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Sat, Aug 30, 2014

PICKIN' ON FILM: Why people avoid the movie theater


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Last week was big for movies and myself. After waiting the better part of two years, I finally saw “The Dark Knight Rises,” the final film in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Batman trilogy.

If you’re a fan of movies, and I assume you are because you’re reading this instead of something with a deeper purpose, you might be wondering why it took me so long to see it, especially when it came out in theaters last July.

Well, dear readers, it’s a simple answer. I absolutely loathe going to the movie theater.

Someone call my boss, Michelle Willard, and tell her to stop the presses and, while she’s at it, the payment on my last check.

Now that I think about it, forget that last part.

A guy who writes a weekly movie column in which he waxes poetic on an obsessive basis about the ins and outs of his movie viewing behavior hates going to movie theaters?

Yes. Yes, I do.

While I was at Rhodes College I enjoyed going to the Studio on the Square adjacent to Overton Square for a few simple reasons.

It was 10 minutes from my house and showed all of the movies that are limited release or art house films, like those of Wes Anderson, the kind that you never seem to be able to find at your normal local theater like the Wynnsong or the Premiere 6.

My dear, departed friend and son of Huntsville, Matt McLain and I would always go to see new Bill Murray or Anderson films and we’d have a great time.

Herein lies the difference: Those films are generally less than two hours long.

Had I gone to see “The Dark Knight Rises,” I would have been in a gigantic theater, sitting with way too many people for the better part of three hours.

Anyone who knows me well will tell you I can’t sit at a dinner table for 30 minutes at a time without wanting to run screaming into the night air. I have a bit of an attention span problem. Well, a huge one now that I think about it.

Therefore, going to a long film in a gigantic theater is about as close to a prison sentence that I will willfully undergo.

Being a student of film classes, I have a set of criteria for the few times a year I actually do find myself in a movie theater.

Always sit in the middle of the theater so that your range of vision is completely filled with the screen.

I remember going to see an IMAX version of one of the Star Wars prequels and sitting in the far back right side of the seats so it looked like I was at a drive-in theater about 150 yards away from the screen. Not an enjoyable experience.

I’m also a fan of taking my own candy because the selection at a normal theater is more akin to a modern-day menu on a one-hour airplane flight.

Again, don’t tell the people at the theater. Even if you happen to, I’m sneaky so no worries.

Plus, I’m generally going with a date and these days women carry purses the size of small duffel bags. I’m a fan.

The only other theater I liked going to is in Austin, Texas. Called the Alamo Drafthouse, it was an older theater that had removed every other row of seats and installed long, narrow tables and served great food along with a bottle of wine or a bucket of beer.

The only issue there was that after you share a bucket with a buddy or two, you can’t remember what happens at the end of the movie.

I have to admit that the Drafthouse hosts Muppet Movie and Rocky Horror Show sing-a-longs and the day “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” came out, they were giving free mullet haircuts in the lobby.

Now I write all this to defend my idea of watching a highly anticipated movie.

I will wait as long as it takes for the movie to come out on DVD or BluRay. With  “TDKR”, it was from July 16 to Dec. 4, not counting the fact that “The Dark Knight,” it’s predecessor, came out on July 18, 2008.

That’s some waiting right there.

So I sit patiently, for once, and buy the DVD.

Then, I pop it into my player, throw on the subtitles so I can “hear” everything, and watch.

I’ll pause it probably six or seven times to get up, go to the bathroom, or get a beverage and a breath of fresh air and truly enjoy it on my 55-inch LED television.

That, to me, is heaven and always worth the wait. A ridiculous level of re-watches and analysis comes later. But no matter what, I enjoy it in my way.
 
 
 
Tagged under  Culture, Entertainment, Movie, Pickin On Film



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