Friday, November 25, 2022

The morning session at the cinema

It doesn't happen much anymore, because life has other priorities at this stage of things, but one of the great tiny pleasures of my life is going to see a movie at the theatre in a morning show, before the afternoon even gets going, and having the whole day to think about it afterwards

In the 90s, I did it all the time. When I first moved out of home and was unemployed on the dole, I would go to the cheap matinee sessions for most of the films I watched. I saw The Shawshank Redemption in an empty cinema on a Wednesday afternoon, (although I remember how nobody wanted to see it, so it probably would have been just as empty on a Friday night), and could sob loudly over Andy Dufresne's journey to freedom like a goddamn mug.

Sometime in 1996, I get an unexpected day off work the week that 12 Monkeys has opened up, and I go to the 10.30 screening, and come out of it into the noon sun with all the emotions in the world brewing over, stunned by the optimism that can still be found after the end of all things.

Me and my mate Anthony drove from Timaru to Christchurch to see Pulp Fiction in the very first showing at the Hoyts 8 on Moorhouse, and have time to see four other films ,including a nother go at the Pulp before we head home.

That cinema  complex is gone now, a victim of the 2011 earthquakes, and was usually a favourite late night place. But I also saw Heavenly Creatures there one early Saturday, and then went hiking in those exact same hills where the murder actually happened afterwards, and when I got there, the strangeness of it all was overwhelmed by the irritation when I discovered that I'd left the best sunglasses I'd ever had in my life in the cinema, and I never saw them again.

Going to movies early in the day is like eating breakfast at night - just slightly wrong and weirdly tasty. But it's also so much more relaxed, if you can find the time. And while I'm glad to get to any movie I can these days, I miss the morning session.

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