The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

Top 5 Movie Theater Memories

One industry that has been most effective by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is the film industry. Not only has it greatly affected the production of several films but it has essentially made the movie watching experience completely different as it led to many theaters closing down until things have gotten better. While a handful of films originally intended for theatrical release have since been released digitally, many people have realized that while this model is very convenient it just doesn’t have the same feel as watching it in the movie theater. Its reasons like this why I believe that theaters should reopen once the situation has gotten better because without it, we wouldn’t be able to have memories like this that you just wouldn’t be able to get otherwise. And here are my Top 5 Movie Theater Memories:

 

#5 Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

 

As a kid, one of the franchises that I and many other people across generations grew up with was Star Wars. While I had watched Episodes I-VI numerous times on either VHS or DVD, I never had a personal theater moment with any of them due to when I was born. While I did see Revenge of the Sith in theaters, I was only 5 when it came out and thus my memories on it are incredibly foggy. It wouldn’t be until the first film since the Disney acquisition of the franchise, 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens where I was given a chance to see this legendary franchise in theaters for the first time ever. Now while my opinion on both this film as well its two sequels have greatly changed since their release and for lack of a better word aren’t the most positive, it doesn’t change the fact that it was an exciting time to see a legendary franchise like this back on the big screen in major theaters again whether it be the first time in several years for older generations or for the first time ever for newer generations. 


#4 Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

 

Similar to Star Wars, Spider-Man was also a big part of my childhood and I had seen most of the film adaptations of the character in theaters, with the most memorable experience I had with any of his films being the most recent one, Spider-Man: Far From Home. While Far From Home isn’t my favorite Spider-Man film (that would be Spider-Verse), it had such an unique experience that no other film staring the character could possibly produce. One major aspect of the film’s plot was that Spider-Man himself, Peter Parker went on a trip alongside his class exploring the many different places in Europe, and the thing is that I was on a summer vacation to Europe with my family around the time the film came out and as you can guess that’s where we saw the film. Not only was it the first time that I saw a film in a completely different part of the world, but because the film took place around numerous landmarks in Europe, two of them being London and Prague which I had visited before I saw the film it just made the film experience that much more special, especially when I could tell where in those cities they were filming. 


#3 The Disaster Artist (2017)

 

One of the first films that I had discovered that wasn’t from a huge studio was the infamous 2003 cult classic The Room from Tommy Wiseau. I instantly fell in love with the film, it was such a weird and bizarre experience completely different from anything I had previously seen up until that point. One of the most interesting things was hearing all the production stories around the film, it just sounded so absurd that you could easily turn it into its own movie, which it eventually became just that in the form of The Disaster Artist, which was based on a book of the same title which detailed the production history of The Room. Both me and my friend who were avid fans of the film were very ecstatic to see something related to it on the big screen especially in an environment with other fans and even some people who were being introduced to this story for the first time. James Franco’s portrayal of Wiseau was absolutely phenomenal as he truly became the man himself perfectly mimicking his characteristics which made this an essential companion piece to any fan of Wiseau’s bizarre but yet masterfully made gem of a film.


#2 Your Name (2016)

 

As someone who grew up during the 2000s I never got a chance to see traditionally hand drawn animated films in theaters and as a big fan of animation that’s something that was a little disheartening to realize when I started discovering those films at a young age. While CG animation can do many amazing things, there’s just something about hand drawn animation that it’ll never be able to replicate and I really hope that studios eventually start to go back to that style for certain films, but at least that tradition is being kept alive in other parts of the world, particularly in Japan. Around my early teens, I was getting into anime which only helped made me appreciate hand drawn animation even more. That’s why when I saw Your Name in theaters, it was just an amazing experience, not only was the film itself amazing but also it was the first time I was seeing this particular medium on the big screen, one that still had merit to be shown in theaters. All of that combined made this into an experience that I’ll never forget.


#1 Avengers: Endgame (2019)


And for my final movie theater memory, it’s for the Cinematic event of possibly my generation, that being Avengers: Endgame. This film was the climax of a story being built up for 11 years, and as someone who had been following it since it’s beginning just made this experience all the more climatic. I saw the film with a group of friends midnight release and witnessing the climactic final battle in a room packed filled with people who similarly grew up with these films was just a spectacle to behold and something like this doesn’t happen all the often but when it does, it’s experience that I will never forget, one that I wished to tell my own children about and something like this would never had been as monumental had it not been released in theaters, thus showing that even in this mostly digital age, movie theaters still have a place in our culture that streaming services can never completely replace.