crane their necks.

And there it is, the silver screen. As the theater fills, you watch the demographic of people filing in. Surprised to see the curious older couple that are coming in to opening night; annoyed just a tad at the person who brought the baby to the evening show. But you pay no mind, as the lights dim, and fifteen minutes of previews come on. Some funny, some not. Some so long that you wonder to yourself why should you go watch the movie now? And the rare teaser that is way too awesome, in both scale and how incredibly long you have to wait to see it.

The theater dims yet again. A studio logo comes up. And the world around you fades away. As do the worlds of the other occupants who have maximized the theater capacity.

For the the next ninety to one hundred and eighty minutes, you are watching the work, that probably started as a mundane thought that happened to stray across a scribe's mind and caught his attention.

That's why I love movies. Because of the person who laughed too loud, the one who cried, to the one who jumped noticeably more than anyone else. The fevered reaction of a crowd locked in a single emotion, or the lone user who illegally downloaded the movie and is now pressed to get the blu-ray. And if you're incredibly fortunate, twenty five years down the line, a whole new generation is introduced to an idea that you once had a long time ago and thought it would be a great idea to share it with the world.

Sure, there are other mediums that have longevity in their impacts on the world. But none so interactive as to effect an audience at their most open and intimate of circumstances.

And not one that requires you to wear 3-D glasses to do so.

- This post took longer than it should have, cause I douched it on my iPad.

Location:Colma Blvd,South San Francisco,United States


Ruth said...

I wish I saw movies the way you do. I get why you like watching movies with people now, you see the crowd, not the movie, the people are what interest you. And that's why I love you.

VacaBoca said...

I don't see enough movies in theaters, and this makes me miss it all the more. Even in an empty theater, there's something to be had; mix in others bathing in the same light and sound, and it can be elevated to an experience like a concert... the tide of others' reactions can support or even supplant your own.

Dangit, must get to theater. Must therefore get a babysitter, or spousal disapproval :)

Thanks for the prod.

Americo said...

Empty theaters are a treat, it's as if for $10 bucks, they built a theater just for me. And then kick me out 3 hours later.

Amanda said...

while stumbling about the interwebs on a late sleepless night I came across this wonderful blog, you have somehow managed to express in words in a way I've never been able to the wonder of going to see a movie. It can be just as fun on the 'other' side of it - as a staff member watching everyone file past, sometimes knowing the fantastic viewing experience awaiting them, sometimes not but regardless of where you are it's a prime location for people watching and I don't do it often enough lately.

Thank you for that :)

Americo said...

I'm glad you dug it.