Friday, April 13, 2007

A Grindhouse Experience!

So my brother and I went to see Grindhouse on Tuesday night, and it was, well, an experience.

To give you a bit of a background on this, there are a few things that you need to know about me. You see, when I was in high school I got a job - my very first "real" job because up until then I had only "worked" as a paperboy - as an usher at a movie theatre. You have to understand that when I got this job was around 25 years ago (Oh! My! God!), and the theatre I worked at had one, yes count them, one screen. I was fifteen years old (now you know how old I am - don't tell anyone - and my birthday is in December, so I'm not actually THAT old yet, but will be soon), so I was not old enough to watch restricted movies yet. Nonetheless, the first movie I worked for was Cujo (restricted), and actually the theatre I worked at (aptly named the Cinema Theatre) in Kitchener, Ontario used to be called the Fox Theatre and had the reputation for showing edited X-Rated films. While I worked there only one of those edited films made it to the screen before my underage eyes - Marilyn Chambers in "Up 'n Coming". And while I was supposed to walk up and down the aisles every half an hour or so my manager insisted that I keep my eyes off the screen. Of course one night when the assistant manager was working, he and I just watched the whole thing!

Hmmm, I think I was digressing there a bit.

Anyway, I worked at movie theatre in the mid 1980's. And I saw it all. People sleeping in the theatre, turning away drunks (especially during Oktoberfest!), taking booze away from people (but I always gave it back), and also the technical difficulties: the film getting jammed and burning up on the screen, no image but the sound was on, the film breaking and screen going white, reels getting mixed up (I wonder if an explanation is necessary here? Okay, I'll try not to be too long. In the theatre I worked at (and all theatres at the time), there were two projectors for each screen. The movie came in 20 minute reels, and you would put the first reel on one projector, and then 20 minutes later have to do a "change over" to the other projector with the second reel, and then flip back and forth until the movie was done. It was often on these change overs where problems would occur, so it was also my job to keep and eye out when the change over happened, and then run like hell up to the projection booth if there was a problem. They didn't happen often, but occasionally.) etc. etc.

When Kev and I went to Grindhouse, I already knew that the film makers had tossed in a few of those things - the film getting stuck and burning up, a reel goes missing, and so on. So when we got to the point where the film got stuck and vaporized, that was kind of cool. A few minutes later when it flashed on the screen "missing reel", that was kind of fun too. But then when the screen went dark, but the sound was still on, I kinda thought they were throwing too much at us all at the same time. Nonetheless, it was "Grindhouse" so what they heck - we went with it. The sound was still on, so we could hear the film, and in a way I thought it sort of novel to have the film still progressing, but not showing us what was happening (I remember Stephen King saying that the mind can come up with much more horrible stuff than what can be shown on the screen.). But it went on for a little bit too long. And then some people (because we all sat there for a few minutes thinking "Hey, it's Grindhouse.") got up and walked out, and then a couple more. And then some people came back and grabbed their coats. And then someone said "it's the same in all the theatres - it a blackout", at which point we got up and left, getting free movie vouchers in exchange for our tickets. And I was laughing, and laughing and laughing. My brother was disappointed - he had really wanted to see the second movie by Tarantino, but I just couldn't stop laughing!

Anyway, I don’t know if we’ll get to see the film again, but nonetheless, I enjoyed my Grindhouse experience!


Blogger Diana said...

I am loving your blog The Drake! Good stuff, keep it up!

8:57 p.m., April 13, 2007  
Blogger DW said...

Was this at The Beach? Same thing happened to me there at The Matrix 2, except it led to a long chain of unfunny misadventures that culminated in me walking out with, like, four free passes.

And I should have taken it as an omen instead of going back to see the movie again and wasting 2-1/2 hours of my life.

3:25 p.m., August 29, 2007  

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