Sunday, March 21, 2010
It’s Cool, Man!
The movie “Alien” was released in the summer of 1979. I went to see it with my friend Lee and his wife. It was showing at the old Newport Beach Cinema-Dome. Although it was "state of the art" for it's time, this was back in the days before “stadium seating” and other such viewer comforts.
We didn’t purchase tickets in advance and had to wait in a very long line. While we’re waiting Lee looks at me and motions to his mouth. I had no idea what he meant. After a few more “gestures” I finally figured out that he was telling me that he had taken LSD. Not only that, but his wife didn’t know anything about it. She didn't even know that he got high. She just thought he was crazy. He just stood there with a big smile on his face. I finally had the opportunity to talk quietly into his ear. “You took Acid? Are you fucking crazy? Do you know what this movie is about? He just smiled at me and said, “It’s cool, man!”
Somebody from the theater came out and told the people in our area of the line, that we might not make into the next showing of the movie. The next showing after that was over two hours away. We weren’t pleased at all. A few minutes later Lee tells his wife and me that he’ll be right back, and he disappears towards the front of the line.
About 10 minutes later, Lee walks back to us and says “it’s cool!”
“What do you mean, it’s cool?”
“It’s cool man!”
To this day, I still don't know how he got us in there.
We could tell the last showing was over because of the large number of people walking out of the theater. About 10 minutes later the line starts moving up. It stops moving when they’ve let in enough people to fill the theater again. Or so I thought…
An usher walked up to us and said we should follow him. He led us past the hundred or so people in front of us and walked us right into the building. What in the hell did he do? Lee just smiled. The usher leads right into the theater and marches us to third row center. Lee is happy, but I see a big problem. This isn’t a concert; it’s a huge Cinerama movie screen and we're so close, that were going to have to look up to see everything.
I’ve sat this close to the screen before, it’s not comfortable. It’s like you are in the movie. Oh yeah, one more little issue, Lee is on acid… The movie hasn’t even started yet, but I can see him already retreating within himself
The movie finally starts. I’m splitting my time between watching the movie and watching Lee. He’s not moving a muscle. His eyes are the size of saucers. No, saucers aren’t large enough. They are the size of frigging dinner plates. You’ve seen the movie, right? You know how it is. You know how many “gotcha” moments there are in it. It's chock full of terrifying images also. Lee doesn’t even twitch. I’m not sure he’s blinking, or even breathing for that matter. I can’t even begin to imagine what is going on in his head.
Sigourney Weaver eventually escapes with the cat and the movie ends. I'm waiting for Lee to freak out, or tell me that he has an Alien growing inside of him. But he doesn't say a single word. We walk out of the theater and are almost to the car, when he finally looks at me and says, “It’s cool man…”