One of the first movies I saw in the theater was Ghostbusters, which is my favorite movie to this day. I find the writing superb and the humor just tickles me. As a kid, I remember going to see that movie with my sister, and each of us brought along a friend. When we got there, we ran into some more school friends. Plus, my favorite cousin, Joey, (who is everyone’s favorite), was there with his own friends. The lot of us decided to sit together in one long row while the adults sat together a few rows behind us. We passed our popcorn and our movie chocolate along our row and felt the autonomy of not sitting with our parents.
This experience is only rivaled, much later, by movies I’d see in Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. Dupont has small movie theaters that fill quickly so that you’re elbow-to-elbow with strangers. And the general temperament and personality in Dupont means you’ll watch the movie with people who are calling out to the screen. It’s not really heckling because it’s not mean-spirited. It’s unruly in a hilarious way, and most of the time, it’s exactly what you’re thinking yourself.
Normally I like going to the movies to escape and, in a way, to be alone. But sometimes, escapism only happens when surrounded by others, known and unknown.