Last night was a night of firsts. The first first was watching two films at the cinema one after the other. It's at least 10 years since I've done this, the last time being a triple bill of Zombie flicks. This time it was a pair of completely different films: When the Lights Went Out and Looper. This was the first time this decade I did the double.
When the Lights Went Out was a first because it's the only time I've watched a flick in the same town where the flick is set. Now this probably happens a lot in London or Las Vegas but not in Pontefract! The film concerns a famous poltergeist haunting in a council house during the 1960's here in West Yorkshire. It's a sort of Yorkshire Exorcist and the recreation of early 1970's family life is excellent with shelves full of games like Ker-Plunk and Buck-A-Roo, brown curtains and blue glass bottle vases. Watching it with a local cinema audience, knowing that the haunted house itself was within a mile of where we were sat, made for a unique experience, which I, and everybody else, thoroughly enjoyed.
The second film my mate Marcus and I saw, at around 9.30pm, was Looper, a sort of Time Cop/ Terminator mash up. I won't say anything except watch out for the kid. The second first happened during Looper. I had my first experience of being sat near a new cinema gimmick called D-Box. D-Box is what Fifties shockmeister William Castle would have called Vibrat-A-Vu or something similar: the specially fitted chairs, in the central rows, vibrate and wobble during particularly action-packed sequences. The shaking occupants of these jittery pews had their nachos well and truly tossed and I could hear their iced cokes rattling like dentures! I have got to go D-Box next time!
The third and final first was the sight that greeted my friend and I as we left the cinema near the stroke of Midnight, a time largely reserved for packs of nocturnal young things here in modern Britain. The local cinema is part of a sprawling complex of bars on the edge of town with a synthetic ski-slope at its core. It's late night persona is like a scene from the Rocky Horror Picture Show on ice. Tonight we saw a girl in a blue leotard stood on stilts disguised as huge knee-length black boots, hip dudes with boards searching for witchin' snow, young muscled men rippling in white T-shirts and tattooed biceps stood in the freezing night like sailors in New York and girls in nothing but jeans and white bras. Like Hotel California, it could be Heaven or it could be Hell. In my excited state I might have screamed if a troop of Pennywise the clowns had turned up. As it was, we tut-tutted at the barbarian hordes and scarpered to our geriatric cars!
What's your local cinema like?