Too lazy to link them, but haven’t I talked about these movies before? Why would I bother to blog it again? Because it was my triumphant return to Alamo Drafthouse. That’s why!
Early on into the apocalypse, I was on a company wide zoom. They’d initially done it as a webinar, and our CEO was feeling a little lonely talking to himself. So he asked for volunteers to add to the “panel” so he could ask us questions and check in and make sure at least a few of us were okay. I was game (I think I just wanted to show off my movie wall background). He asked me where was the first place I would go when it was all over. Alamo Drafthouse, I answered without hestiation. Now, finally, the day had arrived to return.
I’m actually glad that Alamo held off a bit on their opening weekend. As I’ve been saying, it took me a couple weeks and movie runs to get fully comfortable with the idea of being in a theater again, esp for temporarily unmasking for snacks. Between genuinely enjoying the food and wanting to support the theater, I knew I’d wanna eat full meals at Alamo, and it did take a few weeks to get up to that comfort level. By the time they announced their first schedule, I was ready. And thankfully I was on top of buying tickets within minutes of them going on sale because the first round sold out in a couple hours. The full weekend sold out not too much later.
If it hasn’t been established, the LOTR movies are ones I’d be up for watching pretty much any time, esp in a theater. And I’m always happy to increase my tally of those theater watches. So this choice was a no brainer. Added bonus, there was gonna be a prerecorded Q&A between Stephen Colbert and the four hobbits at the end of the movie. I’d seen other Alamo locations promo-ing these screenings earlier this year (triggering some serious FOMO), so without even seeing the rest of the schedule, I clicked on one of the buy links immediately as I perused the schedule.
In retrospect, prolly not the best plan to see a 3 hours movie in the late afternoon/early evening when I had been up at 5 AM to teach a power yoga class at 6. I tried to catch a couple cat naps during the day (Cruella had been earlier in the afternoon and I had to clean the carpets in the apt) because I did not want to fall asleep (almost drifted towards the end of Cruella). When it was time to start getting ready, I made myself some tea (appropriately from the LOTR teas I got from Reddit secret santa some time back) hoping the caffeine would take over if the excitement wasn’t enough to keep me alert.
I never know how long traffic (or parking) is gonna actually take, so I left ridiculously early, as is my MO. I tend to avoid the Bloc parking lot if I’m gonna be there for a longer movie since those rates can quickly skyrocket, even with validation. My previously preferred lot was closed, but I found a new one next to it with contactless payment. Quick homework right now tells me that the rate I paid would have been about equal to the Bloc, but its still good to have alternative options. Anyways, parked and made my way over, starting to take obsessive pictures going in. My favorite part is seeing what the Shining twins are wearing. Today it was Alamo shirts and face masks.
Found my seat, and there was a typed up welcome note with the menu. They now let you buy food when you order tix, which would have been printed on the note. But besides buffalo cauli, I didn’t know what I was gonna want two weeks in advance, so I didn’t take advantage of that yet. Put up my order for said cauli plus the salad with fried chicken (which was amazing) and got comfy in my seat, excited for the next three hours.
I prolly don’t need to recount watching the movie, but it was just as awesome the 7th time as the first 6. And the Q&A was adorably fun. First off, always love watching Colbert geek out over Tolkien. Secondly, I did realize that LOTR is the one movie (I typically think of the trilogy as one giant one) that I could hear about again and again. So many stories to tell that are still new to me after 20 years, and so much magic around this film that it will never ever get old.