Aug 19

The Globe Theatre: What a Movie-going Experience Should Be

by Guest Contributor · 0 comments

Complete with the old-school marquee outside, the Globe Theatre is a comforting reminder of childhood movie experiences for some and a cool retro experience for those who were born after theatre-going became the megaplex-$10-popcorn-munching-sensory-overload it is today.

Once you pass under the marquee and walk inside the front doors, you find yourself paying an easy-to-swallow $9.50 for a movie that you probably can’t see anywhere else in the city, save maybe the Uptown. But the two theatres seem to work together in bringing great foreign or independent film to Calgary’s downtown rather than cannibalizing each other’s business.

You pay your $9.50 and follow the delightfully tacky and classic movie house carpet to the concession, which still feature what looks like its original popcorn machine. The choices at the concession are always what a girl like me, born in the ealry 80s, thinks they should be. Large box of chocolate treat, oversized popcorn (with white cheddar, ranch and other flavour choices you don’t have to pay extra for), oversized pop to match oversized popcorn, maybe some juice and I think that is about it. You can’t buy a burger or Starbucks latte. Like I said- the way it should be. And although I’ve never attended, I can’t see them caring too much if you bring some booze or toast in for a showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show.

So you enter the theatre, devoid of stadium seating and a screen that by today’s standards probably seems kind of small, but I can’t help think how excessive things have gotten if this screen is small.

You choose your seat and the movie starts. On this particular night we are there to see Fifty Dead Men Walking, which in my unsophisticated film taste is close to genius. The movie is a powerful drama about a man called Martin McGartland who was an informant to the British government about the IRA during the Troubles in Belfast. Oh yeah, and it’s a true story. McGartland wrote the book that inspired the film and co-wrote the screenplay. It is estimated that during his time as informant, he saved as many as 50 lives.

The previews are another great feature of movies at the Globe because just like the film you are about to enjoy, you are going to see previews for movies that probably won’t show at any other theatre in the city. I always leave with at least one must-see. This time it’s a rock doc featuring the Edge, Jack White and Jimmy Page. For me though, the best moment of a movie at the Globe is right after the previews are done. “And now for our feature presentation” appears on screen, in the low-def buzz I remember from seeing Return of the Jedi and Labyrinth on a special occasion as a kid.

This time, however, we are not children, and thusly inspired by my Irish brethren, we decide we should drink a pint of Guinness in honour of them. Finding a location to do so from the Globe can’t be any easier. We step outside, look around and there sits the Belfry across the street. On a warm night, the windows are open onto 8th Avenue and it provides the perfect venue to discuss the film. Which for us is about a three-minute conversation, like I said; unsophisticated film-viewer. However, if Irish public houses don’t suit your fancy there are about a hundred other drink locations within a five-minute walk of each other. All you need do is pick your poison and this will lead to your locale of choice, whether it’s a martini bar, wine bar, restaurant or even club. The beauty of Calgary’s downtown is everything’s close.

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