For about a over a month, I was planning to attend a screening of Back to the Future at the historic Theater at Ace Hotel. Formerly a United Artist theater, it was remodeled and for the first time since 1990, it was open to the public for movies.
I signed up knowing that Christopher Lloyd (D0c), Claudia Wells (Jennifer) and Lea Thompson (Lorraine) from the movie would be there. Lloyd would have a schedule conflict so Donald Fullilove (Goldie) came instead. Now that this was set up, let me tell you how it all went down.
I rushed right after V3con and headed towards downtown. As I drove to find parking, I saw a fat line already wrap around the block. I rushed to the line only to find out that people had in and out privileges to the theater, so it wasn’t that bad as people were walking around. Why were they walking around? Because of the above. Take a look at the DeLorean on display. You can see the almanac, the hoverboard, Mr. Fusion and everything we love about the movie in it. It played an audio track of lines from the film. I wasn’t able to touch it but I did snap a photo with it.
As the movie began, people were talking and getting all excited. Let me tell you, the theater is amazing inside. I didn’t snap a photo, but I hope to go back again. I noticed Lea walk down the aisle and sit in a spot in the reserved section. She didn’t stay for long as security took her away. I then knew that if she was staying to watch the movie, that that would be her seat.
Anyway, as 8PM rolled, we had Leonard Maltin as the host. That was cool. Then Don, Claudia and Lea would come on stage and have a fun Q&A about the movie.
Donald was funny, taking selfies throughout the night. Claudia looked great — my crush from the movie. Lea looks amazing. VIDEO RIGHT HERE.
One question they were asked was what was their favorite scene from the movie.
Don: His favorite scene was his biggest scene, when he got the idea of being mayor.
Claudia: Her favorite scene was at the end, asking Marty for a ride.
Lea: Her favorite scene was after George knocked out Biff, the look in her eyes as George helped her up. That scene, she said, so powerful. No words needed. That look told the story that life as they knew it would change forever.
Then they left and that was that. Then the movie began. Let me tell you this. I have never seen this movie in the theater. But seeing a movie that I love in a theater like this was amazing. I am so glad I did it. Surrounded by fans, cheering and laughing all around was special. I heard comments from some people that sounded like this was their first time seeing the movie. It was great.
Cheers rang as Doc, Lorraine, Marty would make their first appearances on screen. The movie is so beloved. The ending was amazing as applause filled the theater. So great.
As I started to leave, I looked at the area where I saw Lea earlier. She was there and signing some things for people. Since I was by myself and it was so dark, a selfie would not do. But I did bring my trilogy box set with me and asked her to sign it. She was so lovely. Check it out.
As we all went outside, she hung around waiting for her ride to come. Security was keeping it tight but still allowed a few fans to ask for autographs and photos. Wow. What a cool night. Claudia was gone which made me sad. I wanted to see her up close.
But what was great was Leonard Maltin was taking photos with the DeLorean too and I wanted to at least shake his hand. I didn’t get a photo but I stood there and listened to a conversation he had with another fan. He said one of the worst movies he saw was “Maximum Overdrive.” I shook his hand and he has real soft hands.
As I was getting ready to leave I saw Donald Fullilove hanging around. I immediately approached him and asked for a selfie. He was delighted to see someone so excited. He loved my BTTF shirt too. I snapped one and he gave me props for a pretty nice phone. I don’t have a nice phone.
But still, what a great night. I never knew how much I would enjoy seeing one of my favorite movies on the big screen. It’s truly an experience like no other. Meeting Lea and Don was fantastic. Seeing Leonard was great. The fact I got to see the DeLorean up close was a treat. I am such a huge fan and getting to do this was heavy. The good kind of heavy. Is there a good kind?