Who Goes to the Movies at 9:15 AM?
I’m going to answer the question I ask in the title in a moment, but to do so, we need to go back to late aughts when I was hired to write an article explaining the housing market collapse. I didn’t think twice about taking the assignment even though it was outside my wheelhouse. I often write plain English translations of muddy ideas; how hard could this be?
I ended up sobbing at my desk after reading through two hours of notes on the topic. This was so. over. my. head. There were several terms that all sounded as if they were the same thing… sort of like how wolves and wolves in sheep clothing are both Canis lupus, you know? I couldn’t write this article. But I had to write this article because I had accepted this article. It took hours and it was fairly shitty in the end.
A little bit after that, I wrote a post for BlogHer about the Goldman Sachs fraud charges. See? Not much better. Pretty confusing.
I wanted to see the Big Short because I still think about that assignment. Well, I think more about lying on the living room carpet and saying to Josh, “I am so stupid, so stupid, so stupid.” Was I that stupid or was it that complicated?
I may be that stupid, but it was definitely that complicated. It’s a wonderful film that explains how the housing market collapsed, how the banks built a fraudulent system, and how some people profited while other people lost everything. Even if anything economic in nature is outside your general interest zone, the movie is fascinating. I can’t say enough good things about it. I hope it wins a zillion awards.
(I didn’t actually see who was nominated for Oscars, and I am too lazy to Google the list. I’m just going under the assumption that the Big Short is nominated for everything and will win everything.)
But I almost didn’t get to see it. We got to the movie theater with plenty of time to get tickets. Like enough time that if we had gotten tickets, we also would have read a few chapters in our books while we were waiting. But the theater recently refurbished, removing about 2/3rds of their seats and doubling the price of the ticket. The 50 seats in the theater were filled except for the front row.
I don’t run a movie theater and perhaps this was the most economical decision for the owner; a plan that would keep them in business. But I can’t believe that filling 50 seats at $15 is as good as filling even only 100 seats at $7.50. Because at least some of those extra 50 humans would have also purchased popcorn or candy. Instead, we wandered out of the theater without staying and went home.
Josh suggested we try again the next morning since the kids were with my parents until the afternoon. Maybe there was an 11 am film showing somewhere. He scanned his phone and said, “This can’t be correct.”
There was a 9:15 am showing at a nearby theater.
Could that possibly be right? Who gets up at 9:15 on a Sunday and says, “You know what? I hate sleep but I love movies. I’m going to go see the Big Short.”
The next morning, we drove to the theater, certain that we were going to find out that it was a typographical error and the movie was actually at 9:15 pm. But no, the theater opened at 6 am and started showing movies around 7 am. Would our fellow theater goers be in their pyjamas? Drinking coffee and chowing down on breakfast while they watched a movie about banking?
We were the first ones there
It turns out that a really odd mixture of people go to the movies at 9:15 am. Some were alone, some came in groups. Some seemed to ignore social conventions. (Really? So many seats but you needed to choose the one right next to me?) Others quietly curled up next to one another, yawning. It was actually the nicest time I’ve had in a movie theater in years.
This experience may have converted me into an early morning film goer. What do you think of morning movies? Brilliant time for a film or too weird to consider?