This is what happened at the movies the other night. It’s not nearly as interesting now as it seemed when I jotted down the notes.
I arrived at the theater early (planned) and sat on a bench in the shade, enjoying being outside and drawing in my notebook. I noticed some people sitting against the wall and wondered if there was some nerd thing opening that night.
You know the guys. They had lots of electronic gear: cords, earphones, things of various size they were tapping on. Bad skin, the quietly aggressive bearing that those with sketchy social skills possess. Serious faces. No sign of humor in this bunch.
They sat in the shade behind a single canvas band. A man from the theater wearing a mauve shirt and black slacks and a walkie-talkie clipped to his belt came out and told them the screening was canceled. In all theaters.
The guys hop up in passive outrage and get on their cellphones. They take their Suncoast bags and wander off, no doubt to go home and bitch about the situation in a chatroom.
More people arrive for the screening and 15 minutes later another guy comes out to dismiss them.
Turns out the screening for The Island and I immediately develop a theory that the movie stinks and this is damage control. I want the movie to be good. It stars Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson and the premise is fantastic – clones and stuff. “Please don’t suck” I thought when I first got a whiff of the trailer. I hope I’m wrong.
None of the people from the canceled screening paid to see another movie. They left.
Later, when Kathy and I went to our movie, (Mr. & Mrs. Smith – very entertaining!) we saw them letting people into the screening which wasn’t canceled after all and I felt bad for the filmgeeks who got in line before 5pm and were sent home for nothing.