Wednesday, May 25, 2005

What we did on our seventh anniversary 

As I wrote elsewhere last year, Paul and I spent our first two wedding anniversaries out of the country, the first in Italy and the second in Canada. We joked after the second trip that we would leave the country each year for our anniversary, but events - some chosen, others forced upon us - have made that playful plan impossible.

For our anniversary this year, we got away for a brief but thrilling adventure. We went to see Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

Paul met me after work on Monday evening, and we walked the several blocks down 4th Avenue from my office to the Cinerama Theater. Built in 1963, Seattle's Cinerama is one of three remaining venues in the world capable of showing three-strip Cinerama movies such as "How The West Was Won" and the 70mm Cinerama classic, "2001: A Space Odyssey." In the late 1990's, the theater was in danger of demolition or conversion into a clumbing club. One of Microsoft's bigwigs - a fan of movies as well as rock music and football - purchased and beautifully restored the theater, which reopened in 1999. I dislike most of this man's grandiose gestures in Seattle, but this is a spectacular movie theater, and I'm glad that he saved it.

We arrived 40 minutes early for the 7:00 p.m. show; already a line of excited fellow travellers snaked halfway around the block. This was not the line to buy tickets, mind you, but the line for ticketholders waiting to get in the door. We'd bought our tickets on Saturday, so we joined on the end of the line.

Twenty minutes later, the line began to feed into the theater. Once in the door, Paul and I made our way up to our favorite spot in this theater: the middle of the balcony. I then headed back to the lobby for treats. I asked Paul what sort of candy he wanted. As neither of us knew what would be available, he told me to choose. When I returned several minutes later, Paul gestured toward a couple of teenagers making calls on their cell phones. "We're an older generation," he said. "After you left, I realized that I could call your cell phone to find out what sort of candy they have... but that just seemed silly." Fortunately, Paul was happy with my selection.

There are plenty of other people writing about this movie, and I'll leave that to them. I will say that we enjoyed the movie very much. We cheered, we hissed, we laughed, we cried (at least I cried a bit, but as Paul will tell you, I cry at anything). We had a wonderful time.

After the movie, we walked back up 4th Avenue to my car. We passed a half-dozen or so of Seattle's young pierced and tattooed, all carrying plastic light sabers, clearly on their way to the next showing. They looked about the same age that Paul and I were when we saw Return of the Jedi in 1983.

As we walked, Paul asked, "Does this count as leaving the country? We did go to a galaxy far, far away." I squeezed his hand, and we laughed.