So, last night we went to the Hollywood Theater in Dormont to see A Christmas Story. It was a joint venture with In Person Productions, and they brought Ian Patrella (Randy) to the theater for a meet n’ greet & commentary. It was a great time, despite a few little quirks in the evening.
The Hollywood itself is a cool little theater, the first time my wife & I had gone there, we saw Inglourious Basterds, and we sat in the balcony. It was very cool to see that movie in a little local theater. Although we didn’t, we could walk there. Ha ha. It’s a great thing to have in your neighborhood.
Last night, there was a decidedly different atmosphere. Of course, Christmas decorations and attire were everywhere… it was quite festive. We arrived and were ushered in, and moved on to the concession stand. We decided on just a large Coke to share, and were greeted warmly & quickly, although the woman made sure to note that we had several scary movies coming up in December. Ha ha. Do I look scary, or like a horror fan? Maybe it’s the facial hair.
We got inside & chose some seats on the floor, near the middle in the back. There were quite a lot of people there already when we arrived, and many more flocked in behind us.
Before the movie, Mr. Bending form In Person Productions introduced a representative for local EMT’s, as they were benefiting from a Red Ryder B.B. Gun raffle, and then introduced Ian Patrella and a gave a little talk about how the evening was going to run.
Then, they trotted out Dormont’s mayor, Tom Lloyd, to present a key to the city to Mr. Patrella. Mayor Lloyd is a bit of a hot-button issue ’round Dormont if you’ve been paying attention to the news. I know Mr. Lloyd has been pushing for revitalization of small businesses in Dormont… or at least that’s what his bio says, but there’s also been a quite public pissing contest (for lack of a better term) between the Mayor & the Police Chief, or maybe even two at this point. I know it has to do with GPS units in local police cars, who can use what door to go in & out of the municipal building, and who has the power to cancel parking and/or other traffic citations… and I think even who the fines should go to, if they’re local or state violations. Also, apparently who has the biggest cojones. My bet’s on Mr Lloyd’s, as they’re probably dragging on the floor at this point. Pardon my vulgarity, but really… I’ve gotten way to many impeach the mayor post cards in the mail, and too many letters to the editor in the local quarterly newsletter to take either side seriously at this point.
Speaking of point… I’m leading into the fact that Mr. Lloyd presenting a key to the city to Mr. Patrella may have not been a great decision at this point in time. The mayor was visibly physically in distress, and I know you’re not supposed to discriminate on age, but I found myself wondering aloud how he’s able to carry out official duties.
Also… upon presentation of the key to Mr. Patrella, he proceeded to tell him that he’s never seen the movie. Yes, we’re talking about A Christmas Story. Yes, Mayor Lloyd looks about 347 years old. Yes, they run A Christmas Story for 24 hours every Christmas on TBS or TNT or whatever channel. Yes, he actually told the actor from the movie that he’d never seen the movie. It was all very odd. Then, he very conspicuously ambled up the aisle after presenting the key… taking his 4-5 person entourage with him. So, apparently he couldn’t spare a few hours to watch the movie now? I found the whole ordeal quite disrespectful to Ian, In Person Productions, and the Hollywood Theater. Perhaps he has political or social ties to the FOHT, but they ought to reconsider letting him embarrass the city in the future.
Mr. Patrella was going to provide commentary during the film, but they apparently had mic or PA issues, and he wasn’t able to really shout over the film. I hope they got the issues resolved for the rest of the showings this weekend. I did really appreciate the Q&A at the beginning of the evening. Ian is a great public speaker & Q&A guy, & seemed to be genuinely having a great time. He’s currently giving tours at the house used for the outdoor scenes which is now an A Christmas Story themed museum. He was very cool at the meet & greet after the movie, and took the time to pause with me for a photo and sign my DVD. I hope to make the road-trip out there some time soon! You can also win an all-inclusive package trip by reenacting a scene from the film at AChristmasStoryScene.com!
The other interesting part of the evening was a little troll that sat behind us during the film, mouthing off how incredibly bored he was not only at the pre-film ceremonies, but during the actual film viewing itself. He continued to ramble & talk about totally unrelated things. After a while, my wife had enough, turned around, and asked him to please be quiet. He mumbled inaudibly as he was scolded by the woman he was with and giggled-at by the couple they were with. Then the big shot said “I asked ‘what is she gonna make me?'” Yes. This was a grown man. I was turning to look as he asked “Is he gonna make me? I raised up slightly in my seat, as he slouched in his. He didn’t say one more word for the entire duration of the film. Apparently I do look scary. We saw the little guy afterward, and he was just under 5 feet tall. Apparently he had something that he though he needed to prove, then decided it wasn’t that important. I’d love to know out of a theater full of people, why people like this seem to gravitate towards wherever I’m sitting.
All in all though, the idea & the execution of the evening was great as far as the Hollywood, In Person Productions, & Mr. Patrella went. I’d like to catch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation there later in December. I also cant wait to see who In Person brings around in the future. I shot off an email when we got home to let the Hollywood & In Person Productions know what a great time we had, and Mr. Bendig from In Person wrote back very quickly, with another message to follow. I look forward to some of the movies and personalities that they’re looking to bring to the Hollywood. (Did somebody say… Monster Squad?)
- Actors Theatre: A Christmas Story (louisvillerediscovered.wordpress.com)
- The New (and IMPROVED!) Christmas Story (sfnowak.com)
- How Would You Sing ‘You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out!’? (huffingtonpost.com)
- Steven Thomas T-Shirt Celebrates A Christmas Story (wired.com)