Monday, May 26, 2008

La Gatita Gringa With a Whip

This past weekend - as Señor Gato Gringo and I and most other movie geeks enthusiasts can tell you - the newly released and humongously anticipated Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull opened, raking in some $269 million worldwide.

Of that $269 million, I would estimate that $316.87 - and it's possible that I'm being generous - came from Gibraltar alone. How do I know? you ask. I was there.

Yes, movie geeks enthusiasts that we are, Señor Gato Gringo and I went to have our Indy fix in Gibraltar on Friday. And by Friday, I mean The Very First Showing on Opening Day. This would be our first experience of cinema-going in Gib and we were not a little excited. Or since Señor G.G. hates double negatives, we were really excited.

But more than that, we were concerned about line-ups. This, after all was Friday. And by Friday, I mean The Very First Showing on Opening Day. The movie started at 5:30 and the box office opened at 4:45 - how early should we be in line? One o'clock? One thirty? Both of us - Initiated Adepts in the arcane arts of lining up for Indiana Jones movies for The Very First Showing on Opening Day - have spent many an hour in queues that coiled and slithered around long city blocks. We decided to take up positions on our hotel balcony - a room having been reserved for that very purpose - open a beer and watch.

The afternoon wore by sluggishly and from our vantage point at the Rock hotel we drank and from time to time, checked the line-up forming below. But there was no no line-up forming below. We checked our watches. Two thirty, three o'clock .... We leaned over the railing and saw ... no one. Was this not The Very First Showing on Opening Day? (It was.) Was this not Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull? (It was.) Has it not been 19 freaking years since the last Indy film? (It has.) Was not the Queen's Cinema the only venue in town? (It was.) Was not the Queen's Cinema the only venue this side of Málaga? (It was.)

Where was everyone? To paraphrase (and really, I just changed the verb tense) Indiana Jones and Han Solo, I had a bad feeling about this.

Finally, shortly before 4:45, Señor G.G. and I left the alcohol-imbued comfort of our balcony and walked down the hill to the theatre before which stood one other movie-goer. The doors were locked - laying to rest any rumours that the box office opened at 4:45 - and there was no sign of life from within. To kill time we walked around the block where by rights a queue of movie-goers should have been coiling and slithering. Three minutes later we were sitting on the curb, waiting. Around 5:00, a car pulled over, expelling what appeared to be the cinema's manager. She opened the door and the sole other movie-goer slipped in behind her. He was the usher. We were now alone.

But not for long. Huzzah! Within moments - for clearly, our bona fide movie-going companions had been hiding in the bushes awaiting the arrival of the cinema's manager - the theatre opened to a queue of 12 movie-goers coiling and slithering in front of the the cinema. We purchased our tickets from a tiny exterior window about 1 meter from the ground causing Señor G.G. to herniate a disc in the process and entered the lobby where I began my pursuit for popcorn.

There was no popcorn. Well, there was but it wasn't real popcorn. It was a bag of pre-packaged caramel corn. And not very caramelly. It's not like I was expecting a glass of Amstel beer like you can get in the movie theatres in Madrid (although that would have been nice) but I did rather have my heart set on a gi-normous box of salted popcorn. And a separate box for Señor G.G..

By show time, there were at least two dozen movie-goers sitting with us on the main floor and a gaggle of Barbary apes kids in the balcony. By show time, the gaggle of Barbary apes kids who should have been sitting in the balcony were still rollerblading up and down the aisle of the main floor. By show-time my bag of pre-packaged caramel corn had been history for the better part of a quarter of an hour. By show time, I didn't care because the film was about to start because, in spite of everything, it was still The Very First Showing on Opening Day and this was Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

That's how I know that $316.87 - and it's possible that I'm being generous - of the worldwide $269 million take this weekend came from Gibraltar. How do I know? you ask. I was there. As were another 31 people and a few Barbary apes.


Mom said...

But, and this is a big but, did you enjoy the movie?

La Gatita Gringa said...

Yes and a big YES!
... although popcorn and beer would have made it even better.

Anne said...

And Sasha LeBeef didn't ruin it for you?

Steph D. said...

Have been following your adventures since you were on the other side of the ferries... Once, instead of traveling to the dunes in Morocco, my husband and I took a taxi, a train, a bus and a ferry, left our kids ON A DIFFERENT CONTINENT and crossed two international borders (how I love the Gib passport stamp!) in order to watch a Lord of The Rings film in English at the same cinema.

I think the rollerblading kids were probably the same ones.

That was the most expensive and unusual movie date I have ever been on.

Carolyn said...

Steph D: I think you are my new god.

Anne: Shi'a LeBeef was easy to ignore.

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