Did you know that I am one of the first people to see The Hunger Games?
It’s true! In a moment of sheer dumb luck, I won 2 tickets to attend Wednesday night’s advanced screening of one of the biggest movies in recent years. When I announced (via Twitter, natch) that I’d won these tickets, a tidal wave made of congratulations and jealousy slammed into me, followed by pleas to “Take me with you!” However, I had to go with the vows on this one, so I went with Larry. (Oh, from now on, I’m referring to Hubs as Larry. You know why.) It was a fairly strange event, as I’ve never attended an advanced screening like this before, so I thought I’d tell you all about it. Live through me!
My passes said to arrive at least 1 hour prior to the start time of 7:30 pm to ensure that we would gain entry, as screenings are often oversold to ensure a full audience. For a movie this popular, more than 1 hour was suggested. Also, it said that cell phones would not be allowed into the theater, and they would be “bagged and tagged” on-site. I will not lie to you- I laughed every single time I heard the phrase “bagged and tagged” because it struck me as overly ridiculous, as if someone would carefully place our phones into hermetically sealed bags and declare them an undiscovered species.
This is why people think I’m weird, isn’t it?
Anywho, we arrived at the theater a little less than 2 hours early, and I felt like the Craziest Crazy in Crazonia with every step we took as we approached the theater. And yet, there was already a line! Yay for not being the craziest person! We decided to eat a quick dinner before getting in line (in case you’re curious, Chick-Fil-A, and it was delicious). Since I’m the CCinC, I ate my nuggets speedier than a grown woman excited to see a movie about teenagers fighting to the death should really eat anything, and then I returned to the theater to save us a place in line. In the theater, the following exchange occurred:
Me: (pointing to the space behind her) Is this the end of the line?
Teenage girl: Yep!
Me: Cool, thanks. (pointing to self) Now this is the end of the line.
TG: (blank stare)
Almost as soon as I magically became the end of the line, a security guard approached me to “bag and tag” my phone, which involved dropping my phone into a Ziploc freezer bag (so my phone stayed fresh and freezer-burn-less, obviously) and receiving a corresponding number on a carefully manufactured quarter of an index card in which the number was written in black Sharpie. Not at all the scenario I’d imagined. Then, tickets were scanned, armbands were acquired (guaranteeing our seats!), and the waiting began.
Side note: this is the first worldiest problem ever, but it’s oddly unsettling to wait in a queue without a cell phone distraction. No tweets to check, no awkward FB statuses to relay to Larry, no blogs to read, no unimportant emails to receive. We had to talk. (Gasp!) For like an hour. Luckily, you know this isn’t a problem for a seasoned talker like me.
Plus, there were distractions in the form of the security team and the event staff YELLING AT US about every little thing.
SINGLE FILE LINE.
HAND OVER YOUR CELL PHONES.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A WRIST BAND.
DO NOT BLOCK THE BATHROOMS.
It was actually kind of jarring to be yelled at constantly and for no real reason except for standing around. The random yelling lasted until right before we entered the theater (where I swiped some swag, i.e. bookmarks, buttons, and a lanyard). My bag was “searched” by shining a flashlight into it, and then, SEATS! Larry snagged us some excellent ones, since he’s so good at so many things like that.
Then we waited some more, which wasn’t so terrible since the seats were those squishy giant rocking chair ones. I almost got into it with a gaggle of teenage elbows trying to swipe buttons from my cold, dead hands, but we all made it through the process unscathed. Finally finally finally, the lights went down, and with nary a trailer in sight, The Hunger Games began.
I’m still processing my thoughts on the film, but so far, all I can say is that it was a thrilling, wonderful experience. This is an excellent example of a book-to-film adaptation that gets it right. (I’m already planning an entry about my take on the film for my other blog, and I will post a link when I’m able to reign those thoughts into something more coherent. UPDATE: link to Hunger Games “review” is here.) Either way, I’m very grateful I had the chance to see this before it hits theaters this weekend, and I’m already excited to see it again and again and again!