Thursday, March 11, 2021

I Am Smiling Again

I am smiling again after receiving my second COVID Pfizer vaccine shot ... somewhat antsy and a wee bit adventuresome.

Accepted an invitation from two friends to go where I had not been in more than a year -- inside a movie theater and then step into a bar to have a drink afterward!

Still wearing a mask (to protect others) I joined the couple to see the new movie Tom & Jerry at the Terrace Theater, a place I used to go to a LOT pre-Covid. I had kept track of various ways that 6-screen cinema managed to stay in business in the midst of a pandemic that was warning people to stay home and endure a personal lock-down ... for a year!

I saw the Terrace actually did shut down for several months then came back using their parking lot for an ersatz drive-in theater! 

Inside, it opened and blocked off most of the seats in each of the various-sized screening rooms to comply with social distancing and even started to offer to reserve an entire screening room for private parties -- limited to 10 people -- at a reasonable cost of about $15 per person!

I hoped the theater would continue to offer a film-viewing experience and would weather this most unusual time when many of us were huddled at home, doing our part to stem the rising tide of infections.

My friends assured me that at times they were seated alone in a screening room. They felt quite safe while the theater struggled to stay open even as the studios limited the release of new blockbuster films until larger audiences could be feasible. 

I was affected personally when local TV production of HBO's The Righteous Gemstones shut down and went on hiatus after aborting Season 2, Episode 1 last year and I was not being contacted to be on set as a frequent Extra/Background actor. This just changed and casting has started again for mid-March filming here. Yay!

So, this Sunday evening, I joined my friends in Theater 3 at the Terrace and a total of five people were separated around 56 seats.

I even lowered my mask to eat some popcorn! The movie featured live-action and animated inserts to tell a delightful wedding story that included live actors and the cartoon duo in a release on HBO Max and in select theaters through March.

A special feature of the Terrace is the array of classic movie posters that adorn the walls and I noticed that something had changed ... talented artistic staff members had taken the time to add COVID masks on the glass covering to faces on many of the posters! What a clever and amusing addition for even more fun to a night at the theater!

After enjoying our almost private screening, we went next door to The Paddock, my first time inside a bar in 12 months! The bar stools were a little too filled for my comfort so we sat in a heated area with access to the bar near the tented and heated entry, seated apart from others.

A fan of Jameson Irish whiskey, I moved up to the next level with a glass of RedBreast, served neat of course.

A nice evening out! Safe and sane with a bit of preplanning and the cooperation of the Charleston Hospitality industry. I hope to do this more often now, going forward ... it was a real shot in the arm.

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