In ’97 I went to the AMC 20 in Torrence to see Boogie Nights, when I left the movie I saw that FairyTale: A True Story was about to start on another screen so I decided to sneak in and watch it for free. When I entered the theater there were no other patrons in the room. I chose a sweet spot to sit down, center screen a quarter of the way back. As the show time approached I noticed no one else had come into the theater. I got nervous, expecting that any moment an usher would come in and tell me, “Excuse me, sir, we’ve sold no tickets to this showing, what are you doing here?” But that didn’t happen, the lights went down and the movie started, just for me, my own personal theater.
It seemed that showtimes roll no matter what, maybe someone might buy a ticket and come in partway through the movie I gathered. I also had a slightly uncanny feeling realizing that movies played to empty theaters across the country. A movie falling in an empty theater makes a sound. Flickering for ghosts maybe.
I liked the movie a lot, seeing it alone in a theater made it more magical. Loosely based on the little girls in 1917 that caused a stir when they claimed to have photographed fairies in England. Harry Houdini was inserted into the story. He was well-played by Harvey Keitel, though he was given a disconcerting false nose. Houdini’s nose wasn’t especially large though I suppose it was bigger than Keitel’s.
A very enjoyable movie that made me, for just a moment, believe in fairies.
But it couldn’t make me believe Harvey Keitel’s nose.