Wednesday, October 17, 2018

#OpinionatedOctober - Practical Magic Movie Party

October 16
Practical Magic Movie Party at Alamo Drafthouse
Event
https://drafthouse.com/northern-virginia/series/movie-parties

Like anybody with a film background, I've known about Alamo Drafthouse for a while. I'm not sure if I realized there was one so close to me, but I am lucky to live in an area where even though I'm about 30 minutes from an Alamo, I actually drive past three other theaters to get there. I just hadn't actually looked into it before when I randomly stumbled on an ad for a Labyrinth Quote-A-Long Movie Party. Obviously, my best friend and I had to go, and we were instantly addicted. I've lost track of how many movie parties we've gone to in the two years since that fateful day, but for Halloween they were doing a showing of Practical Magic. This is one of our favorite movies, so honestly the only delay in buying the tickets after I saw the email was to determine which of the two showings we were going to.

The movie parties are always a good time, and this one was no exception. You get to see a movie that you love on the big screen (or introduce somebody else to one that they've missed) and they lift their strict no talking rules *slightly* for the event (you can quote along with the movie, or sing in the case of Labyrinth, but no conversations or heckling). The food is always good but a couple we've gone to have had themed drinks just for the occasion. I did not try the Midnight Margarita this time around, because I'd already picked out a shake on their Halloween menu that I couldn't wait to try (The Sacrificial Shake, it was amazing). You also get props to use during certain parts of the movie, and this time we had a scratch and sniff card to smell at certain moments too (like sage to help cast the spell on Jimmy). The movie party props are sometimes better than others, and this was one of the best sets I think. Practical Magic is just such a fun movie to watch at any time, but seeing it on the big screen again was awesome. And as the host pointed out before the movie started, it was apparently the 20th anniversary of the film's release. I came home to check my book of ticket stubs, and it turns out we saw it in the day after it came out back in 1998. And yet there was STILL a moment where I realized something I'd never noticed before.

If you've not been to an Alamo Drafthouse before: always arrive early. The 30 minute pre-show before the movie isn't one of those obnoxious "shows" full of ads pretending to be entertainment news or whatever, but an assortment of weird semi-related video finds from who knows where. Trailers for old movies, music videos from who knows where...it's always a weird, fun mix of stuff.

You can't talk about Alamo without mentioning the food. I didn't get anything from the special menu, but I just have to say the chicken & ricotta meatballs are always amazing. I still mourn the loss of the fish and chips (still the best ones I've had in years, haven't found any as good in another restaurant yet) but the meatballs aren't a bad go-to.

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