Before the Show at the Uptown
Movie: “The Hurt Locker”
Theater: The Uptown
Screen: Just the one
Location: Uptown, Minneapolis, MN
Celebrated in: Prince’s 1982 song “Uptown":
Everybody's going Uptown
That's where I wanna be
Set your mind free
Built in: The 1930s, after a fire destroyed the original Lagoon Theater. Another Lagoon, a multiplex Landmark theater, was built a block away in the 1990s. Landmark brags that the Uptown has the biggest screen in the Twin Cities but I can't believe it's bigger than the screen at the Riverview.
Operated by: The Landmark chain since 1978.
Memories: Too many to mention. I could write an essay on the number of times I went to the Uptown as a kid and teenager when it was a retrospective theater, showing double and triple features of old and recent films. Saw tons of Woody Allen there. Saw “Casablanca” for the first time and remember a few women hissing when Ingrid Bergman says, “You’ll have to do the thinking for both of us.” Saw “A Clockwork Orange” before I’d had sex and it probably screwed me up for life. Saw “The Man Who Fell to Earth” with my friend Nathan Katruud, and, as we stood in the lobby makng fun of the people milling about, I noticed one hipster dude and said he was probably thinking how everyone else was probably thinking he looked like David Bowie. Then I looked over at Nathan for confirmation—he was probably the funniest guy I’ve ever known—and his face seemed startled, as if I’d read his mind. He was in the early stages of rock-star fever. Eventually he changed his name and became Nash Kato of “Urge Overkill.”
Seated: 1:05 for a 1:15 showing. No ads, just alt pop playing (“Summer Number 39” by Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers), while floodlights bathed the screen in pinks and yellows and blues.
Lights go down: 1:15
- HDNet News. (British voice: “But what led your brother to become a suicide bomber?”) HDNet movies. (Demi Moore??? That’s a selling point?) Dan Rather.
- Stella Artois: “C’est pour toi, papa,” etc.
- The Palm 3 from Sprint. Apparently an ad for Facebook and a singer named, I believe, Joanna Gikas, as well. Do the advertisers know how off-key she sounds when she’s singing a capella?
- “Cold Souls”: “This is Paul Giamatti. And he has a problem.” So a character named Paul Giamatti sells his soul, then tries to get it back, but it winds up in Russia, where he travels to retrieve it. Amazing how both off-beat and familiar this thing feels. I guess it’s the off-beatness that feels familiar.
- “In the Loop”: This movie opened the Seattle International Film Festival in May but it already feels old, doesn’t it? Feels like it should’ve been released last year. But if it gets good reviews I’ll go.
- “The Cove”: A documentary about dolphin-killing in, particularly, Japan. “The dolphin’s smile is nature’s greatest deception.” Ditto.
- “500 Days of Summer”: Tough girl, moony boy. Once upon a time, that was my story. Now? I’ll probably go—it’s gotten great reviews—but it’s no longer my story.
Movie starts: 1:28