Stories that Stay with Me – Three

Blog No. 397

220px-the_matrix_posterI’m going to do another Stories that Stay with me this week because nothing else is really going on other than adding more words to the Invasion Novel but still not finishing it. More words isn’t bad, but I have to finish it eventually. Besides, it’s never going to be any good until I start fixing it in the next few drafts. For now, I wanted to talk about a movie, a theatre, and a friendship. Its a nice memory that I think will make for an interesting enough story. In 1999, a movie came out that changed how action and science fiction movies would be made from then on. I’m not talking about The Thirteenth Floor. It was, The Matrix.

I liked that movie just fine. It was a neat premise with a really cool world and amazing visuals. I saw it in the theatre with friends and I didn’t have very high expectations going in. I thought it might be a good, but at the time, no one really new what to expect. Keanu Reeves had been in Johnny Mnemonic which was not considered a good movie at the time, and the premise for the Matrix sounded similar. Still, my friends wanted to see it and it looked cool enough. We went to SilverCity which was still a novelty at the time (it had been opened two years prior). Im sure it was a Friday night, and I remember the building and the theatre being packed, but I can’t for the life of me remember who I saw it with.

7f2a8b03d8da26ddeb45e29b9e1282b74cf0d1a0I’m sorry if anyone I did go see it with is offended. I’ve seen a lot of movies with a lot of people and my memory is often lacking. I liked the movie, though. It was something new. It wasn’t perfect, but it had enough going for it to become a classic and not just because of the new filming techniques. I should mention the lacking second and their films. I don’t have to, but I just did, so there. Though, there is a nice story about going to see the second movie at an IMAX theatre in Michigan with friends when IMAX was new.

That’s not this story, though. I have a lot of memories of the old theatre in Devonshire mall. The last post had a little nod to it, and I remember going there to see everything from kids movies with my grandmother to the latest blockbusters in high school. Before the new theatre at the mall was built, the old one turned into a cheap movie house. They would often play movies that had just stopped showing elsewhere and the best part about it was it only cost two dollars.

7d80fda527934d749e41bc24a607507cAt a time when you could get a coffee and change, or more likely for me back then, a bottle of pop and change, for two dollars, you could go see a movie that was not quite a year old. It was great. I would go to see whatever just because I liked movies. I would get a bag of some sickly sweet candy like Jelly Dots and a Clearly Canadian (cherry or Raspberry) and catch a show.

At the time, Arvin lived out past the mall. (You know him from the guy I did that podcast with and the fact that we’ve been best friends since high school or whatever). He would take the bus home from school, which would let him off at the mall. Here’s where the story all connects. For a long time, one of the movies playing at the two dollar theatre was The Matrix and that movie happens to be Arvin’s favourite (or was at the time). We went to go see that movie a bunch of times together. It wasn’t my favourite movie, but its darn good and for two bucks, why wouldn’t I? Now, I didn’t go to see it nearly as many times as Arvin did, but I’d wager we saw it at least four times together.

DevMall6.jpgThere was one lazy Saturday for sure, a weeknight that was probably Friday since I doubt my parents would have let me say out on a school night, and for sure a summer viewing. I would have been graduating high school around that time, too.

The reason the story says with me isn’t so much because I love it, but because of the number of times I went to see it in the theatre and the person I went to see it with. I’m not sure how long the old theatre stayed in business, but I remember being bummed out when it closed. By then, I was probably more able to go see a movie at the Palace down town (a theatre that ultimately became my favourite after it went independent, but couldn’t stay in business for long either). Chances are, I would be found going to see the newest release at SilverCity by then anyway. Still, I’m always going to remember seeing The Matrix, again, with Arvin, again, just because we could.

There was one summer where a friend and I went to see a movie every week, not knowing what was playing until we got to the theatre. I may dive into that one some time. I saw some of the best and worst movies that way. For now, I’m still clawing my way towards the end of the Invasion Novel. Honestly, I’m close. I just have to get there.

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