So, yeah. So, there was sone tension in the house, but my migraine had finally mostly dissipated after all day and a couple of hours napping (all I was good for, really), so I wanted to get out for a bit. I needed to get across the street and buy tickets to tomorrow night’s The Matrix Reloaded for Art and Callie and Zoe, and it’s about 15 minutes each way walking, so I figured a half hour or more outside would be nice…
As I walked, I thought about stopping at the various places where I could purchase alcohol on the way back, or the local bars I might be able to stop at for an overpriced drink or two… but then as I approached the theatre, one of my extra senses went off, and I knew there was a screening of some kind. I asked someone who I knew would know, ‘how can I get in on this?’ to which they, being part of the people in charge, told me it was too late if I didn’t already have a pass. I purchased the tickets I needed and asked the guy what was screening (though I had a pretty good idea), and he confirmed it was The Matrix Reloaded.
I began listening and watching, learning the players, the theatre staff, the event staff, the door person who was covering for the regular door person on their break. I watched every person approaching the theatre carefully, locating their passes and counting them instantly to determine whether they held more than one. Anyone who had more than one, I asked for an extra. The line was getting longer. Soon I knew that there were 280 seats in the theatre, only 258 of them for the public, and that the Cadillac dealership (this screening’s sponsor) had given out 900 passes. And I could see that the line was getting longer. It was still about two hours before the screening was scheduled to begin, but the line was over 100 people long.
After about half an hour of this, I saw a young woman holding a pass, walking out as though to leave entirely. After she walked out the front doors, I asked her if she had an extra pass, and she said yes. I followed her back out into the parking lot, where she met four of her friends. She handed them all passes and me another. I was in. As we walked back in the direction of the theatre, I realized I had one and handed her a pass for a free popcorn. She would have been happy to get nothing, but I thought it was a nice gesture.
I followed her and her friends to the place in line she had been at before, only about 45 people from the front of the line, and after a few moments I called home to let my father know why I wouldn’t be right back. I had a couple of hours to wait for the movie, and then the 138 minute movie. Oh, and to ask one of them to come to the theatre with a Harkins cup, entitling me to $1 drinks.
After a time, my brother called me back and asked if I thought I could get him in, and to let me know he would be there after supper, in about half an hour. I told him that several times more passes had been given out than seats were available, and that passes were for one person each, but that he could try the same thing I had and see if he could get in. He showed up in under 20 minutes with the cup, and I explained again (this time in person, so with less background noise, which is the death knell of cellphone calls) that he’d just have to ask around and see if anyone had extra. While he was asking, I talked to the doorman, who had several ‘extra’ passes, whether he could spare any – he said he was holding them for specific people. See, some people who show up early leave their friends’ passes at the door with their name instead of risking getting out of line to hand it over. We were both friendly and understanding about it, but he couldn’t give Heath one.
I went and got my drink and headed back to the line, watching to see if Heath made it back with a pass. I saw him out the doors with his phone to his head, probably trying to call me again as he had when he first arrived with the cup, but my phone didn’t ring. I stepped out of the line again and waved him in and he didn’t see me. I couldn’t see if he had a pass, or was saying he didn’t, but finally my phone rang and I told him to come inside. He had a pass! Apparently there was someone at the end of the line, way around the corner, with an envelope full of them, glad to give them out. We returned to our place in line.
Around 25 minutes after all that, they started loading us into the theatre. They searched everyone for electronic devices and checked everyone’s phones at the door for cameras as well. No recordings allowed, of course. Fine with me, my mind records fine. I just want to experience the movie, and yeah, I want other people to see it, too… but go pay for it, people! It’s worth seeing on a screen much bigger than your computer screen or your TV screen.
Oh, and yeah, when you go see it… sit through the entire end credits. I did, and not just because I do that out of habit, but because of something else I’d overheard while I was still playing the ‘get into a screening without prior knowledge’ game that turned out to be true. It’s all worth the wait. Trust me.
Oh, and maybe I’ll write a review to post tomorrow before anyone else sees it. Something that doesn’t give anything away. And there’s plenty to give away.