For me, nothing says summer like a big, loud, action-packed movie. Living in Virginia, summer can be miserable, with temperatures soaring into near triple digits and 90% humidity. There’s no better escape than the over-chilled confines of the multiplex.
To be honest, I don’t make it out to the theater all that often anymore, preferring to sit in my big comfy chair and ordering up something on-demand, but recently, my fondness for the theater experience has been rekindled thanks to the Alamo Drafthouse.
If you’re not familiar with the Alamo, it’s a chain of high-end dinner theaters with a bar attached. The food is great, and they even create special menus for certain movies. The highlights of any Alamo viewing are the video montages culled from the depths of YouTube and cinema history that are shown prior to the feature movies. There are no bloated Coke commercials here — for the LEGO Movie, we saw a bunch of fan-created clips of stop-motion LEGO movies — a perfect prelude to the movie.
I’ve probably seen more movies this year in the theater than I have in a long time. Now that my kids are finally getting to the age where they enjoy the theater, I get to go more often, and when a movie hits on all cylinders, it’s an experience that is hard to beat. Taking my sons to see How to Train Your Dragon 2 was an early highlight to this summer. We may have had the entire theater to ourselves, but that only gave them a level of comfort that allowed them to jump up and cheer and laugh at all the appropriate points.
Of course, this weekend’s release of the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has me more excited than any movie I can remember. Yep, this one is more exciting to me than space operas, super heroes, and adventure-seeking archaeologists. I have had the simian flu for years and I can not wait to see the Dawn this weekend.
Summer can officially begin!