Thursday, 15 October 2015

Martians

I've always been interested in space travel - watching that moon landing on the TV when I was eleven obviously had a profound effect on me.  I've never been tempted to send my CV into NASA though, clearly the fact that I'm too scared to step foot in a lift doesn't bode well for being encased in a lunar capsule hurtling through space for months on end. 
 
Matt Damon has been turning up on a few chat shows recently, promoting his new film The Martian, and I thought it sounded like my kind of film.  Can you imagine being left behind on a planet because the rest of your crew thought you were dead and the next scheduled landing was four years away?  I'm not sure that I'd cope awfully well with that.  Also, no internet?  No phone? So I suggested to my husband that we should go and see it.  We hadn't been to see a film for years, in fact neither of us could remember what it was, but last time we went it was touch and go as to whether we'd get in (must have been something very popular) so to ensure no disappointment we pre-booked our tickets in advance to pick up at the cinema.

To say we needn't have bothered in an understatement.  The foyer was empty apart from a girl behind a counter selling giant boxes of popcorn and litres of cola and as we walked down to screen three I said 'I wonder how many people will be in here?'  As we pushed open the doors it was quite obvious that we were the only people there!  10 minutes later the doors opened again and the audience doubled in size with the arrival of two boys.  Talk about a private screening! 
 
It made me think back to going to the cinema as a child.  There was one cinema in town and there was only one screen - no choice of film.  The internet hadn't been invented then so you couldn't pre-book, you had to factor queuing time into your schedule and normally the queue would be going round the block.  If you were going with a group of friends it wasn't unknown for 2 people to queue and then 8 others turn up to join them as you got closer to the door.  This was not always popular with the people behind you! 
After anxiously approaching the front of the queue, you'd get your tickets and go up the stairs where an usherette would meet you and guide you with her torch to a vacant seat.  There was usually a few adverts for the local Chinese take-away and the local cycle shop, then a short film before the lights went up briefly for the usherette to reappear with her tray of ice creams.  Tiny tubs with little wooden spoons.  Then the lights would dim, everyone would settle down into their seats and the main film would start.  I don't ever remember going to the cinema without nearly every seat being taken. 
At the end of the film they would play the National Anthem and as we got older standing up while it played was very un-cool, so it became a race to predict when the final credits would stop rolling and make sure you were already out the door before the music started.  Hard to imagine that nowadays eh?  I wonder when they stopped doing that. 
 
Are you thinking of seeing The Martian?  Have you already seen it?  I'm not sure I would have been as resourceful as Matt Damon, but luckily it's highly unlikely for me to be put in that situation.  Unless of course NASA find a way of making space capsules less lift-like and raise the age limit on applicants. Quite significantly.  Also, I'm pretty sure I'd be too short for the space suits.  Do they come in a Petite range do you think?
 
 
 

11 comments:

Cheri said...

I'm interested in seeing the movie - my hubs and girls saw it without me when I was at a crop, so not entirely sure when that might happen.

alexa said...

Oh, yes, I remember cinema showings like that in The Old Days. In our local one-screen cinema, the showings were on a continuous loop so you could get people arriving halfway through one showing and leaving half way through the next, unbelievably. And of course, the whole things was see through a haze of curling cigarette smoke ... I'd like to see The Martian - I keep reading about it on blogs!

helena said...

yes I remember joining the long queue winding around the building before a film and hoping to get seats all together. I've been in some small cinema audiences but never that small - it does feel weird. I just read The Martian and loved it but not sure I'll see the film

Julie Kirk said...

I can't believe we used to have to wait *outside*. Kids these days don't know they're born etc. [Funny what crops up in life to make you feel old!]

This is a timely post for me as I went to the cinema just last night - and I've no recollection of the last time I went! Possibly the last Harry Potter film. [Guess who could could convince me to break my cinema-drought so I could sit, stare, and weep at him on a big screen... go on guess ... ] ;-)

Ruth said...

The Brainy One has just finished the book and enjoyed it. Funnily enough, he said that he didn't think the film would be my cup of tea ... which surprises me, given that I love visiting NASA in Houston and have read several NASA related books since our return from Texas. Maybe he thinks I'll be bored staring at Matt Damon for an hour or two ...

Sian said...

What a great read! Yes: I remember the very first time I went to the cinema and the queues and the utter excitement. My sister did a project for her Geography A Level and she went to interview the cinema manager for it..I'd totally forgotten that until now!

Parts of the Martian were filmed here..inside shots we heard: maybe it was the control room? I keep thinking we should go to find out. But I'm not sure I'd like the story. I saw that other one with someone stuck in space, can't even remember the name now, I was so traumatised I've blocked it out!

debs14 said...

It was Benny wasn't it?

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

Great post. I remember the very first time I went to the cinema so clearly, but I have no idea what I saw last, other than it would have been a kid's film!

Maria Ontiveros said...

What a wonderful post today - it does seem that movies are either empty or oversold when I go.
I'll probably wait and rent The Martian for a long business trip.
Rinda (who's just wading back into blog land and happy to see you)

Gail said...

Haven't been to the movies since (would you believe) Titanic. Just can't stand the noise level so we wait until they're out on DVD. I know John is interested in seeing this one - me, I'm not sure. I remember those days of the anthem at the end of the movies and how those in the aisles just froze there. Can't remember huge lineups except for a couple and they're more recent- the first Star Trek movie and ET. Even though there wasn't big lineups I always remember that the movies we went to as kids were always full.

Alison said...

You've made me smile with this one Deb.....I'd forgotten all about standing for the National Anthem! One of my houseguests over the summer was reading the book 'The Martian@ and said she was really looking forward to the film xx