My list about what not to do during a screening reminded me of one time when all the rules were broken, and resulted in an abysmal night.
The Setting: A summer evening, around 2003.
This all takes place in Red Rocks Ampitheatre, where once a month in the summer, the Denver Film Center shows a popular film. It’s quite an amazing venue; an ampitheater carved into the rock. The acoustics are perfect. I highly recommend going sometime. It’s a wondrous thing to be able to watch a classic movie under the stars surrounded by nature.
However, this was not one of those magical nights.
First off, this was a sold out show. Meaning that there was about ten-thousand people there crowding around the aisles. I’m not a crowd person. Especially not at 7 in the evening when there’s 100-degree heat radiating off of the rocks and cooking everyone in the ampitheatre. We arrived too early.
Because they know that people arrive ungodly early, the event coordinators brought out a band to entertain the crowd. It would have been good if we could hear them. Apparently, they didn’t hook up to the red rocks amps, and thusly, couldn’t be heard beyond the fourth row. The acoustics need something to work with…
Finally, when dusk hit, they changed the stage to accomodate a giant screen. It was almost movie time. So, let’s bring out a boring comedian to amuse the crowd for another half hour. I think he got three laughs. And then he decided to close by reading off a list that he was emailed. Please don’t insult my intelligence. I’ve been using a computer since I could crawl, and I’ve been forwarded your stupid list twenty-six times. And it wasn’t funny the first time!
Oh, there were some good parts during the night. I saw my first cosplayers. Mostly people wearing green coats with furry feet. And of course it was a good movie, despite seeing it for the fortieth time.
But by this time, I started to get uncomfortable, literally. I have a back injury that keeps me from sitting in bleachers withous some form of back support for long without hurting. And Red Rocks is all bleachers. It was hell.
The row behind me were hell too. Somehow, they brought in a suitcase of cheap beer, and had finished half before the movie started. So, the most rational solution to cure thier boredom and ADD was to create an impromptu mosh pit. Way to go douchebags. I think they got thrown out by the second act.
Of course by the second act, we were treated to the most ear-piercing shrill sounds that can only be emitted by fire alarms and teenage girls. Orlando Bloom had the audacity to show his face on the screen. Multiple times no less. And each scream was just as loud as the first. This completely ruined the movie for me by this point. I think I started to cheer for Sauron at this point.
I now have more things to add to my list: Don’t have crappy pre-movie entertainment, uncomfortable seats, drunken mosh pits, or screaming teenage girls at a movie. Or Orlando Bloom.
So, what’s your worst movie experience?