It takes a special kind of person to sit in a movie theater through 12 movies over the course of almost two days. And folks, I'm just that kind of person.
From the moment I heard about AMC hosting a 31-hour Marvel-movie marathon event leading up to the premiere of Avengers: Infinity War, I knew without a doubt I was going. Mind you I came to this realization at work, where my co-workers thought I was absolutely nuts. They were used to me coming to work on Mondays and talking about how I saw at least one film each weekend, but this was some next-level stuff. Still, I was up for the challenge, and I'm proud to say I survived.
Of course, I braved the event alone, as my friends wouldn't be caught dead doing this. So for that reason, I had to go into this completely prepared. First, I did what every newbie nerd does right before a big movie-marathon: I scoured the internet for tips and tricks on how to survive. Many were as follows:
- Drink lots of energy drinks. Just not in the first few hours or you'll crash.
- Avoid eating greasy foods, which will increase gas.
- Bring a neck pillow and blanket to make the duration more comfortable.
- Wear comfortable clothes.
Pretty simple, I thought. Most articles also told me to get plenty of sleep before the event, but of course, I was too energized to shut my eyes. Let's just say that I was incredibly excited to see Thanos, and Bucky (and Black Panther in theaters for the fourth time. I know, I know.) So, I failed to get enough sleep beforehand, but I did manage to pack a dope ass survival kit. My advice to you if you're thinking about ever braving an event like this is to overpack. Half of the stuff I brought with me I didn't use at all, but it was comforting to know that I had everything if I needed it. The contents of my backpack included:
- A notebook and pen, for note taking, duh
- A portable charger
- Snacks for when I got tired of eating movie theater popcorn
- Eye drops because I assumed that my eyes would get dry from staring at the screen
- Deodorant, because it was early spring
- Hand sanitizer
- Mouthwash, toothpaste and a tooth brush
- Baby wipes
Turns out you don't need that much when deciding to spend over 24 hours in a dark room. Just a good attitude and a few snacks. The morning of the event I was still incredibly pumped. After I took a long ass, thorough shower I threw on my cheeky shirt (a nod to Black Panther, if you didn't catch that) and a comfortable pair of jeans and headed out the door.
Of course I wasn't the first person to arrive, but I made it just in time to snag an exclusive Avengers poster, collectible coin, and badge. I only say this because I later heard grumblings that AMC ran out of some of the items. I introduced myself to my seat mates and we started chatting about our favorite (and least favorite) MCU films. I learned that this was the third marathon for one of the guys's beside me (he was also the one smart enough to bring a whole power strip to share), while the other was a father of two whose family didn't understand his obsession with these movies either. Another, turned out to be a writer for the New York Times and actually quoted me in an article.
As soon as the credits on the first film, Iron Man, began to roll everyone started cheering, and instantly I felt like home. A lot of people don't understand why I love watching movies in theaters. There's just something electrifying about seeing a story that so many people worked on come alive on the big screen. It's a feeling that words won't do justice, in my opinion. And at that moment I was surrounded by other people who felt exactly the same way I always have.
I managed to stay awake the entire night with the exception of about an hour. The hour was split between Guardians of the Galaxy and a break. I kept full munching on a combo of pizza, my protein-packed snacks from above, and an order of cinnamon soft pretzels. In addition to staying awake, I'm also incredibly proud of the fact that I didn't drink a single energy drink or cup of coffee. Or dip out and go home for a nap like some of the other movie-goers. Seriously, we paid way too much to keep coming and going.
Finally, at 6 p.m. on Thursday it was announced that Infinity War would be shown in 3D. My neighbor was sweet enough to get my glasses for me and like the other 11 films before when the credits rolled the cheering once again ensued. And honestly, it made every hour I sat there, every leg cramp and every time I wondered if I was certifiably nuts worth it. Ask me if I would do it all over again. Without a doubt, yes.
My takeaways for any other brave (or nerdy) soul who might be thinking of doing the same thing one day for Marvel movies or any other franchise are:
Pace yourself when it comes to eating
There's no reason to binge-eat just because you're binge-watching. Eating too much too soon will cause you to feel tired and bloated long before you even make it to the 24-hour mark.
Get to know the people beside you...
...and everywhere else in the theater too. I can't tell you how nice it was to meet other people in the lobby/waiting areas. And this is coming from a socially-awkward introvert. I wondered how uncomfortable it would be sitting beside people for almost two days, but talking to them made it an incredibly enjoyable experience.
Sleep during the breaks
Fun fact: break time is factored in. So, instead of snoozing during movies when I took the opportunity to crash during those built-in 20-minute breaks. That way I'd be ready to go when my favorite movies came on.
No one goes to an event like this to be crabby and grouchy and sad. This is the time to let your nerd flag fly proudly. Wear the fun t-shirts, bring your Captain America shield, feel free to laugh loudly and quote the lines. This is an experience like no other, so if you're going to go, enjoy every second of it.
Now that I've fully recovered, I can totally start preparing for next year. Let's just hope part two of this film doesn't make me want to curse at the screen. If you've seen the movie, you know exactly what I'm talking about.