Monday, June 27, 2011

Screening a classic movie at a classic venue


Yesterday Jenn and I headed downtown to see a classic movie, Alfred Hitchcock's "North by Northwest," the way it should be seen -- on the big screen -- at Knoxville's 1920s movie palace, the Tennessee Theatre.

I loved the fact that the Tennessee showed this 1959 film via 35mm print. I was a little confused that the projectionist had to keep realigning the film every time the reel needed changing. But I'll take it. Classic movies should always be seen in 35mm. Too often theaters are using digital prints these days, like when we went to see "To Kill A Mockingbird" in Maryville earlier in the year.

My friend Dean Harned ran into one of his former students in the lobby. He'd taken Dean's film studies class at Gibbs High and said the two movies he enjoyed most that Dean showed that semester were "Citizen Kane" and "Dr. No." I think Dean had inspired him to become a movie usher at the majestic Tennessee.

"North by Northwest" isn't my favorite Alfred Hitchcock film -- I like "Shadow of a Doubt," "Rope," "Dial M for Murder," "Vertigo" and "Rear Window" much better -- but I can think of a 1,000 worse ways to spend a rainy Sunday than with Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint chasing after James Mason and Martin Landau.

Outside, we ran into my friend and fellow scribe Lola Alapo. Lola says that she finally got power restored to her house in the aftermath of last week's storms. She was ducking into the Regal Riviera to "see something that doesn't make me have to think."

We ducked into the Downtown Grill after the show. Shock of all shocks, they actually had the State Street Stout in stock. So, I enjoyed a sampler while downing a burger.

Classic movie at the classic venue. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

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