[WEEKEND OPEN BAR: The one-stop ramble-about-anything weekend post at OL. Comment on the topic at hand. Tell us how drunk you are. Describe a comic you bought. This is your chance to bring the party.]
Ain’t any narrative experience quite like watchin’ a movie in the theater.
Some’ll tell you that it’s the communal aspect, the fact that everyone has come together for the sharing of a story. From this perspective, the big-screen is the electrically-charged descendent of the fire that our cavemen ancestors gathered `round. Stories are means of sharing ideas with one another, and film accomplishes this unlike any other medium.
Others suggest that the infatuation with the movie-theater experience has actually been rekindled by the recent advancements in home video technology. Sure, it’s easy to stay home and watch a movie on Blu-ray or Hulu or YouTube or Netflix streaming. But at home, it’s just as easy to get distracted by text messages or emails or the baby that just won’t stop crying. But at the theater, there’s no pause button — time and attention are consciously dedicated to the narrative at hand.
And still others attribute the appreciation for the cinema to the fulfillment of a deeply-rooted psychological desire. These folks, who read Freud and Lacan and textbooks that I’ll never understand, draw parallels between wombs and movie theaters — dark, comfortable, and designed for the unilateral providing of sustenance (life-giving and consciousness-altering, respectively). According to psychoanalysis, theaters are uniquely affective.
I won’t try to figure out why, but I know for sure that goin’ to the movies has been the basis for some of the most memorable experiences of my life.
Feel free to twist it, rephrase it, or ignore it, but here’s the jumping-off point for our discussion: What is the first movie you remember seeing in the theater?
The first movie I can remember seeing in the theater is the almighty Jurassic Park.
Although it wasn’t my first journey to the cinema (I’ve been told that the honor goes to Ghostbusters 2), Jurassic Park changed me. I’ll never forget the wonder I felt as that misguided old man welcomed me to his prehistoric island paradise, or how hard I giggled when the blonde babe-scientist had to dig through dino-dung, or how scared I was when the T-Rex smashed up that jeep. Maybe I was a bit young to be see Jurassic Park (my kindergarten teacher didn’t believe me when I told her that I saw it), but it absolutely sold me on movies. Even if I couldn’t articulate it at the time, and still struggle to today.
Sitting on the padded pull-down seat, stubby little legs dangling well above the soda pop-sticky floor, I experienced Spielberg’s last masterpiece the right way — in a movie theater.
What is the first movie you remember seeing in the theater?