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Going to the theater

I typically don’t spend a lot of time in theaters, for either movies or plays. Aside from some obvious exceptions, I’m not a big movie person.

This was turned on its head over the past month, with a total of five visits to theaters in the past month!

It began quietly, when I had a friend in town and she suggested we make our way over to The Castro Theatre to see The Nightmare Before Christmas. We’d both seen it dozens (hundreds?) of times, but it’s a favorite and I adore that theater. It’s an older theater with substantial adornments throughout. They regularly have an organist playing as you are getting settled into your seats along with slides of upcoming events. A much more relaxing and entertaining experience for me than a giant screen with a series of loud of commercials. The theater also sells snacks and drinks (alcoholic and otherwise) that you can take to your seats. The movie itself was full of the usual charm, even if the copy they had was older and had a few instances of skipping where the film had probably torn or otherwise been degraded. We took the streetcar home, rounding off a wonderful evening.

The next theater was the A.C.T.’s Geary Theater. This is where MJ and I saw Between Riverside and Crazy a few months back, the first play I’d seen in San Francisco! Since it was close to the holidays they were playing A Christmas Carol and we picked up tickets for the high balcony seats. Another one of the old style theaters that is intricately ornamented, I love simply being in that space. Staring up at the decorated ceiling, inspecting the private boxes. I had never seen A Christmas Carol live before, and in spite of it not being a holiday I celebrate these days, it’s still a story I love. They did a beautiful job with it, I loved their interpretation of the various spirits! And there was no getting around falling in love with the main character, Ebenezer Scrooge.

Then there was Star Wars: The Force Awakens! MJ managed to get us tickets for opening night down in Mountain View with several of his colleagues. I may have dressed up.

And gotten a commemorative cup.

It was at a Cinemark (no beautiful theater to look at), but the theater did have big reclining seats. It was also the 2D version of the movie, which I much preferred for the first time seeing it. The movie pulled all the right nostalgic heart strings. I laughed, I cried (more than once) and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

A few days later I made my way over to the Sundance Kabuki theater to see it again, this time in 3D in their eat in theater! We got there early to have dinner up on their balcony next to the theater. From there we picked up our 3D classes and settled in to the big, comfy reserved seats. And I didn’t partake, but they did have a series of amusing cocktails to celebrate the release.

Next I’ll have to see it 3D in the IMAX!

And then there was last night. I made my way over to The Castro Theatre yet again, this time to see a live Rifftrax performance to kick off SF Sketchfest. I’d gone to one of these back in 2013 as well, so it was a real treat to yet again see Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett and Michael J. Nelson joined by Mary Jo Pehl, Adam Savage and others to riff on a series of old shorts films. The theater was packed for this event, and so my friend Steve and I tried our luck up on the balcony, which I barely knew existed and had never been to. It was a brilliant decision, the balcony was really nice and gave us a great view of the show.

As I try to be less of a hermit while MJ is out of town next week, I’m hoping to see another proper in theater movie with a local friend soon. I hardly know myself!


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