Tag Archives: audience

The Benefits of Seeing Movies Live

21 Jun

One of America's oldest orchestras also boasts Boston's oldest Neon sign. Bet you didn't know that.

Since we’ve been a bit busy (2 weeks too busy) to update, I’ll restart with a lengthy musing. I’ll warn you now, half of this article is about the wonderful evening I shared last Tuesday with the Boston Pops. The other half of my piece is why people should actually go out to watch movies.

It’s like you’re reading two articles for the time of one!

As much as the buy-one-get-one-free option should still be available at movie theaters (double features!), I feel like when I go outside of my house for a movie, I’m already getting an extra freebie with my ticket-the experience.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s beauty in Netflix and DVD nights. The ability to pause the movie, adjust volume, rewind if you missed something, or just saving the hassle of getting out of your pajamas is a luxury not afforded in most theaters. But while a nice night in is fun, there is something special about the way we watch movies. It changes the way we create the memory and the way we “interact” with the cinematic art. Pardon the art criticism jargon, but it fits much too well in my reasoning.

For a little more than the price of a 3-D movie, you can enjoy movies in a way you may have never done so before. That evening I mentioned earlier was one such occasion. A Rogers and Hammerstein I dressed up, I planned the trip, got my tickets to advance, waited in anticipation-and then-“Oh, what a beautiful morning” resonated through the silent crowd who were faithfully mouthing the words. Yours truly, included.

Not to mention I cried when my hero, Robert Osborne, took the stage and started introducing each of the subsequent Rogers and Hammerstein film clips. Mr. Osborne is the host of TCM, my favorite movie channel, and the guy that got me excited about the weirdest, most random stuff they could show on a cable network. Everything from the classics to camp, I’ve seen him introduce it all with trivia and facts that even imdb.com lacks. Not to mention, he’s also the Oscar’s official biographer. Yes, it’s a legitimate title, one that he created and the Academy approves over. Take that, Leonard Maltin.

So, celebrity film critic introducing some of the most popular classical musicals of all time. Oh, with the Boston Pops. You know, an orchestra? In their own concert hall and with many, many musicians on hand. It’s a big deal. The kind of deal that people come out of their houses for.

And that’s where I find the live events so much more thrilling. It’s the same as listening to your favorite band on CD and then going out to see them live. Pounding music, larger than existence images, and the ticket stub you save afterward. Or have it roll around in your purse/wallet, whatever you’re more prone to.

It’s that experience, starting from the moment you buy your tickets to leaving your seat at the end of the night. The memories of running to catch the bus, or rushing home to taking a shower before the show, whatever. You remember that. Can’t remember what you ate for breakfast a couple days ago? No problem, it just wasn’t memorable. You didn’t run down one of the biggest streets in your city in heels, I did. I dressed up for the “Metropolis” premiere at Coolidge too. Short red dress, 1920’s style, but in flats because I knew I would be standing in line for over an hour. It’s special not because of the miserble woes of uncomfortable footwear or ridiculously long lines. It’s not what your first review of Disney World talks about, its the excitement of getting there, seeing it, enjoying the sounds and smells of music and a fast food meal. Yeah, it’s overpriced and possibly was a headache to coordinate, but you’re happy you did so. It was the experience that made the work okay.

So this covers special movie events, what about regular movies?

I’m advocating the experience of going out, sharing a laugh with your fellow movie-goers, help some poor college kids in their sad theater jobs. I hate the 3-D craze, the price hikes, the ridiculous amount of sub-par sequels going throughout theater chains that are slowly driving audiences back to the comfort of their On Demand button on their remotes. I don’t blame them. If we’re going to throw down a good $20 of our hard-earned money for some entertainment, it better damn well be an experience.

Now, this is where creativity comes in.

You got to make this fun for yourself. Enjoy the movie, don’t just “go” to it. That sounds like you survived something, and unless you just survived something as horrific as “Jonah Hex,” I don’t see why you can’t have fun going to the movies. Make an adventure out of it, go to a theater you’ve never been to, try walking or going a different route-provided you have the time of course. Make it a date, catch dinner either before or after. Follow the movie with some other excursion. Even the simple act of dressing up for the movies like audiences did back in the day can be fun. Break out the outfit with the tag still on it, invite friends you haven’t reconnected with for a long time. Make it a different experience every time you can.

Life is too short to go see the same picture every week. Switch it up and enrich your experiences; multiply your memories. Because in the end, memories are your own personal movies, but you can only share them with others if they were there to make the memories with you.