A Perfect Night At The Movies

When it comes right down to it I’m a pretty simple guy. Going to the movies with friends is probably my all-time favorite thing. Some of my strongest good memories are of the expeditions we’d make to see blockbusters and indie sleepers alike.

It’s gotten harder to make those good memories over the past few years, but last night was pretty much perfect.

Things kicked off in the AM when my old buddy Mike Fisher texted me to see when I wanted to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. I had actually forgotten that it was coming out yesterday, somehow transposing its release date to the 18th, and thinking that Linkletter’s Boyhood had a weekend all to itself. We settled on the late show at the Vista, which has the distinction of being the theater closest to us both and L.A.’s best movie single screen house. Killer sound, digital 4K projection, plenty of legroom, and evening shows are just $9.50 in a city where movie prices start at $12.00.

We got our tickets separately, and while I got to the line first—as I usually do—Mike arrived well before they started herding the sold-out house in. There’d be no saving seats, thank the maker.

While in line I got an @reply on Twitter from my friend Mark, responding to the photo of the ticket I’d put up on Instagram. He let me know that he and his girlfriend Nicole were at the show too. This is, actually, while I put my ticket pictures up on social media. I want people to find—and join—me at the movies.

Just as I was composing a DM to let him know where we were in line he walked by me. He got Nicole and brought her up—she was way back, and the four of us went in together a couple of minutes later. We got good seats down in the front—5th row center, an old favorite—and the audience was exceptionally well behaved for a Vista opening night. You could tell that the movie was working its mojo, I could have heard a pin drop through most of the flick.

Apes is great summer fare. There are some head scratcher moments and design decisions, but the emotional through-line is so damn strong. It’s my movie of the summer, and I suspect that’s going to be true for just about everybody.

It’s the simple serendipity of a good night out at the movies that will linger longest in my mind, though. Would that every Friday night could be so great.