This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. Credit for this one goes to my NoCal brethren blogger mummbles, of the Rantings site. He very kindly wrote the following in a comment to my last TMT post concerning a certain film (and series):
“Like I said before I am very envious of anyone alive who enjoyed movies at this time. I am not without a similar experience, in 1999 I went to LA and saw Episode I at the exact same theater…”
Thank you for sharing that, my friend. This one is for you.
The AMC Covina 30:
May 22, 1999: twenty-two years is a lifetime for some of us. When that same stretch covers the time in-between trilogy debuts in George Lucas’ space saga, it certainly can be that. Gone was the concept of slowly releasing a film to a limited set of theaters to build it up among moviegoers in the country. That’s especially true when its blockbuster status was a virtual certainty. The movie credo by the century’s turn: open it up big and wide, nationwide. To twist a quote from another trilogy:
“Lines? Where we’re going, we don’t need lines.”
Again, more than two decades later during another Memorial Day three-day, a Star Wars film was the talk. Even among oldsters, it was. My initial scheme was to go see it sometime during that holiday weekend. Not an easy thing given that I’d have to find time away from my wonderful, and pregnant with our second, wife and our three-a-half year old son, that is. Such was the conversation my long-time golf partner and I had, be it very early this Saturday morning while on a Pasadena course.
You see, he too wanted to watch Episode I – The Phantom Menace, and had a similar domestic situation. So, instead of playing eighteen holes as planned, we both skipped the back nine. Quickly scanning a newspaper (smartphones or movies apps were yet to be invented, folks), he and I discovered the AMC Covina 30 had it on multiple screens and times. So the L.A. pastime of racing down freeways and off-ramps delivered us with minutes to spare for their 8:30 AM showing.
It was a fine last-minute plan. Of course, my buddy got in trouble for this impromptu as his spouse also wanted to see the movie. Uh-oh. Me? Nah, he says sheepishly. Mine already knew I’d figure some way to do just this. I told you she was wonderful, didn’t I?
“You can’t stop change any more than you can stop the suns from setting.”