By: Josh Leichter  | 

In the Shadow of Technicolor

It’s an experience we’ve all had at least once in our lives. The posters of upcoming films lining the walls as we walk down to the counter to buy a ticket to a movie. The smells of freshly popped popcorn and butter flavoring waft in the air as the hissing of the excited bubbles of a just-poured Coca-Cola vibrate in our ears. We line the concession stands to pay the 12-dollar fee for its delectable treats, choosing from an assortment of candies and chocolates that seem plucked out of a fantastical candy garden ala Willy Wonka. The seats are not the most comfortable, ranging from an old red velvet to a cracking faux-leather that have seen thousands of theater-goers just like us. If the theater is fancy, the seats may recline into practically becoming beds, providing an added level of comfort for those films that are on the longer side. 

To some, the inconvenience of paying such high ticket prices and having to venture out on the subway to go to the theater to watch a movie that will be on Blu-Ray (if people still use those?) or a streaming service in a few months just doesn’t seem worth it anymore. And they ask themselves: why should it be worth it? I know people that only go to the movies for the big tentpole features like the latest Marvel or Star Wars movie, and they aren’t wrong. Those are the kinds of movies that demand to be seen on the largest screen possible, with upgrades like IMAX, Dolby Cinema or 3-D to enhance the experience and help the theaters earn a few extra bucks at the same time. But in my mind, there is a beauty in going to the theater to see those period pieces and dramas that don’t demand a fancy screen. 

To me, there is nothing more exciting than when those lights that line the sides of the walls dim ever so slightly and the picture roars to life, exploding into a thousand different colors and pixels that come together with the greatest brushstrokes of masters like Spielberg, Scorsese and Tarantino to paint a picture of life. It’s that idea that the movies can allow us to go from laughing to crying to cheering to a somber melancholy with each special viewing — or when they are at their finest, all in the same picture — that makes going to the theater such an enjoyable experience. When I find myself returning two or three times a year to see a familiar actor tackle a new role, each one a radical departure from the last, it feels like I am catching up with an old friend and no time has passed. 

For these reasons, I find myself drawn back to the theaters, going very frequently and devouring the latest movies that are offered. It is because movies tap into our hearts and our minds so well that we find ourselves thinking about them for days after that first viewing, and why we find ourselves watching them again for repeat viewings and showing them to our friends and loved ones for the first time. We try to transmit these stories and these experiences that we get by sitting on those occasionally uncomfortable seats with our over-priced snacks and our phones turned off. Because when we go to the movies and sit under the reflection of those glowing Technicolor pictures, that’s all that matters. At the end of the day, as the credits roll and the lights slowly brighten the theater, it’s just us and the movie.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Photo caption: It is for these reasons that I find myself drawn back to the theaters
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons