08-27-2020 07:48 pdt

The eight part 'train' series has been removed for the foreseeable future. Other than that, we have no site news or developments for this entry.

The Fellowship of the Bling

 read ( words)

"Way the fuck back in seventy-seven, my parents drove us to the big domes to see Star Wars. I complained the entire way that I had no desire to watch a 'war' movie. Obviously, I knew nothing of what was to become one of the finest, operatic science fiction masterpieces in history. Upon viewing the first scene, I was hooked. The film, not the venue. That came later. More than a decade, in fact.

While I spout this crap, look at the images. A piece of history. Just look.

The theatre in question is the twenty-one. That is how I will refer to likely my favorite building (set of, really) of all time. And that is saying much considering my interest in home design and engineering. Many years after Star Wars, my partner and I went there to see 'Eraser'. Not an award-quality movie, but still enjoyable. I had not visited that theatre for quite some time and chose it simply because the start time worked for us. Upon entering, I really looked at the layout, carpet, snack bar, and the circular theme which carried throughout the entire property. Along those lines, I saw the three other domes to my right and the fact that there was one large (nearly the size of the twenty-one) and two smaller domes flanking it, all connected inside. Very interesting. Not long after, I also learned that there were two other locations which shared the theme. On the day in question, we ventured for staples and then wound our way into the dome to locate a seat. Well, I saw much more than years earlier. Hollow, gaping, and tons of seats in a curvature, and the screen followed suit. It was also curved and appeared larger than I had remembered. The entire atmosphere was surreal and daunting to take in. One other tidbit as the lights dimmed? I had not yet seen the entire screen. As the room darkened, the enormous curtains on either side of the screen retracted further. At that point, and when the projector lit, I saw the entire seventy-four foot screen. We were centered, and about ten rows from the front. I had to turn my head quite a bit to scan the huge screen from one side to the other. I was instantly mesmerized. And then a preview of one coming attraction...

A teaser for the second installment of the Terminator series. Cheering. Unbelievable.

After that trip to the domes, I decided that the films were to be viewed there as often as was practical. We went often, weekends and whatnot, all the while my eyes wide with wonder over the appearance and experience of watching the screen come to life.

We again cut to some years later. A time when my love for the film industry was at an all-time high. Yes, right after returning to California from the Midwest. I was more goo goo over film than ever in the past. All those months of heading to the big theatres back east and sitting in wonder over the entire affair came to a head during one particular visit to the dome. It was 'Titanic'. Yes, that movie. I had made arrangements to visit the dome with my partner who had been unfamiliar with the entire south bay. I tried to get across the importance of seeing a film play out as the creators intended and in the proper context. To me, those factors make all the difference in the world. I told her seeing a film for the first time happens but once and a person needs to be in mind of the factors which help bring it to life properly. She was not a nutcase over the industry like myself, but decided to give it a shot anyway because it was so important to me. Off to the dome, my mouth trying to describe the grandeur of that place the entire way. She was not a big fan of one of the starring actors, and felt that the tickets and snacks comprised too much more money than renting and watching at home, however she did go through the motions and remained quiet and attentive through the three hours. Afterward? Tears. The experience moved her greatly, and thus began a long period of years which found us at the theatre often. The money was no longer in question, nor was the time or effort. And now we will move ahead a touch more. 'Godzilla'. Ugh, what a pile of shit, but we did not know until seeing it.

After spending much time in the dome and realizing where my ideal seat was, I pushed my partner and dad to meet me there at a specific time after I went early to hold a place in line. And I mean early. I was there a full four hours before seating. My dad joined me for half of that, and my partner came from work later. The line and wait turned out to be fairly enjoyable. I recalled going to see 'Episode I' the previous year and saw tents for those who camped out for a place in line or tickets. That was crazy. Knowing the theatre had become legendary for drawing large numbers very early, I decided to take the time and ensure that we could sit ninth row center.

Switchtrack. Difficulty, all day long. Yesterday turned out to be quite the fucking trial, but I did not realize at the time. All these hours later and the shit has hit the proverbial fan. I am now sitting in the middle of Sunday afternoon between lunch and dinner, and awaiting being slapped in the face by the forecasted wind and lightning. I have to batten down the hatches very soon. The weather always comes late at night and early in the morning. Due to yesterday, I awakened relaxed and positive, but as usual everything flew away like a flock of startled blackbirds. I was doing fine there for a while... Dealing with keeping the smoke out of the house and getting my chores done inside. The garbage is at the curb and the kitchen polished. I did really well this morning and kept my head up as best I could. Now? Nope. The theatre reminiscing and subsequent fallout over recalling the glory days of the domes hit me in the face, and then the difficulty in considering my place in the world as related to yesterday has seeded itself deeply and will not be going anywhere soon. In short, I fell off a cliff for the billionth time. Yep, read it again. Damn it all anyway, I am fucking tired of enjoying myself and then feeling as if I am worthless in several ways. Never before has the machine hit me like a pallet of cobalt and left me yearning to turn the fucking clock back. And this time I don't want it going back a few hours or even a handful of months, I need it to go all the way back to one of my earliest shit decisions. That's right. Two fucking decades, and then some. The remainder of this essay is going to focus upon the memories. As long as I can maintain focus, that is.

Ok, back to the past.

That visit to the dome showed me that there were many others who were as concerned about their seat location as I had been. Standing in line for hours just to sit in a certain part of the dome? Yep, that was it. And the line grew throughout the next few years into an event all its own. We saw several more films there, visiting when there was time, and by the early zeros I was completely taken by the entire experience. From the line to the snack bar and on to turning the corner and seeing that screen hanging there like a sleeping giant awaiting life. The feeling was magical. I could not get enough of being transported to another world -- one in which I dreamed of helping to create -- and remaining suspended between my life and the screen. Every step of the process became fused to my heart.

And then the line and films that would define that entire segment of my life.


The three of us ventured to watch the inaugural Harry Potter film after I held a place in line for roughly four hours. I saw a very short teaser right out of the gate and vowed that I would be in the parking lot as early as was feasible on opening day. Well, that ended up being December. Yes, not exactly the best weather for being outside for hours. As the day rolled closer and the expanded previews swirled in my head, the importance of being there ninth-row center drove me to plan a very early arrival time. Anticipation grew over the next month and I became concerned that my decision to arrive at the theatre in the morning was viewed as ridiculous. I did it anyway. Took the day off work (Friday), bundled myself up, and took off for the dome. Arriving there was strange because the first showing of any film was usually after ten in the morning, so the parking lots were deserted. Nothing except a few vehicles next to the diner which shared a part of the property. I slid my car into a space pointing toward the exit and decided to stroll across to the diner for coffee. And then something caught my eye: A person sitting against the glass next to one set of doors. Hood up, blanket, curled up in the cold. Hmm... First in line? Indeed. I approached and she looked up. With a smile, she realized I was at the theatre that early for the same reason. We spoke a bit about the importance of seeing the film as intended, after which I asked if she wanted coffee. 'Sure, thank you.' I walked off to the diner and returned with two cups in hands only to see a few more stragglers milling around and one car circling. Wow, I thought, six in the morning and people just like me are securing places in line for a film hours later. For me? The showing was seven in the evening, my prime choice. That meant roughly twelve hours until seating. Crazy? Perhaps.

By eleven in the morning the parking lot was nearly full. The first screening came along and those entering (there were very few waiting for that time) looked at the line with confusion. Why would we be waiting so long when the first showing was not full? Heh. Move along, people. We socialized in the line quite a bit, talked of other films, and took turns heading across to the restaurant for this and that. The whole thing was very disorganized due to two screenings coming and going with a line just standing there the entire time, but it was worth every second. The anticipation, smelling the snack bar with its wafting scent of dreamy film-related goodies, and knowing I was in a crowd of others who felt the same was overwhelming my senses. The entire day was enjoyable, and then capped by my dad and partner meeting me into the early evening for the film. They thought I was a little nuts, but at least the experience was important enough to me for ensuring they had the opportunity to see the film in context and before any conjecture. Amazing, from beginning to end, and my eyes wider than ever.

One year later, damned-near to the day.

Once again I planned to be at the theatre early as hell, anticipating a similar crowd by seven in the morning. Sure enough, I took off and drove there with coffee in hand, and arriving in the big parking lot showed me that I had been correct. Several other vehicles and a handful of others by the glass. Wow. The idea expanded a bit in one year as we awaited the first sequel. I parked like always, facing the exit for later, and ventured to the few that had been milling around. We greeted each other and I learned that all of them had been lined up there a year earlier, yet found that arriving later would put them too far back. So, prior to half-past six in the morning, there we were awaiting the seating time for a seven o'clock screening. The morning went by with lots of conversation and conjecture over the film, and at precisely ten one of the ushers emerged with cones to organize the lines. Others who had shown up after the first few were directed to the line for the first showing, some for the second, and then us... Out in the parking lot behind a cone for the evening show. Wow. And then something wonderful happened. A handful of those who were there before me went to their cars and returned with chairs, one also carrying a card table and cooler. Another person showed up with an easel and oversized sketch pad atop. Once set up, there were cocktails, card games, and the easel with the first five to get there, in order. Collectively we were referred to as the 'Fellowship of the Bling'. One of the most interesting sights I had ever seen, right there next to me. The wait turned into a party, eventually prompting the first guy to announce that two people would be chosen to head across the street with food and drink orders from Chili's. Ha! Money was collected, a list was drawn, and soon after we sat out there eating lunch, just as happy as if we were at a park. Many people drove in to pick up tickets and stared at our scene with wonder. One of the most enjoyable days I have ever lived was right there in zero two in the parking lot of my favorite theatre.

Imagine my excitement over doing it a third time a year later, and for one of the best films I have ever had the pleasure to see in that massive dome. The first dozen or so were the same folks from the previous year. I was taken aback. And then something which caught all of us off guard... Gandalf, staff in hand, roving the parking lot with a slew of children following along and chanting the inscription on the inside of the ring in question. Unreal.

Back to reality. This very day. Warm, sunny, smoky, and very interesting.

I completed my daily business and need to drive soon. These hours between have put me in mind of the next chapter in the fiction. Like 'The Train', it is going to be difficult and hurtful, but I have to continue paralleling the past as it has shaped the present. The first two years after Colorado were up and down, with some very defining moments which are still floating in my head. I was a teenager, and that means nothing was simple except whatever provided enjoyment. High school, learning to drive, whatever. Friends, too. A group of like-minded individuals who came together after being rejected by whichever clique overheard our nerdy conversations. The entire time of living in that first house after returning from Colorado was wrought with difficulties, as I am certain many experienced at such an age. A few things still stand out and may be partially responsible for some of the processes at work within. Stop.

The previous two days came and went, just like all the rest. Nothing of note aside from the fight within myself over physical issues. Frankly, I am fucking tired of it. Day in and day out these things pick at me and force the realization that everything wrong with my life is the result of me. Ouch. Well, there was one situation which grew out of both fear and longing, and it was certainly not my doing, but you get the point. All those Goddamned decisions.

I cannot remember the last film I had the pleasure of viewing in the dome. I used to have a huge collection of movie ticket stubs that grew over more than a decade, all the way back to 'Titanic'. I had a binder with pages and pages of card holders, with a pair of stubs in each. I never put them in order by date, although I could have, using the movie database for release dates. I cherished that collection and kept it safe for years. Well, it's gone. In a fit of dissatisfaction in life and my need to downsize everything I owned, it went away. Recycled paper. Now? How do I feel about such an act? I could slice my fucking throat for making that absolutely horrid decision. I still can't believe that I let them all go. Movie tickets. Theatres. Joy. Wonder. Experiencing the films as they had been intended. I threw it all away. That is one of the worst things I have ever done. Me... Mister 'film'. The person who has become a tyrant over the atmosphere while watching something. Every tidbit of the room, from lighting to sound to the formula of calculating screen height and distance from the eye. All of it. I have railed for years over the need to see exactly how everything must be experienced. Or else. Or else what, you ask? I turned into a monster and over-explained the idea of watching a film in very unpleasant and excruciating detail. Bad. After a while, no one wanted to watch anything with me. I swore up and down using the harshest words possible that I would rather watch alone than see the art belittled and losing value. I even wrote a scathing essay about the industry, effectively slamming one of the detractors of film's legacy. It's in the fucking archive, somewhere. Find it. Or don't. My words are meaningless in the grand scheme, anyway. Who the fuck am I? Ah, that's right... The person who tossed the movie tickets to the wind. Fuck me anyway.

If I still had the tickets, I could identify the last visit there. Nice, huh? Nope. Stupid fuck that I have become.

To me, and aside from possibly a few places I have lived, that dome is likely the most important structure in the world. The memories of that place are tattooed to my heart for all time. The more I think about it, the more I am lamenting the loss and have to change the fucking subject now. I sought the images you see here and now my heart hurts. Nothing will ever be the same. I can only hope I appreciated each moment enough as they unfolded.

Nine-hundred-fifteen seats. Screen? Thirty-two by seventy-four feet, curved for adapting to Cinerama in the sixties. Fans and even directors of films loved it.


So... Now what?

Last year, the goddess and I ventured to the area where the domes were (I think I drove us by and bitched about them closing, as well) in order to stroll around, shop, and have a nice meal. Upon entering one of the largest malls in California, we cruised toward a department store for the bathroom. Along the way I spied a new theatre that had opened recently. It was intriguing, and I also saw a few key words which drew my attention immediately: VIP, balcony, restaurant, and bar. Hmm. That needed to be investigated forthwith. We went into the store and then returned to the theatre directly, after which I asked of the stairs. The attendant stated there was a VIP area up there -- along with a bar -- and reserved seating with motorized loges. Holy crap, we were in. Two tickets, and then off to lunch. A little while later we entered, grabbed a couple of cocktails, and then sunk in for a 3D experience. From the first second to the last inch of the credit crawl, the atmosphere was ideal, even for someone as intensely picky as myself. Unbelievable. After losing the dome, I decided that the proper manner of viewing a film was still available, albeit different and quite modernized. No matter, as the film is the key. I have not returned there for two reasons. First, going to the theatre in my current condition is not easy. I can't stand other people most of the time and wish to be separated from them as much as possible, and two, the fucking pandemic has truncated life so severely that almost nothing appears as it once had. That is very sad, although the memory of being perched up there in the loges still brings me a smile. I will never forget it.

The place cannot hold a candle to the dome memories, but whatever. I have no faith in anything these days, anyway. Somewhere in the back of my mind is the knowledge that everything I cherish will go away at some point, leaving me a babbling fraction of a former person. Too much has been destroyed or changed in recent years for me to look at the world with hope. That's right, all this shit over one theatre. Believe it.

Nothing about my day here. Hmm... Coffee, drive, the show, kitchen, laundry, searching for images of the dome, sweeping the floor, lunch, and more of this crap. Better? Peachy.

Now I am up hours earlier than usual. I do not like this at all, but at least there is coffee next to me. Thursday, and one of the defining films of my life on the screen. I am not watching, though I hear bits of dialog in the background, similar to what I have the show on midday. Reminiscing about the theatre puts me in mind of seeing this film while in the Midwest, along with another, radically different story during the same fall. THe theatre near our home had two sections. One was an eight-screen multiplex with a huge lobby for first-run movies, while the other was a four-scree 'quad' where the same films traveled upon being replaced by newer leased media in the bigger house. I frequented both, typically starting mid-morning when there were few people around. I also asked quite often of the person behind the snack bar about retired posters, when available. That theatre was the location of most films I watched while in Michigan, and over time became a haven, of sorts. I cherished the moments of sitting nearly alone on a random weekday and seeing the story play out. The trailers and smell of popcorn were like drugs. I even brought my camera into the auditorium once to shoot a photograph of the studio logo. That may have been at the beginning of 'Stargate', but I am not certain anymore.

Thinking of my excitement upon walking into the lobby to get a ticket brings up the same walk into the dome so many years later. There was a feeling upon rounding the corner and seeing that massive, curved screen and more than nine-hundred seats spread out all over the place and most of the way up to the projection room. The wait in line was originally to sit in the center and on the floor-mounted seats, but later became half the experience of being there at all. I remember after the lobby and auditorium were remodeled (I cannot recall the year, though), the rows of seats alternated between rocking chair loges and loveseats, the latter having arm rests which could pivot up for snuggling. I preferred the rockers due to increased leg room. In fact, and aside from the VIP balcony of last year, the dome had the most comfortable seating of any theatre in memory. After the first few films there, I decided that the ideal location was ninth row center, which was nearly directly below the apex of the dome. In a pinch, two rows closer was fine. There was the moment... Upon the previous showing emptying out, there had been a short period in which the auditorium was cleaned, and then the line was let go. While some went straight to the snack bar in an attempt to avoid the line which would inevitably build out of control, some made a beeline around one side or the other for their seating of choice. The moment in question was turning that corner -- I almost always went around to the left for whatever reason -- and seeing the gaping, empty auditorium with lights glowing, floor-to-ceiling curtains, and all those loges awaiting people. I would dash across after counting rows and then plop into the seat with adrenaline forcing my heart to race out of control. Turning the corner after the dim hallway was magical, and to such an extent that I cannot adequately express the feeling. Magical, yes, but so much more. The sight, smell, and cool air in that place pushed me to smile while butterflies formed haphazard patterns within my midsection. Counted, seated, trying to relax and take in the sight of hundreds of people filling the space. And believe me, they did. More than once did I turn during the previews to see so many rows above us and all those pairs of eyes staring forward. Just above the last row was a set of small squares, beyond which the precious film reels lived while on lease.

The fellowship of the bling was two-thousand-two, December. The peak of everything, to me. And I am beginning to lose my way here. The very idea of celluloid film is going away, along with it much of the warmth I felt in those theatres. No errors, no little glitches here and there to show that something tangible is being presented, everything digitized, compact, and cold.

The days are becoming blurry now, as if my schedule and structure are beginning lose their importance, or possibly just falling away like everything else in life after prolonged engagement. I don't know, though. Just a feeling. This morning has been very quiet -- mostly because I have been up since just shy of four -- and my thinking is clear enough to get some things across here, but I see the day ahead not as a journey or destination, but something to get behind me, as if I am afraid of too much time. After five months of this, the possibility that my purpose is fading cannot be denied. I will need to be vigilant, I'm guessing, and see if I can focus as I did after the day of becoming angry at everything. That was a turning point of sorts, after which I became productive and began to form my days as if I was working at a job. That helped and likely kept my head out of the ground during that early period. Maybe. But whatever it was, my dissatisfaction with the general population and their ridiculous, apathetic view of others really took my mood and sent it south. In the space of one early afternoon, my switch flipped and things changed immediately. All these months later I may have to do the same thing. No driving to my usual destination today, however I may need to drive her to the city. That is not a problem at all. Doing so usually splits up the day and I appreciate returning home after being out in the fold of those people. Hmm... That reminds me of one of the harshest bitch sessions on record from many years ago. The MS period, really, when I lashed at everyone and disliked myself. Heh. Have I been lashing here? Eh. Who cares?

Natascha McElhone up there on the big screen right now, along with perhaps the largest eyes I have ever seen on a real woman. Jesus fucking Christ on a rubber crutch in Winter, that woman is so beautiful and unique that I may need to run outside and slam my head against the stucco. Her eyes are a universe. Need I mention that she is five-foot-eight? Ah, you probably already figured I would head in such a direction. What a fucking wrecked machine I have become.

We were a fellowship of cinephiles who gathered more than once per year at the same venue and for the same reasons. They felt as I did with regard to where each film should be viewed for the first time. Some could be seen anywhere due to being somewhat 'lesser' on the scale of importance, but those titles which brought the most attention from science fiction and fantasy lovers drew us like a gun to the big domes. If I remember correctly, I saw a few of the same people there years later for a film I fail to recall, and despite looking a bit different, they still felt the same about the dome and its line. The funny part is we all spent much more time outside in the parking lot and the sidewalk next to the entrance than we ever did in the seats. That is just too funny. And we were happy to do it, all in the name of sitting where we desired before nine-hundred-plus more fans dashed inside.



God damn do I ever miss that place. Nothing can ever be the same now. As magical an experience as the VIP balcony was, the real pixie dust has been lost forever. I have not had the desire to visit a theatre in years. As I said, the balcony last year was a fluke. I never would have pointed myself in such a direction had the circumstances been different. A month or two prior to lounging in those big recliners, I had spied a magazine in my favorite store (above all others on the fucking planet... Believe it) and grabbed it due to the image on the cover. That's right, and I will not go further into it because this entry is unrelated, but there she was, half-machine with unnaturally-large eyes. Yep... Alita. I have mentioned and imaged her on this site before. Anyway, after the magazine article, I became interested in the film, and then there we were some time later, standing before the poster of the same. I was overwhelmed and had to go in, both for the theatre and the film itself. Prior to that fateful day, I had not set foot in a theatre since the days of the Hobbit trilogy, nearly five years. Compared to the glory days of the domes, that is unheard of when it comes to my personality. The meaning behind my absence is that too much has changed and I cannot go back to the way things were. Film is going away, digital-everything is here, and the movies are losing value within seconds of being splayed on the big screen. All of the theatres left in this area are beginning to look exactly the same, too. Streamlined, high-tech, and everything appearing like a strip mall in another state: Packaged exactly the same as the one down the street. If that last sentiment fails to make sense, you have already been converted by society. Suffice to say, movies are vastly different now than in the past -- as expected -- but there is no more magic to be found in seeing them for the first time. Might as well stay at home and watch a smaller, formatted and truncated version with commercials. Garbage.

I'm not going to swear at George Lucas anymore. Everything means something to someone, somewhere, and everything will eventually be displaced by progress and so-called 'improvement', but I don't need to blame him anymore. His career must move on, too. No more bitching about that guy. Sorry, mister Lucas.

Many years ago, films had to be seen in the theatre because there was nothing else. Television came around but was completely different and the programming was equally different than movies. Into the mid-nineties and before I was exposed to the digital versatile disc, I still felt that the films should be seen as projected and as intended. Now? Ugh, to the nth degree. Every fucking piece of technology has a screen, and media is available anywhere, anytime, and often very soon after creation or release. That huge, beautiful, warm screen in the twenty-one was a place unlike any other, yet now the value of the medium in question has been reduced to the screen on that phone in your pocket. Yes, of course we can watch whatever the fuck is desired, and wherever we happen to be. The value of that experience of seeing a bigger-than-life story play out in a venue where the focus is the art is disappearing and I cannot stand it. On top of that, I am powerless. Sure, the dome has been slated to be saved and has garnered much attention from the historical community, but the fact remains that the interior is gone. Long gone... Six years now. If anything happens to the dome, it will be some sort of event space or something else to take advantage of the size and location. No more reels turning and bringing dreams to life. So sad. I don't even know where I am supposed to go with this crap anymore. The fellowship is so far gone... Fuck it all, anyway. Maybe I should go back to despising everyone.

Magical. Gone. So... What does that mean? Where to go now when every theatre looks essentially like a clone of the others? Do I have to drive down the fucking Cinerama in Los Angeles? As usual, I keep producing questions that no one can answer. I should have known something like this was eventually going to take place after the fucking Fox closed its doors. Yep... Despising everyone is the path now. Fuck you. Yes, you.

Back to this morning from the din of progress ruining everything good in my life. I have to do something. Labia in my head again. Not good.

I believe I will be driving into San Francisco later, so my day can indeed split. I accomplished much yesterday which means today I can take it easy while home. The morning is longer due to not going anywhere yet. I've been sitting here nearly three hours. What does that mean in the grand scheme? That is not for me to answer. I am just a person sitting with the keyboard wondering where I am going after so much has taken place in my head and life. Oh, to hell with that philosophical crap. I have things to do today, and they include some of the usual routine and a few nagging tasks for later. I'll probably spend quite a bit more time here in front of the editor than in the past few days, too. I need to get a few things across. Also, the domain for this space is going to change. I am not certain about the title yet, though. I need a few pairs of eyes away from this and the only way to accomplish that without adding passwords is to move everything elsewhere. There are several other domains which remain in the dark, so I can choose one and isolate. I thought of this last night but implementing is going to take time. In the short term, and if I become uncomfortable, you'll know because the site will be nothing more than errors. I'm a little worried now, and when it gets worse... Smack.

I tried to relive the magic some years ago by driving an hour to my old neighborhood and spending the morning awaiting a film. We arrived early with the intention of being first (or close to it) in line. I purchased tickets to a special version -- the high-frame-rate showing -- much in advance and anticipated the day almost as much as those of the past. Like the dome, I was excited to be going. Well, rolling into the parking lot all the way out in the valley revealed that the entire shopping center was deserted prior to nine in the morning. Plus, there was light rain. Ugh. We had coffee and then strolled along the outdoor mall and shopped a little, and then headed for some outlet shops just down the freeway. Upon returning to the theatre, there was still no one there. So, into one of Guy Fieri's restaurants to perch ourselves at the bar and have lunch. That was wonderful. We left there soon after and strolled into the theatre to wait. Third in line, and only and hour before seating. Hmm. Nothing like the old days with the fellowship. Still, the anticipation was there and walking into the IMAX was enjoyable. Seated, and then we picked the appropriate time to head out to the snack bar for provisions. The film rolled ultra-clear and in three dimensions, as many do these days. I was floored by the image, and it was optical, not digital as I had suspected. The downside is that the image was TOO clear. It looked like video due to the frame rate being doubled. Damn, that was a mistake, but I did not know what to expect upon hearing about the technology. No warmth like film, but it was film. I just did not know what to think and felt robbed of the experience. Seeing a movie for the first time is tough for me now, not only due to the threatening nature of so much imagery and reference, but also due to everything advancing to the point of being too fucking clear. The medium is all but gone now. That did not stop us from heading out there two more times in as many years to see the sequels. After the first, I opted for a standard showing, which looked much better, and we decided that the day was indeed enjoyable beyond just the theatre. And the kicker is I picked that location because of the IMAX. Had we gone to the dome? Hmm... I don't know. Perhaps a line in the parking lot, or perhaps not. Now I will never know. We did what we thought would be fun at the time. That was almost six years ago. All is lost at this point. The magic, the wonder, and the feelings in my heart upon taking that seat.

Now what?


What's-her-name is on the screen. I can't remember. Fuck it.

Other people and worry over threats now keep me away. I am content to spend the remainder of my life watching the entertainment I know is safe, and I have quite the library now. Not media, but the technology to see whatever I wish, and whenever. I need the familiarity and knowledge that I will not have to worry at all. Oh, every now and then I am exposed to something difficult, but nine times out of ten I am alone anyway, so I can keep it to myself unless spouting here after the fact. Is the act of placing it here therapeutic? I don't know. I know the numbers... Visitors, page views, duration, site behavior... I know all of it. Not much. I do not treat this space as I am speaking to someone because I really do not like very many people and their opinions are not welcomed. I am here because this is damned-near all I have anymore. Rambling, worrying, lamenting, and fucking unhappy.

Nothing is out there, to repeat the previous closing statement. The idea remains, the dream of the machine is at an all-time high, yet I still don't know what to do. Most of this entry had been distanced from all that crap because I needed a break. Well, the issues don't go away on their own. They can only be removed by the dream, and the dream is impossible. Stick that on a post-it and chew.

The theatre in question, and one of the most exciting, wondrous, beautiful, and emotional places I have ever visited, is gone forever. Whatever the fuck I have said here is nowhere near enough to get across how I feel. Nothing will ever be good enough. Nothing. Just gone.

Along with it? A part of me. Fuck progress. You want to develop something? Develop this, motherfuckers.

Thank you for eliminating one of the few joys in my life."