Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Over the weekend I had a rather sobering realization.

Owning a single screen movie theater may not be what I really want to do. The problem is that all of my experience, and all of the problems I want to take a chance to swing at all involve watching movies at 10 or 20 screen venues. Well, at least 6. Or more than 2. Or 1. Anyway, I looooove watching movies at multiplexes. Maybe that's not even it. Maybe all the movies I ever saw (limited run, indie films included) were all at multiplexes. When I walk in and out of big theaters, I just get this feeling of completion, of wholeness. I know it sounds ridiculous to be so reliant on huge allegedley soulless social spaces, but I don't find them so. I mean the Sony Metreon is my favorite theater!

I went to the Castro last week to watch Brazil, and it finally dawned on me that I'm just not used to watching movies in single screen houses. Since I decided that my life goal was to own a theater, I've been convinced that any theater would do and something in the one or two screen range would be the most feasible. And so my project to visit all the movie theaters in the city has taken me to lots of classic single screen landmarks. And I'm always in awe of them. I love how they're conveniently placed in downtown areas and how they're so ornate and generally huge. But I've been confusing that awe for my love of movie theaters, which, in all honesty has nothing to do with these places.

What I want is to run a multiplex. And fix all the things wrong with multiplexes. I guess saying that I want to "own a movie theater" has been the problem. I've thought myself into thinking I wanted something not quite what I do want. If that makes any sense.

Martha likes to point out that I've had this crisis (out loud) several times before. Probably idle musing. Now it's for real. Small, old time movie theaters aren't for me. I want to be in charge of a multiplex. I thought I wanted to own one so I could make all the decisions myself, and I thought I wanted a small place so I could own it. But basically then I wouldn't be able to make the decisions I want. It'd be pointless. I don't know how many times I can repeat myself.

And for those of you cynics who think multiplexes are nothing but places to show non-stop hollywood crap, I have two things to say.
1.) I've been to state of the art multiplexes dedicated to showing independent films
2.) I'm so into hollywood crap

I was raised by seeing every movie that came to town. And while I'm discerning in my own way, I'd like to show 'Like Mike' as much as 'The Station Agent' and as much as 'Babe'. Movies to me are all about variety. And nothing can represent that variety as well as a multiplex.

I'm just saying.

This presents a couple of problems (and perhaps presents a few nice options) One problem is that my big plan was to run an outdoor tropical movie theater where I could build it up from the ground by hand. Try as I might, I've never been able to figure out a way to make an outdoor movie theater work in the multiplex setting. Not that I could ever afford a multiplex to own myself anyway. But perhaps my interest in the outdoor theater is like my interest in the movie palaces around town (although I like watching movies outdoors way more than I do in the movie palaces). Which means that I would be on the wrong end of the deal again. Maybe all I need to do is get into a position with the local multiplex. Which is nice because it doesn't require as much start up capital (less urgency for saving) and probably much much more feasible (which in a weird way -- I think makes more sense)

Martha says I'm selling out, to which I just shrug (lovingly). As much as I would love to be a business owner, there's just no need. There are plenty of theaters. They're just broken. I wouldn't be helping anything by lighting up more screens. This has always been what I want to do. I've just been very quick to forget it in order to make it seem more attainable...


At 9:30 AM, Blogger Rorschach said...

Hey buddy. I finally posted again so feel free to check it out. Gotta work on being more regular about posting shit. Anyway, interesting thoughts there but, I have to ask, does Martha even know you? Selling out? Of course you're selling out! It's you, not Harsh or Thomas! I still think being the proprieter of a place some day would suit you well, but you might as well go ahead and start on this scheme since it seems more immediaely attainable.


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