Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Very Own Empire Records

I love the movie Empire Records. If you aren't familiar with this wonderful example of the 90's, it's about a group of people working at a record store. The main conflict is that their store is about to be sold to a major chain, killing the indie vibe and the fun.

This morning I was thinking about how I'd like to watch it again. And then I realized that I had my own Empire Records when I was in college.

My favorite job in college was working at the local movie theater. Most of the time when I worked there, we had the Cinema Four, which obviously had four screens. We also had two one screen theaters downtown - the Ward and the Broadway. I usually worked at the Cinema Four or the Ward. I didn't like working at the Broadway - it was (is?) very haunted with no so nice spirits.

The head manager was an older guy who was a lot like Joe from Empire Records. He loved the theater and he loved movies. We had different people working there and we'd have a lot of time to talk while the movies were playing. It was an easy job and a ton of fun.

There was a Soul Calibur arcade machine along with other games. One of the other managers had rigged it so we could play games for free. My proudest moment at that job was when I actually beat one of the managers. I wasn't great but I had gotten good enough on one character to kick some butt.

Alas, our story didn't have a happy ending. A big 12 screen theater was built and the Cinema Four got knocked down. The last time I knew the Ward was a church and the Broadway was used by the community theater.

I worked at the big theater for a while. It wasn't the same at all and they didn't want to promote me because I was from the old crew. I ended up quitting out of frustration.

Real life is rarely like the movies. But for a short time, I had my own version of Empire Records and I'll always have fond memories of that time.

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