I am from a small town that’s fairly… remote. I moved away in my teens and lived away for a long time. Nowadays, I’m trying to focus more on family, so I’m here more often than I have been since I was a kid.
Some great advice I’d gotten from Michael Hauge right as I embarked on my screenwriting adventure was to see two new movies a week. (It’s great advice for anyone, but essential if you want to do this for work.) Anyone can watch two movies a week! Movies are pricey- especially in Canada- but if most of your entertainment budget is two movies a week, go nuts, right? I’ve traveled a lot and, unglamorous as it sounds, I’ll often spend at least a little downtime in a theatre wherever I go, so I’ve been able to make that schedule work in the many months since I dedicated myself to it.
I’m not nostalgic for this theatre. This isn’t a theatre I grew up with. It was opened in the year 2000, I believe. And it’s dreadful. Just trying to see movies there this year has been a non-stop parade of crazy problems, bad service and a location in total chaos and disrepair. Literally, at least two or three times a month, something at this theatre went horribly wrong. I started a personal boycott of the place after “technical issues” ruined a marathon viewing of The World’s End (and the one chance I had to see it with my dad too! Jerks! If you’re spending at least $50 a week someplace, they should be able to do their jobs a majority of the time, don’t you think?)
Given its poor reputation, I’d rather see the whole thing close down, but that would leave a total lack of a movie theatre for about a hundred miles in this country (the actual closest theatre is a Carmike Cinema, which is located clear in another country, FYI).
And this oh-so-minor upheaval has caused me to wonder two things:
1-Is that insane, that the next closest theatre to where I grew up in my own country is a hundred miles away?
2-Would not having a theatre at all have any effect on these crazy kids here today?
If there hadn’t been one lonely screen (which maybe expanded to three screens) here when I was a kid, I would have lost my mind. Sure, there was VHS (Look it up! It was really a thing once!). But a movie theatre did, and still, represents to me a license to dream. Maybe those crazy kids today have video games and streaming entertainment and the internet so much that it doesn’t occur to them that there are barriers to imagination. I hope that’s true. I hope it will always be true.