Friday, August 04, 2006

Silver Screen

Sunday night, Ash and I had the wonderful opportunity to see Casablanca on the big screen. The tiny art house theater in our neighborhood has been showing old movies on Sunday evenings all summer-- in fact, they're starting a series of "classic" (read: MST3K-worthy) horror movies in the month of August-- and we decided to make a date of it. The place was packed, far more crowed than it's been the handful of times that I've been there in the past, and the crowd was in a good mood. It was really great to see the wide range of ages there, and there were quite a few families who'd come out together to see Bogart and Bergman.

I love this little theater. There is only one screen, and the whole place is ever so slightly shabby, but lovingly maintained. The tickets are still reasonably priced, and with a student discount, we got in for only $5 each. The concession stand sells popcorn and soda, but they come in human sized containers and are about half as expensive as what you get at any of the multiplexes. They also sell tea and coffee and juice, all good quality stuff, not cheap Lipton crap. The staff is all youngish, maybe in their 20's or possibly early 30's, and they're extraordinarily friendly and helpful, almost as if they're happy to see you there, excited to share something good with you.

The movie started with no previews, which was a little jarring. I don't think I've ever been to a movie with no previews before. But almost immediately, we were sucked into the story. I've seen bits and pieces of Casablanca over the years, thanks to Turner Classic Movies reruns, but I've never sat down and watched the whole thing start to finish. Now that I have, I'm totally suckered in; I think the movie is magic. And seeing it together with Ash made it even more so. It was just lovely to lean my head against his shoulder and watch the movie with our fingers intertwined. I guess we're a little past the age where people go to the movies to make out with each other (do kids still do that nowadays?), but he still brushed his lips against my hair a few times, and we snuck a small kiss in at the urging of Ingrid Bergman, probably grossing out the gossipy teenage girls in the row directly behind us ("Ewwwwww, gross! Old people making out!), but who cares? We're in love!

Another thing that made the experience so much better than just ordering Casablanca on Netflix was the audience. They were extremely appreciative, laughing at the jokes, gasping in the appropriate places. People were, for the most part, far more courteous than any of the other crowds I've had the "pleasure" of sharing a moviegoing experience with in the past few years.

After the movie let out and people were leaving the theater, happy and content, the magic seemed to linger on the air. Couples held hands in the night as the stars began to peek out from the rainclouds that lingered from earlier in the evening, friends laughed softly together as they walked to their homes or to their cars, more than one of them humming "...and when two lovers woo, they still say I love you...

*Make sure to click on the title of this post for a little mood music!



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