Friday, June 29, 2007

I Wonder Why I Love Going to the Movies So Much

Maybe it’s the super-salty popcorn. Maybe it’s the overpriced but oh-so-tasty Butterfinger Bites. Maybe it’s the gargantuan lobby posters that change every week. Or maybe it’s the sticky floors. (OK, it’s totally not that last one.)

I’m sure part of my cinematic love affair stems from the fact that my first job was as a concession girl at Shadybrook 10 Cinemas. Nepotism rules in all areas of the performing arts. My best friend Juls got a job there first, then got me hired six weeks later. I brought three friends and a sister on board before it was all said and done and I left for college as an assistant manager. I loved that job—all the free movies I wanted (and nobody ever enforced the “three friends a week” policy), all the popcorn and Concession #2 Sprite I wanted as long as I brought my own cups, all the chatting with customers who were excited to have a night away from the kids or who were nervous about their first date or who were there mostly b/c Juls and I were working and they wanted to see IQ or Forrest Gump or Mortal Kombat gratis.

And now that I’ve returned to the other side of the ticket counter, I keen for the excitement that spills over me when the house lights finally go down and I’ve seen so many previews I have to turn to The Boy and whisper, “What movie are we seeing again? Oh yeah. I remembered while I was asking.” I love the laughter that usually starts with me but soon crashes over the whole audience like a wave until everyone is staring up and ahead with mouths open and hands clasped with loved ones or clapping or clutching a belly or spread over a chest to try to keep from bursting into sparks of happiness. I relish the catch in my heart when someone on screen says something true and right and I know I’ll never forget that moment with all its beauty and music and magic. I adore feeling dazed and sated and fuzzy when the credits have rolled and The Boy has to tug on my sleeve a little to bring me back to here/now so we can leave the theatre and talk about the story and the acting and the concept and the jokes and the tragedy all the way home.

What should we go see this weekend?


Wicked M said...

Ah, the movies. The third best escape from reality on Earth. I won't tell you what the other two are if you don't know them! I love those perfect moments in movies where your breath catches and everything comes together. And the popcorn? That's a huge added bonus!

G said...

Knocked Up! It;s sooo good.

OK, I'll stop harping on that.

You really captured the magic of the cinema. It IS exciting, and you helped me remember some fantastic movie moments. Cold Mountain, Patrick's and my first date, was top of the list. ;) Thanks, and glad to have you back!

super jane said...

i rarely get to the movies, so i appreciate your post today. i can hardly remember what the movies are all about!

btw - when i read about the sticky floors i immediately thought of my european trip last fall. jas and the 2 other guys on our trip went to a peep show in amsterdam and they complained of sticky floors! which makes me wonder what kind of movies you and stagexinghave been watching!

Anonymous said...

Oh the shadybrook 10! Don't forget what a good curfew skipper it was- "oh mom, the last movie doesn't start til ten forty five, and I can't leave until an hour after that..." Thanks again for getting me that job, sis.

Anonymous said...

Sticky from spilled Coke and errant Junior Mints! That's all! And to jump on the KNOCKED UP bandwagon--it's freakin' incredible. I loved loved loved it. Get thee to a cinema posthaste and purchase tickets to it. Skip work if you must. It's worth it.