I love watching movies. More importantly – I love watching movies in the THEATER. Watching at home is never a substitute for the theatrical experience – seeing a movie in a room full of people has an energy to it (especially with comedies), and the “no phones” policy forces me to give the movie my full attention, which makes for a stronger emotional impact. For many years I have been in the habit of going to the movies every Sunday, usually with a friend or two, but often by myself.
Some people have heard about this and have expressed an interest in getting in on my Sunday theater-going. I’ve decided to make it a little more formal – an actual MOVIE CLUB. Every week we go see a movie and then discuss it over a late lunch or afternoon coffee.
Here’s how it works:
- Every Friday morning, I send out an email to the group saying which movie we will be watching, what theater and showtime we will be attending, and what restaurant we will be eating at afterward. Reply if you want to come – no obligation to show up, ever. You can come once a year if that’s all you want.
- Normally we each buy our own tickets, since a lot of people have MoviePass or prefer different seating. I’ll specify in the Friday email if we’re buying as a group.
- I usually aim for showtimes that start between 11:30 AM and 1:00 PM on Sundays. This is my favorite time to go because the theaters aren’t usually too crowded, and afterwards I’m ready for a tasty meal.
- At lunch/snacks we will discuss the movie – what we liked and didn’t like, the themes, the best quotes. I’ll come with some discussion questions prepped in case we need some prompts. We’ll also play Cast Trivia where I throw out some tidbits (and ask some trivia questions) about the actors, directors, and writers behind the film we watched. We don’t have to talk about the movie the whole time, but we’ll try to avoid talking about our jobs too much.
- Movie Selection – I’m going to pick a mix of big movies and smaller stuff, in a variety of genres. I do go to a fair number of indie/arthouse/foreign stuff but for the club I want to go with mostly mainstream movies with a few more eclectic ones thrown in. We’re at the mercy of what’s playing in the theaters – more blockbuster type stuff in summer and more “grown-up” movies in fall/winter. I tend to trust film critics – if a movie is getting panned by my favorite film writers and has a low score on Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes, I’m probably going to avoid it even if it looks fun. I don’t want to waste our time going to mediocre films – let’s try to hit the good stuff as much as we can.
- If there’s nothing worth seeing in theaters in a given week, maybe we’ll do a screening at my place or something.
- Restaurants – we’ll eat somewhere inexpensive near the theater. In the summer we can picnic in the park!
- Theater selection – my favorite place is Regal Meridian 16 in downtown Seattle, ever since they upgraded to recliner seats and replaced all their audio systems. I also like Cinerama, SIFF Uptown, and SIFF Egyptian. I’m happy to mix in east-side locations like Lincoln Square if we get a lot of east-siders that want to join.
- I will be happy to take requests on movies, showtimes, theaters, and restaurants on a week-to-week basis. Just get them to me before Friday morning.
- Membership is open to anyone who wants to come. Bring your spouse, bring your neighbor, bring your friend visiting from out-of-town.
If you’re interested in joining the club, send me an email or DM me on Twitter. By joining you are not committing to showing up – you’ll just get on the email list and maybe I’ll tease you a bit if you never actually come.