September 4th, 2016


the multiplex and me

There's a 20-theater chain cinema location that's not exactly in my town, but is close-ish.  I went there last night for the third time, and thought, coming out and walking to the car, how each of those visits has been a memorable occasion for me.  Last night I drove there because the chain decided to screen Gene Wilder films (Willy Wonka and Blazing Saddles) this weekend, in his honor (for 5 bucks, no less) (and no more), and I decided to go see the latter.  Turns out that's a movie I hadn't seen all the way through, probably cuz I didn't appreciate Mel Brooks when I was a kid or a young adult (for different reasons, I think).

It was a lot of fun last night, some cuzza the jokes, some cuzza musing during the film (on how weirdly refreshing the forthright disgustingness of it is, and how it's nodding at stuff---like Marlene Dietrich---I wouldn't have picked up on in the past), and a lot cuzza the crowd. It was a BIG crowd, and engaged--- cheering when Wilder's name appeared, and at his "entrance", laughing out loud, talking back to the screen, applauding, etc.  I loved it.  I'd plunked myself down next to a woman I'd had to ask about the availability of what would turn out to be my seat, and we ended up having ourselves a little movie-long relationship.  It's funny how much we managed to get to know each other (or how much I could conjecture about her and how much she could about me if she were into that) from just a few verbal exchanges plus the experience of each other's reactions to what was going on on-screen.

It just seems like a bit of a joke on me, that a multiplex has turned out to be kind of a movie-going zinger spot for this moviegoer.

Once I was in a multiplex on the west side of Baltimore watching Tin Men, and the characters on the screen, who are about to fight in a bar and decide to take it outside, walk out to the parking lot, and as the camera goes outside with them it turns out that the building they're walking out of is the one I was sitting in--- the parking lot onscreen was the parking lot of the theater.  Of course everybody in the place recognized the location, and despite it being no surprise that recognizable Baltimore places were up there on the screen, that was rather an audience moment.  A memorable multiplex moment.  :)

And now we have the internet, and I can confirm my recollection & tell you it was the Westview, which I still somehow associate with my former friend Patti; the actors were Danny DeVito and Richard Dreyfuss; at the end of the scene you can see a film playing at the (Edmondson) drive-in that was next to the Westview; that film was a Western; I was 25 when the story happened; someone who goes by Treetop Tom remembers the experience enough to write about it years later as well; I can't get in touch with him cuz that website's wonky (tho it teases me that he's online now); and Collapse )