Yeah, it was digital and streamed, but you know what? I still got to see Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein on the big screen Wednesday night, and it was AWESOME.
Originally, I wanted to get to the theater early because I wanted to find a good seat. The Century 16 Cedar Hills Crossing is about ten minutes from my home, and I (after waiting in a line three customers deep for the concession stand employee who left us waiting for too long before even wandering over to sling some popcorn) settled into my theater chair around 6:45pm.
I needn't have worried about finding a good seat. I didn't think to count how many people were in the audience, but looking back, I'd guess at there being maybe 40 or so other folks in the audience.
When we weren't seeing advertisements for upcoming Fathom events, there was a very limited slideshow featuring multiple choice trivia questions about classic horror movies. There were all about the Universal classics . . . except for the "which of the following films was not directed by Jack Arnold" question which provided Them! as one of the possible answers.
There weren't that many questions, and we rotated through them quickly. There was also a spot featuring Ben Mankiewicz talking about TCM and why he/we loves/love classic cinema. He made a really good point about the "golden age of Hollywood," and made me want to go to the movies with him.
Not to be shone up by TCM's weekend-shift-guy, Robert Osborne took to the screen. (Does anyone call him "the face of TCM"? I would.) He introduced the films before taking us to an interview with Bela Lugosi, Jr., Sara Karloff, and Rick Baker. I didn't really learn much of anything new, but I did think Lugosi looked a little more worn down than I'm used to seeing him (and he's definitely looking more and more like his father the older he gets). Karloff seemed to get a bit more screen time between the two children, but I don't know if that was a function of editing or Osborne asking her more questions in the first place. Rick Baker was his humble and entertaining self.
Then the movie started.
And everyone in the theater was silent. I can't remember the last time I went to a movie and the audience was respectfully quiet. I was suddenly self-conscious about whether or not people could hear me munching on my popcorn.
There was a ten minute intermission between the two films, and someone took my seat when I left for a bathroom run. I wasn't worried as I knew I'd be able to find somewhere else to sit. This did give me an opportunity, though, to look over the audience, and I noticed that some people left after Frankenstein. I also noticed that there was a definite variety of people in the audience. The youngest seemed to be in their early-20s, the oldest maybe in their 50s. One couple was dressed up (fancy suit, dress, etc.), but most of us were casual (I wore my jeans and a Creature from the Black Lagoon shirt).
I don't know how the resolution of the films will stack up against the blu-rays I have at home, and I did think some of what I saw in Frankenstein could have looked (and maybe sounded) just a bit sharper than it did, but, I got to see these movies on the big screen . . . ON THE BIG SCREEN. I noticed some things about the films (the detail of the Monster's battle damage make-up on his arms as well as his tears in Bride..., for example) I don't remember noticing before.
I have no idea when I'll ever have the opportunity to see these movies like this again, and while it was in the middle of the work week and I had to be at work the next morning, I loved watching these movies this way. I wish there was a way for me to see all these classic horror films (or "terror films" to use the phrase Sara Karloff said her father preferred to use when describing these movies) like this.
I do wish the theater itself had done a little more to celebrate these films being shone, but all in all, I had a great time at the movies (after Wednesday night, and seeing Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein at a different theater the preceding Monday night, I have no idea how I'm going to watch on Halloween since I feel like I've already hit my monster-movie-watching-peak this week!).