When I first moved to Seattle in 1996 I came to the Neptune a lot because the woman I was seeing lived only a few blocks away. We'd walk over and eat on "The Ave," browse used book stores and then head to the Neptune to watch something. In fact, the theatre is kind of connected permanently to her memory because the first time I ever kissed her was right after we watched Flirting With Disaster together. Movie theatres can inspire romance and love and desire while you sit in the darkened theatre and images flicker across the screen.
Along with thinking about my ex Lola, the Neptune makes me remember my late friend Phil and a few of the films I saw there with him. Before we watched the first Spiderman, he sang the old song to myself and The Hidden Staircase but the movie that stands out the most to me was when we watched the rabble rousing documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 together.
Seattle is kind of a hot bed of leftist thinking and we (Phil, The Hidden Staircase and myself) all shared those opinions of the film's main subject matter: the ineptitude of George W. Bush. The screening was sold out, it was opening weekend and you could just feel the anger, disgust and the hatred in the air as we sat there and watched all the shenanigans of Bush, Cheney, Rove etc etc.
After the film we headed to eat at this Indian place we liked called Bengal Tiger where we ranted to one another about the corrupt machinations of the American political wheel. It felt good that we were together and in agreement as we ate vegetable pakora and pashawari naan. Movie theatres can also provoke, make you loathe and create bonds while you watch what is on the screen. Now that Phil is gone, it makes me hold onto those memories stronger than ever.
The Neptune's not only about the past though as I'm still seeing movies there--I plan on watching Hamlet 2 there tomorrow night with my friend Trevor. I'll savor buying the ticket and standing in the small lobby that doubles as the concession area before heading down into the large, cavernous auditorium.