Friday, August 12

No stories about making out during "Schindler's List," please.

My good friend Benjie posted an interesting question on his blog yesterday that I now pose to y'all:

Where do you like to go to the movies when you like to go to the movies? What's been your best experience at a cinema? What's your favorite movie house, and why do you love it?

Well, my first response to "favorite movie house" was going to be the theatre at the Tate Student Center at UGA, but probably every Georgia grad says that. So my answer 1(a) has to be the Carmike 7 on Sidney Simons Boulevard in Columbus, Georgia. It was never especially scenic, and it's not even open anymore -- just sitting there empty and decrepit until some kindly soul decides to buy it and turn it into an art cinema, and I'll be honest, we don't really dig on artsy-fartsy movies down there in C-Town -- but I do have some great memories of going to see movies with friends there during high schoo. The best of those, of course, was the time my best friend Matt and I went to see "Pulp Fiction" right when it first came out, before the entire world had come to know how kick-ass it was. We went to school the next day telling everyone what an awesome movie we'd just seen, and over the next few weeks we ended up becoming singlehandedly responsible for getting half of Columbus to see it. I probably went back five or six times myself, just taking various friends so that they could see it too. One of them was this girl I was "just friends" with even though I had a massive crush on her -- she was a cheerleader, SGA treasurer, hugely popular, you know, all that stuff -- and I remember thinking wow, here I was taking her to see this great, edgy, still-not-yet-widely-known thing and maybe, just maybe, that would make her think I was cool. Ahh, high school.

Runner-up is the $1.50 theatre in Lynchburg, Virginia. If I remember correctly, the movies were knocked down to a dollar on Tuesdays and the matinees were half-price, so my co-worker Megan and I would try and finish the final proof of each week's magazine and race it off to the printer before 4:00 p.m. on Tuesdays so that we could get to the cheap theatre before 5:00 and see a movie for fifty cents. Our regular excursions to the cheap theatre ended up being called Shitty Movie Tuesdays because boy, did we see some godawful movies there. I'm talking about stuff like "The Skulls" and "Eye of the Beholder" (anybody remember that one? Ewan McGregor, Ashley Judd running around in all different kinds of wigs, didn't make a lick of sense?), and then of course "Body Shots," which not only won the SMT Lifetime Achievement Award but also apparently inspired Tara Reid to actually become the character of skanky Sara Olswang in real life.

Good times.

But anyway, let me hear about your favorite movie houses in the comments thread. (And if you want to say the Tate Center theatre, go ahead. There's no better place to see "The Exorcist" at midnight on a Saturday, and if you've never seen the UGA Student Union logo that looks like the MGM logo only with a bulldog instead of a lion, and the bulldog starts barking and the entire theatre barks along with him . . . that's a little piece of your life that's just going to stay unfulfilled until you do.)


DAve said...

It was a place in St. Augustine Jamie, Justin, Josh and I went to when we were there. Don't even remember the film, but you could eat, drink beer, and best of all smoke (aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh) right there at your seat.

Oh yeah, and the Atlanta Fox Theatre - everything's great about the Fox except the seats.

ACG said...

Well, yeah, of course, Tate takes top billing, but I have fond memories of one of the theatres in New Orleans (don't know which one; it was in a mall in a crappy part of town). As with every single other establishment in town, the theatre had daiquiri machines at the concessions stand. And it was a good thing, too, because two mango daiquiris were the only thing that would get me through The Matrix Revolutions.

Kevin said...

A cheap theatre (can't remember the name) on Taylor Ave. in Towson, MD. It was similar to the 50 cent one you were talking about, but they actually showed good movies.

Then someone got shot inside....

Nothing will kill a business quicker than someone being murdered in your establishment. But then again, that's pretty obvious.

Oh, the Regal Cinemas in White Marsh, MD are pretty damn good too. The seats are RIDICULOUS. Huge, soft, comfy, and reclinable. Yeah, you get a $9.50 ass raping to walk in the door, but it's almost worth it.

Josh M. said...

I've heard it sucks now, but there was nothing quite like driving from Athens to AMC Colonial 18 in Lawrenceville. It really spoke to the complete dearth of good theaters in Athens that we were willing to drive 45 minutes to see "Twister."

Now I really don't have a favorite theater. The one closest to me - Regal Hollywood 24 - is good as far as presentation, but there are too many damn babies and cocknose teenagers to make it worth going to all that often.

Oh, and Dave, I have absolutely no recollection of that.

Riley said...

Hey Josh,

Can you copy that over on the comments on my blog? You have a fan base there.

My favorite theater ever was the Madstone at Parkside on Roswell Road, before it went bankrupt due to shady bookkeeping and closed down.

They had alcohol. They had board games in the lobby. And they played smart, great movies that nobody ever heard of.

Josh M. said...

Fan base?

Anonymous said...

Showing my age. The Glen Burnie Cinema was the 1st place I ever "made out" with a girl in the back row when that kind of thing was common. Original run of "Billy Jack". Movie is pretty bad, but the memory is vivid. Closed for 20 plus years I think.

Anonymous said...

If you pay 500 baht (US$12.50) for the "Gold Theatre" at the Major Cineplex in Bangkok, you and your fellow highrollers can kick back in the most plush, cushiest armchair ever, complete with a blanket and a pair of socks to keep you warm (those Thais and their damned AC!), and a Thai girl bringing you snacks and drinks all movie long. That's where all the princes and princesses go to catch the latest flicks. Not shabby.

DAve said...

I do have fond memories of the "MGM Dawg" that preceded every Tate film.

Jim said...

I have fond memories of the student union movie theater at GT.

To hell with Georgia!