One of the perks to living in Los Angeles (as if the traffic, smog, earthquakes, fires, mudslides, gang activity, and occasional rioting weren’t benefit enough) is the opportunity to attend feature film premieres. Ordinarily, they’re not quite as glamorous as they may look on TV. But when this man extends you an invitation…
…the inclination is to say “Yes.” Or rather, “Yes, sir.”
So it was that I gladly agreed to attend the red carpet premiere of Rob Zombie’s Halloween II last night, held at the world famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. (Yes, the one with all the celebrity handprints and footprints out front.) After pushing through the throngs of expectant stargazers to reach Will Call, I nabbed our tickets and slipped inside ahead of the feeding frenzy that is a red carpet walk. The ushers seemed pretty intent on filling the theater quickly, and my retinas could do without the barrage of bulb flashes, so I was only too happy to comply.
A losing battle with a row reservation sign that would not stay taped up left me to play usher myself for a while… a role with which I was decidedly uncomfortable. I’m really not the guy to say, “I’m sorry, sir, but you can’t sit here unless your ticket says ‘this’ or ‘that’. Looks like you’ve been banished to the far edges, the back forty, or the breakneck seats in the front row.” I mean, who am I to exert that level of authority? On the other hand, I didn’t want to be the guy who had to explain to “Michael Myers” and wife that I had allowed their seats to be given away to some radio contest winners.
It did help to pass the time while waiting for the stars to arrive, giving me something to do other than play the usual crowd game at premieres — looking around while nudging one’s fellows and asking: “Is that somebody? What about him? Her? I swear I’ve seen her somewhere before. Oh, at the hotdog stand. You’re right. My bad. But are you sure? Doesn’t she look like that one girl from that one show?” And on and on.
Anyway, after a fair wait (followed by a return trip from the rest room in which I almost steamrolled poor Malcolm McDowell), we settled in while director Rob Zombie rushed to the stage to give his opening remarks. By the by, I couldn’t help but note that the audience wasn’t exactly your typical premiere crowd. There were suits and gowns and dinner dresses, yes, but there was also an inordinate amount of chains and leather, tattoos and piercings, which I chalked up to Rob’s fan base. Not that I took any issue with that, being a metalhead myself. If anything, it gave things a more casual feel that made the entire event more fun.
Oh, and for the record, I finally grew tired of playing usher and relinquished Tyler’s seats to a finely dressed Scot and his date. Let’s face it, you don’t mess with a guy in a kilt. (More on this later.) And Tyler and Renae found seats farther down the aisle, so I didn’t have to apologize for my spineless surrender. All’s well that ends well, right?
Tomorrow – Part 2: The Film