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The death of the midnight movie premiere (in Bloomsburg)-A once-beloved tradition for summer moviegoers, the midnight primeres of yesteryear are no more


Ah, 2012, talk about an amazing year. It was the year the world was supposed to end. As we all know, however, and confirmed by reading this, the world is in fact still turning. We were blessed with Snapchat, an app that would revolutionize the picture sharing game forever on mobile devices.

     In terms of music, we all learned how to do the “Gangnam Style” dance while simultaneously rocking out to Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.” On television, we were given the gift of new quality programming such as “Key and Peele,” “Chicago Fire” and of course the granddaddy of them all, arguably the best television program in history, which to no one’s surprise is still on the air, “Catfish: The TV Show.”

    For all you readers out there, you may remember camping out for the tear-jerking classic “The Fault in Our Stars,” the thrilling and chilling tale known as “Gone Girl” or the third installment of the Fifty Shades books, known as “Fifty Shades Freed,” for you “more adventurous” readers.
And what kind of year would 2012 be without the release of some blockbusters at the movie theater? We were truly spoiled that year, with the likes of “The Avengers,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “The Hunger Games,” “The Hobbit,” the final installment of The Twilight Series, “Prometheus,” “Django Unchained,” “007 Skyfall,” “Sinister,” “Wreck-It Ralph” and the undisputed favorite film of the 2000s, “The Three Stooges.”

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     So what makes 2012 so significant? Well, it was the last year, at least around here, that movies had midnight premieres. It was an event for those who attended. For starters, you had to stay awake until twelve at night, and that’s just when the trailers started rolling.

     Picture this: You stumble into the Cinema Center (back when it was still, in fact, the Cinema Center and not an AMC –sellout) around 11:45 p.m. Upon walking into the lobby, you see an old friend from high school. You catch up and discuss why the movie you’re about to see, “Magic Mike,” will be the quintessential Channing Tatum film.

     Actually, picture this instead: You roll up to the Cinema Center, still at around 11:45 at night. You stroll into the lobby and you notice someone from church. “Hi, person from church, you’re here to see the midnight premiere too? You’re more normal than I previously thought! See you in the theater, champ.”

     You have your popcorn and now you’re ready to head into the theater to meet your equally awkward friends. One of them waves to you from the top row, so you make your way towards them. But before you get there, you inevitably see that cute checkout girl from Weis. You lock eyes…is it getting hot in here? No, no, it must just be you. Get to your seat, you hooligan.

     You continue up the steps, and that’s when you see Oliver, your middle school English teacher’s ex-husband. “Olly, my man! Sorry about the divorce! Enjoy the movie!” Man, it seems like everyone is here tonight.

     As you continue up these seemingly endless stairs, you also notice your family’s gardener, Johnny Depp, your brother’s friends, your sister’s friends, your future children’s future in-laws and of course, the woman who’s been cleaning your teeth since kindergarten. Everyone was in attendance at midnight movie premieres. There was this unspoken rule that, if you were cool, you’d be at the midnight movie premieres.

     So, what happened in 2013 when you went to see “Frozen” at midnight? Er, uh, “Grown Ups 2.” Wait, that isn’t any better. What happened in 2013 when you went to see “G.I Joe: Retaliation” at midnight? Ya, that’s the one! Now, THAT’S a cool movie! Too bad there wasn’t even a showing at midnight, though. You could see the quote “advanced screening” at 7 p.m. or you could wait until the next day, the day the movie ACTUALLY comes out.

     Look, you hear it all the time on advertisements for new movies. At the end of the commercial the narrator always says, “Advanced screenings this Thursday at 7 p.m. – In theaters everywhere this Friday.” If a movie is physically playing on a screen, anywhere in the world, the movie is out. Period. Just say it’s out on Thursday.

     So why did theaters (to reiterate, this is a problem around here but may not be in bigger cities across the country) stop doing this? People have no patience these days. Don’t feel like staying awake until midnight? Chug a Red Bull like a normal person, turn on some “King of Queens” reruns and stay awake and deal with it. If that’s too late for you, then see the movie the following day.

     But one day, some people with a lot of money got together and thought, “We should start playing new movies a whopping five hours earlier.” And that is exactly what happened. And now the world (presumably) is sad.

     Now all those friends you made once upon a time at the midnight premiere of “Inception” back in 2012 don’t come around too often. Your “Slumdog Millionaire” posse fell apart years ago since none of you had each other’s phone numbers but banked on bumping into each other at midnight premieres. All those cool hipster kids you ran into at “Beowulf” in 2007? Ha, kiss them goodbye.

     From now on, you have to see movies at a reasonable hour, you shmuck. And that should break your heart. R.I.P midnight movie premieres.



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