I was living in LA/Venice in 1977 when my friend came to drag me to the new Star Wars movie that had just opened at the Westwood cinema. I wasn’t really into space movies and I was even less enthused when we got close enough to see the line around the block and beyond. When we reached the box office the cashier announced that the seats they were selling were in the FRONT row.
The film had opened less than a week before but John had already seen it five times. We scrunched down in the seats craning our necks back at the screen which was about five feet in front of us. Remember the first scene of the first Star Wars? Remember those lines of text flying over your head ? It was terrifying but I must have gotten used to it because I lived through the film.
Fast-forward to a few years ago when the most recent Star Wars movie opened at the Broadway Cinema. I am a fan but not a fanatic, which is why I couldn’t tell you the name of the last one without looking it up. Okay, I looked it up- it was Revenge of the Sith, 2005. So my friend and I- we both hate crowds- were trying to figure out how to see Revenge of The Sith in as empty a theater as possible. We figured to go on the very last night and waited several weeks, then on what was advertised as closing night we went down to the the Broadway expecting to saunter in to an empty theater. WTF? The place was packed!! What went wrong?
When I got a chance, I took a meeting with The Consultants. The Consultants hang at the candy counter and they gave us the straight skinny. The formula, they said, was E-3, where E is the Ending Date, you count back three days and THAT’S when you go. Last days don’t work because that’s when all the nuts come out, and the folks who’ve seen it eight times and just want to sneak in one more.
So there you have it: E-3. I’ll see you down there. In March or so.