‘Here’s To Swimming With Bow-Legged Women…’

A great quote from Quint in the movie “Jaws.”

If you have never seen one of your favorite movies on the big screen, I suggest you try it. I’ve done it twice now in the past month and the experience is far too good to pass up. Half the audience knows the film so well, they anticipate every line, and yet still enjoy it like an old friend. While the other half hasn’t seen the movie in years and feels like they’re viewing the film for the first time.

“Jaws” is my old friend. I saw the movie for the first time when I was about nine or ten on a neighbor’s borrowed VHS copy. They had HBO, we had four channels. Which is fine because I grew up on Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street instead of the mindless Nick Jr.

Since then, I’ve watched it on every format. A lousy pan-and-scan on dvd, streaming on Netflix and what may be the worst way to see this movie, with commercials on TNT. I’ve wanted to see “Jaws” in a movie theater for years and when the opportunity came up at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline, I did just that. And let me say, I was NOT alone.

Sold out. A movie that is 35 years old was sold out! How can this happen? Apparently, I am not the only person out there that appreciates such cinema treasures. And it wasn’t even in 3D, amazing!

It was also great to see the four letters J-A-W-S on a marquee in old-school black letters. The sign at the Coolidge gave me just a hint of what it was like to be alive during this film’s incredible box office run back in 1975. Check it out below, it’s not the best picture though, I snapped it with my cellphone.

It’s hard to define what makes this movie so great, but for me, I think it’s the mixture of humor, horror, fantastic dialogue and suspense. It’s difficult enough for a movie maker to ace one of those, let alone all four. However, Spielberg, along with a wonderful cast and an unforgettable score from genius composer John Williams made it happen.

The atmosphere surrounding these classic viewings is electric. I saw numerous people wearing “Jaws” t-shirts, everyone screamed bloody murder when Ben Gardner’s head came floating out of the hull of his boat, cheers went up when the great white was blown to smithereens and there was a giant ovation when the final credits rolled. This is truly how movies were meant to be seen.

The only hiccup for the night. The audience did get to see one part of the movie twice. Just before the fake shark scare that sends everyone fleeing out of the water midway through the film, the movie jumped to Quint trying to reel in the great white on the boat. How did this happen? Well, the Coolidge must use a two reel projector system. All films come in several reels, typically they are all spliced together and fed into a one reel projector. But under the two reel system, after one reel is nearly finished a “cigarette burn” on the right hand side of the screen comes up and the projectionist must manually thread the other reel in before the first one ends. Obviously the projectionist put in the wrong one. There was a lot of rumbling and about a five minute delay before the issue was fixed, but really, it just added to the old-school feel of the evening.

“So, eleven hundred men went in the water; 316 men come out and the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb.”

You can check out the nostalgic trailer below and until next time, support local cinema! Keep old theaters like Coolidge Corner alive.

posted by Seth Szilagyi in Local Cinema and have No Comments

I Wonder If This Will Keep Happening?

Is there a market for nostalgia? I’ve always thought so and it appears many are starting to go along with that thinking.

A few weeks back, I wrote about going to see “Back to the Future” at a one night showing in Rochester. Well now, they are actually re-releasing the 1985 movie for its 25th anniversary in theaters! Don’t rush to your local multiplex just yet though. It’s only happening in the UK. Interesting move, not sure if they’re trying to appeal to a younger generation or the older crowd, but it’s still pretty cool.

Check out the trailer for the re-release below:

On another nostalgic note, the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline is showing “Jaws” next Monday. And I have every intention of going, because just like “Back to the Future” I have never seen it at a movie theater. It’s an experience that’s tough to beat. So, I’ll be back next week with a report on that jaunt.

This also got me wondering what other movies would you like to see re-released in theaters? “Jaws” has definitely been on my checklist for a while. Others that I would deem theater worthy “The Shining”, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, any of the Indiana Jones movies and maybe the original “King Kong.”

I’m really hoping this trend continues, especially since most movies put out by the studios aren’t worthy of your iphone, let alone the big screen.

posted by Seth Szilagyi in 80's Fun,Indiana Jones and have No Comments