09 March 2017

Movie Theater Adventures

I often see suggestions along the lines of, "Why don't you get out of the rut of just going to dinner and a movie, and have a real-life adventure?"

or, "Going to a movie isn't a great choice for quality time, because you just sit in a dark room staring at the screen."

I appreciate the sentiment in the general idea of real life adventures > trips to the movie theater...but...

I've had a lot of movie theater-related adventures! I don't know who these people are who go to the movie theater and don't have a memorable experience, because I have a number of awesome memories related to movie theaters. Wanna hear some stories?

Can you believe this came out in 2010, y'all?

- I was 8 or 9 years old. My Mom decided to take the whole day off of school and took all of us kids out to a new mall that had recently opened up. She bought us "kids combos" that had popcorn, candy, and a drink--we thought that was the coolest thing ever! We watched The Emperor's New Groove. Ever since, I've had a soft spot for that movie, just because seeing it for the first time was such a fun experience.

- At 11, I saw my first movie at the theater without my parents. Mom dropped Lizzy, Isaac, and me off to see The Santa Clause 2 because Dad had seen it and thought it was really funny. We felt a lot of the weight of responsbility as we walked into the theater alone. This was serious business. Mom had said strictly that as soon as the film was done, we'd have to walk straight back to where she'd dropped us off (this was before cell phones and such, or at least before kids had cell phones, so we didn't have a way to contact her when the film was done). The most exciting part was that just as fake Santa Claus started to drink his hot chocolate...the film suddenly 'melted'. At first, we thought that maybe it was part of the movie, but then the projector shut off and we sat in silence for about 15 minutes while they fixed something in the projection room, and then the movie started playing again. Needless to say, we were a little late for our pick-up, which may have caused Mom some worry at the time.

- Once we moved to Malaysia, we found that going to the theater was less expensive than it was before, and we started going more frequently. I often saw movies with my friends, because they were older, had cars, and could drive. One one memorable occasion, I was sitting on one side of my friend, and a stranger was sitting on his other side (I would always make my friends sit next to strangers, I didn't want to sit next to strangers...and now you'll hear why). At one point during the movie, we both noticed that the stranger reached over for my friend's cup, sitting in the shared armrest, and took a sip, and then put it back! My friend and I were horrified over this development, and he whispered that he wouldn't drink from his cup again, and I whispered back that that was probably a good idea.

-When watching The Game Plan, I got so caught up in the emotion of the game that I stood and applauded after Duane Johnson's team won the football game. My embarrassed friends dragged me back into my seat.

- When watching The Spiderwick Chronicles, I spent so much time squeezing my brother's arm and cringing in fright that he declined to sit next to me at any future movie.

- My Grandpa took me to see Prince Caspian, and said after the movie that watching my reactions to everything happening on screen was just as entertaining at the movie itself. On a related note, Voyage of the Dawn Treader came out just after we got married, and Angel and I went to see it with a group of friends. Once of Angel's friends said to him, "Your wife...seems to watch movies pretty intensely, doesn't she?" Angel was only learning the beginning of that intensity.

-Angel and I randomly decided to go see The Hunger Games on opening night...even though we didn't really know anything about the books or the franchise in general. We lived in a small town so you could get last minute tickets on opening night. But walking into the theater alone was quite the unusual experience because there were so many people in costume or wearing elaborate makeup, and then as we sat in the theater, there were theater employees inside with a microphone, getting people hyped up by throwing t-shirts into the crowd and asking Hunger Games trivia questions. It was rather hilarious to be there and be like...hmmm...this is interesting...but I have no idea why people are so excited...

- We watched The Lego Movie with my entire family in an otherwise empty theater in the middle of the day (hey, cheaper prices!). Our large group was cracking up the whole time, and ever since, Mom and Dad have taken Wyld Style and Emmet as sort of symbols of their relationship...because they are just as opposite a pair.

- A few weeks ago, we went to see Hidden Figures. Awesome movie. Hours after we got home from the movie, I walked into the office and found Angel working on a Word Doc that said, in large letters "White Woman's Bathroom" and "Colored Man's Bathroom." I said, "What...are you doing?" He said, "Well you always use your bathroom and I always use my bathroom so I thought the signs from the movie would be a good idea." He's kind of right--for some reason, I always use the master bath and he always uses the tiny bathroom next to the washing machine (the bathroom of 'plumbing disaster' fame). But! I explained clearly that the lesson you are supposed to learn from Hidden Figures is that segregated facilities is a stupid idea. I think he thought it would be way more fun and 'rebellious' to take showers and brush his teeth in a bathroom labeled "White Woman's Bathroom," but I vetoed the segregated bathrooms in our own home idea. I'm gonna take a wild leap and guess that nobody else in the entire world...particularly nobody else in an interracial marriage...watched Hidden Figures and then decided that they ought to label their own bathrooms...this strange, strange person that I love...

Even just plain ol' going out to watch a movie can be a pretty fun adventure. What's the most memorable experience you've ever had in a theater?


  1. I love all of these stories! The story about you guys winding up at the Hunger Games opening night is hilarious :) I love the memories associated with going to the movies! We didn't go often when I was young, but occasionally-the first movie I saw in theaters was The Prince of Egypt (so good!) and we saw a couple other random movies. One time, I think I was 8 at the time, I was TERRIFIED because the movie theater lobby was decorated to celebrate some Tomb Raider movie or something, so to get to our kid movie, I had to walk past this huge cloaked creepy figure thing and it scared me so much haha.

    When I got to be in high school/older teen, I started to go to the movies more, and my gal pals and I would, after the movie, usually sit in one girl's van in the mall's parking lot and talk, and then see the mall's security car driving around and around nearby us, until we got paranoid that he/she was going to scold us for sitting in a van late at night in the mall's parking lot, so we'd leave. One of my favorite older-teenage memories of movies was when the local budget theater showed The Princess Bride as a Friday/Saturday night event, and my brother and I went and it was awesome because the whole audience was laughing and quoting the movie the entire time, and it was such a great bonding experience :)

    Thanks for writing this post-now I just have all of these awesome movie-memories and adventures bubbling up in my mind, and it's so fun to think of them!

  2. Thank you for sharing all of these wonderful stories and memories!

  3. Oh my goodness, dinner and a movie is my favourite thing. At 15 my son's more into Star Wars, X-men... Thankfully he still loves going to the cinema with his mum.

  4. Muahahahahahahahaha! Angel's bathroom idea is hilarious!!!!!!!!!! I am sending this to my friend in an interracial marriage to give her a laugh!

  5. Hi! I'm the friend ^^^^^^ hahahah. That was funny! I agree that something as simple as seeing a movie can be an adventure and my funniest memory is actually with my grandmother. A few years ago before she had passed, I went to see a movie with her and my mother in law... it had been a long time since my grandmother had been in a theatre. As the previews came to an end and the lights dimmed for the movie to begin, my grandma yelled "hey!!! Who turned the lights off??!!" And as people laughed, I responded "shh, that means the movie is starting" she slouched a little and said an innocent "oh." I miss that woman.

  6. I can't recall when the last time I had dinner and an actual movie outting. It has been tight the last couple of months so that is probably why and nothing was really out at the moment, but I sure do love Toy Story so does my son. We could watch the series all day long he he

  7. The story about the bathrooms really made me laugh! I love your blog, Rachel!

  8. I love going to the movies! It's a big night out for us because we usually splurge on getting popcorn. The night I met Nick for the first time, a group of my friends and his friends were all meeting to go see Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. That night turned out to be one of the most important nights of my life! Also I love your story about Angel and the bathrooms. You two are too funny.

  9. I cannot believe that Toy Story 3 was 7 years ago?! Omg. Time is FLYING. I'm looking forward to Beauty and the Beast this coming Friday! I don't go too often so it's a treat to see a movie in the theatre :)

  10. I loved reading your stories! And wow, 7 years ago? I feel old!

  11. I love the Hunger Games. I can't believe it's been that long since Toy Story came out.

  12. I need to start going to the movies with you!! Except I can't believe a stranger drank from your friend's cup!! Gross!! I can't believe Angel labeled the bathrooms! Matt and I use different bathrooms in our house too - I even refer to them as "my bathroom" and "your bathroom." Ha!

  13. That experience on opening night was how it was for me, my (at the time ) fiancee, and his roommates when we went to see Avengers. Of course, all of us were super excited about it. And, when we saw Lego movie, Justin was cracking up every minute!

  14. Most of my movie memories are with Harry Potter, starting with the third one. This was either before midnight showings were popular, or at least before they happened in my hometown.

    My twin brother and I were in our last class of the day when we were called out for early dismissal. We were both confused since usually we knew if we had a doctor's appointment or dentist appointment. Our mom was waiting for us in the front and wouldn't tell us what was going on. Once we got in the car, she told us we were going to see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban! It was the first showing of the day!

    I saw Goblet of Fire at midnight, in a cinema reserved for students from my university. I dressed up like Hermione.

    I was at home during the summer when Order of the Phoenix came out. I called one of my good guy friends from high school, because I knew if anyone were willing to see the film at midnight, it was him. He already had plans to see it with another guy, and he invited me along. I didn't dress up, but we still had fun.

    I was again at home during the summer when Half-Blood Prince came out. I had just graduated, in fact. This proves how intense I am about Harry Potter. I'd had a colonoscopy that morning, so I was still woozy from the anesthesia and not allowed to drive all day. Three of my friends drove in from out-of-town since I couldn't drive to see them. All of us dressed up, and we saw the movie at midnight.

    When Deathly Hallows Part 1 debuted, I was living in France. Our local cinema had a midnight showing, but it was dubbed in French, so I didn't go. Luckily I was traveling shortly afterward with my friend for Christmas, and we were able to see it in a larger cinema that just did subtitles.

    Finally, I was interning at a history museum when the last film came out. My roommate and I hosted a Harry Potter dinner party first complete with Butterbeer. I was the only one to dress up, but we all went to the midnight showing.

    Ahhhh good times!

  15. My first movie memory was when my parents took us to see Toy Story 1 in theaters. Google says it was released in I must have been only like 6 or so. We were visiting my grandparents in California at the time (they lived on a houseboat! epic!). That trip was also when I ate my first chocolate santa (my young chocolate connoisseur self thought it tasted like wax). It's funny, I don't remember much of my childhood, but I remember that trip pretty distinctly.

    That being said, we didn't go to theaters all that often when I was growing up. I remember seeing "the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe," as a teen, with my homeschool group - that was pretty epic. My family was really excited about the last Lord of the Rings movie, so when that came out we splurged and saw it.

    Your Hunger Games story is pretty funny. I watched the first movie through Netflix (had no idea that it was a book franchise at the time either). My hubby and I saw the second one in theaters not long after it we got to that series.

    Still cracking up about the segregated bathrooms..and the Emperor's New Groove? I love that movie - one of my favorites. The best bit is at the beginning where Kronk is humming his own theme music...hilarious. Nostalgia ftw!