In 1952, Singing in the Rain was released in theaters, and over the last 60 years, it has become one of the most beloved and popular musicals of our time. To celebrate the pending 60th anniversary of the release of the film, an event was scheduled around the country in select movie theaters, to show the movie on the big screen for just one night. When I heard about this event, I decided that I was going to wrangle one of my friends to go with me to see the movie on the big screen. Since I had not seen the movie in many years, I thought it would be a lovely opportunity to once again see this brilliant classic and to also experience it as few others have had the opportunity to do.
So that is what I did, dragging along a friend of mine, who I discovered had never seen the film, along with her 7 year old daughter. She had read in Parents magazine that this was one of the movies listed as good for ages 5-10, so she figured her daughter might like it. I saw no reason to disagree, so off we went!
Unfortunately, we arrived late to the theater. It was entirely my fault because I just couldn’t get myself out the door of my house, and once I finally did, only then realized I needed to stop for gas. So, we ended up with 3 of the very last seats in the theater that were together. Second row on the end. You know, the ones on the floor where you have to crane your neck up to see the screen? Yeah, those are the ones. Luckily, we only missed a couple minutes of the pre-movie interview with Debbie Reynolds that they were showing before the movie. Basically, I remember her talking about being a virgin and having good boobs. So it was pretty informative. But at least we didn’t miss any of the movie! Yet. But, we’ll get to that . . .
Knowing that it was my friend’s first time (speaking of virgins!) and wondering if her daughter would appreciate the movie, I was keeping a keen eye on my movie watching companions. They seemed to be enjoying it. Her daughter giggled pretty much straight through the “Make ‘Em Laugh” routine, and was faux dancing in her seat to some of the other routines. Her mom also seemed to be enjoying the movie and later said that the scene with Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse dancing with the long flowing white piece of fabric was amazingly beautiful. Score! Everyone seemed to be having a good time. And really, what’s not to like? Some of the best chemistry in any movie between two leading actors (and yes, I am talking about Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor, thank you), fantastic choreography and musical numbers, witty repartee, very memorable and singable songs (Good Morning is one of my all time favorites), and a great storyline. In fact, the whole audience was greatly enjoying it, as evidence by the clapping that would ensue after every famous musical number. It was a good time all around . . .
Until the very end of the movie when disaster struck! Now, if you have never seen this movie and do not want to know anything about what happened at the end stop reading now. Spoiler Alert. Ok, so if you are still reading . . . here we go. We get to the end where they have shown the movie and Lena goes out on the stage to talk and the audience wants her to sing and the boys confer and get an idea and tell Lena to go out with the microphone and demand that Cathy sing behind the curtain. Remember this part? Yeah, so do I. Because I just watched it. Anyway, right after the part where Cathy yells at Don that she’ll do it but never wants to talk to Don again . . . the movie froze. The outcry from the audience was loud, instantaneous and murderous. People were pissed, y’all. I just figured it was some glitch and they would get it started again, so I wasn’t stressing about it. Plus, even though it had been many years, I pretty much remembered what happened next, so I wasn’t too worried. I was a little worried about my viewing companions, though, since they had never seen it and it cut out literally two minutes before the end.
So, amongst cries of “WHAT THE HELL?” and “GET IT STARTED” and “ARGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!” being yelled around us, we waited to see what would happen. Then we saw this come on the screen:
Which immediately prompted more cries of displeasure from the audience. I, being me, started to laugh uproariously. A 60 year old movie . . . thwarted by modern technology. And this was also about the time I figured we were good and truly screwed. A lot of people got up and left. But we stayed and waited to see what would happen. We were treated to many more screens of processing and booting up as they tried to get us back to the movie . . .
And then . . .
More outcries as the option to “start over” was chosen . . .
But that’s ok . . . because they were just going to fast forward through the entire movie . . . on the screen!! ((Facepalm))
Keep going . . .
Oh look! There’s Moses Supposes . . . and there it goes-es.
Aaaaannnnnnddd . . . good morning to you as well!
Almost there . . .
Oh look, it’s the end. Wait . . . what? Yep, they fast forwarded all the way to the end. As in THE END. People in the theater once again were not pleased! But, they rewound enough to get us right before the part where it previously froze. So now we were back in business!! Yes. Let’s get on with the denouement, shall we?
Aaaaannndddd it stopped. Again. At the exact same spot. Now there was a serious uproar in the theater, and I’m surprised people didn’t start throwing things at the screen. They were pissed. So, at this point we figure it’s probably pretty useless to stay, and half the theater agreed with us. But, we figured we would give it a couple minutes, and if they couldn’t figure it out, we would leave. We did decide that since there were a ton of empty seats at this point, that we were going to move up and have a much better view, assuming we ever did get to see the last two minutes. So we moved. And we waited. And then we got this:
Oh boy, this cannot be good. And yes, thank you. I feel very lucky to have a Dish 500 right about now. Sigh.
This is when we got an announcement from a guy up front (who obviously worked at the theater) that told us that they were very sorry, but they wouldn’t be able to show the rest of the movie. ((Groan)). But what they would be able to do was give us all free passes to return to any movie of our choice. Bright side? So, in lieu of seeing the last two minutes of the movie on the big screen after watching the entirety of the movie up to that point, I get to come back to see some other movie some other time. Boo.
So, we left, and I got to do the final scene reenactment game in the car on the way home for my companions. I gave them a very general idea, because like I said, I had not seen the movie in a while. But I thought I remembered the ending. In fact, the final picture of the fast forwarding up there is the big finale. It is just a shame that a very special showing like that had to be ruined by a technical malfunction or loss of satellite feed. Especially for the people who had never seen it before and the kids that were there (there were lots of kids there . . . must have been a popular article in Parents!). It wasn’t so much the fact that you can probably see the ending relatively easily on YouTube or something (you can, I found it and sent it to my friend the next day), but being denied the experience of seeing the entirety of the classic film right up on the big screen, and having that feeling of satisfaction once you reach the end. Instead, the feeling we had was disappointment. Not exactly how I expected the evening to turn out, but what are you gonna do. I do have free movie passes, so I guess that is some type of consolation.
Ever been disappointed by something that you were looking forward to and was a one time only special event? Did you at least get a consolation prize?
What is your favorite scene from Singin’ in the Rain? If you haven’t seen it, what is your favorite classic old movie/musical?