Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hundreds of Screens: It's (Not) a Wonderful Life

One of my favorite movie theaters in Manhattan is the IFC center. Unlike a lot of multiplexes it definitely has its own character. This is even more obvious on the inside where creepy heavy black curtains surround you in cavern like spaces. One time going to INLAND EMPIRE, I swear we thought we were in a Lynch movie before we even took our seats... so many hallways we were ushered through with curtains everywhere and fellow moviegoers disappearing into other rooms with unmarked doors along the pathway.(I haven't had that experience again so they either restructured or we were really inside a Lynchian nightmare) You couldn't mistake it for another theater. Before it was the IFC Center it was the Waverly and as such hosted one of the very first movie events I ever attended in New York. I can't remember details but it was a John Waters night and there was some sort of contest. Drag queens were everywhere and I thought 'New York moviegoing is spectacular!'

Not that that degree of special proved regular. The strange thing though is that every time I go to the IFC, which isn't often given its location, something memorable does happen.

The memorable thing isn't always good. Tonight my friend Ed suggested we attend It's A Wonderful Life. I thought "Perfect!" what a way to kick off a few days holiday with friends. The super long pre-show began with a few David Lynch moments (they sell his coffee there) interspersed with multiple trailers and then the movie began... without sound. Then the movie began again with what we thought was sound... was that sound?...without picture. Then the whole thing shut off. Nearly an hour after the scheduled start time they were saying "five minutes" so we left. But it's one of those movies we all know by heart, isn't it? So even as we stumbled off to dinner and on to other activities I'm pretty sure we still heard the bell ring many blocks away as Clarence got his wings.



Michael said...


And not only is it ultra convenient since it's near NYU but also they play some awesome, awesome movies. I passed by it last week and they were still playing antichrist. After 2 months.

Who cares if it's sketchy as shit! Just a tad bit disappointed I couldn't catch It's A Wonderful Life, since I'm back home...

Arlo said...

I hate rural Illinois. I live 35 minutes from the nearest theater, and all I have to look forward to is The Chipmunks 2: The Squeakquel. F this place, I am moving to NYC.

1994 said...

Being an avid Lynch lover, how come I never visited this theater? It's on my to-do list of my next NYC getaway.

Kenneth Walsh said...

I found out my best friend died via cellphone while waiting for "Transamerica" to start.

The place still haunts me. :-(