What is your favorite movie-going memory?
I've got quite a few actually, but nothing beats the day my friend and I stood for four hours in a line that wrapped completely around the mall to see The Empire Strikes Back. It was one of those fascinating moments where you could literally feel history being made and it was great to be with that many people all talking happily about what they thought the movie was going to be. Enthusiasm is contagious. And the movie delivered!
Panelist: Tennessee Jed
It is hard to top memories from one's childhood. Among my best were when our mom's would take my friend and myself to matinees at the big movie palaces in downtown Philadelphia. Ben-Hur in 70mm and Around the World in 80 Days in Cinerama were favorites. But to pick one that stands out above all else, my dad took me to dinner at a great Italian restaurant in Philly, followed by How the West Was Won which was, as I remember, also in Cinerama.
As an adult, I think my favorite memory was taking out oldest son to see the premier of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The film had not been heavily marketed as films are today. There was no Internet to release trailers, etc. No, there was a relatively modest ad in the Philly Inquirer cinema section stating "starts Saturday." There was the poster with Harrison Ford, and names like Steven Spielberg. After that first scene, we were off to the races, and my thought was, "Wow, an old fashion Saturday matinee barnburner made with state of the art special effects. Yee-hah."
I can tell you what should have been my favorite movie-going memory but I wasn't, uh, assertive enough. Having said that, shortly after moving to LA, my roommates took me to the Nuart Theater on Santa Monica Blvd. for a midnight screening of Clue, done in the style of Rocky Horror Picture Show with actors performing to the film live on stage. Audience participation was encouraged!
First, I'm assuming almost everyone around my age (I'm 44) will say "Star Wars -- Imperial Star Destroyer rumbling from the top of the screen." So setting that one aside... I have a couple... I was the ne plus ultra U2 fan when I was in high school/college in the late 1980s -- as much as a kid living in West Texas where they never toured could be. So I was pumped to see Rattle and Hum in fall of 1988 -- and it did not disappoint. Was it hubristic? Aren't most documentaries prideful on some level? The music was fantastic (I still love that album and my Blu-ray gets played every so often as well), the black and white cinematography was gritty and fitting as was the red backdrop in the opening of the color section (cliche now, but not so in 1988). Two: Shortly after law school (1994), my Mom, sister, brother, and I went to see Dumb and Dumber. During the infamous Jeff Daniels "Turbo Lax" bathroom scene there was this sweet blue-haired grandma type in the theater who looked she should have been offended but was instead beside herself with uncontrollable laughter. I'm an eternal 14 year old so I still think the scene is funny... but we all still talk about that Grandma blowing a gasket in Dumb and Dumber. It's become one of our stories. OK -- one more... Getting to see both Patton and Ben-Hur on a 70mm screen in (for late 1980s) Dolby sound... amazing spectacles.
I don’t remember which movie I went to watch—I was just a kid — but we got there 45 minutes early, and I drank a bunch of soda while waiting for it to start, and I got sick and ended up going to the bathroom and throwing it all up through my nose. I didn’t know that was physically possible, but apparently it is. Okay, maybe that’s not my “favorite” movie-going moment, but it is my most memorable.
I know you won’t believe this, but it was seeing Gone With The Wind for the very first time on the big screen with my mother when they re-released it in the ‘60’s. I didn’t know what I was going to see, but it was magic.
Second would have to be spending the summer between my junior and senior year in college at the drive in movie seeing really bad horror films like Dracula’s Dog, Piranha, and Alligator, and Zombie! To this day, Zombie is the only movie I have ever left. I just couldn’t take it. It was gory and just plain bad.