Friday, December 09, 2005

All Opening Day SF "Brokeback Mountain" Shows Sold Out

Today is simply a beautiful day in San Francisco. The sun is out, not a cloud in the sky and it's warm enough that I don't have to wear a scarf or hat. Under these weather conditions I thought I'd have no problem getting a ticket for one of the first shows of "Brokeback Mountain" down at the Embarcadero Cinemas, where the film is playing on three screens.

Boy, was I wrong! I got to the theater a little after 11 a.m., expecting to see either the 12 noon or 1 p.m. shows, but they were sold out. Signs posted on the doors said all showtimes, except two in the mid-afternoon, were sold out completely.

Inside the lobby, at least a hundred people were either on line for the box office, the candy stand or heading into the theaters. I joined the ticket buyers' line and asked an usher how good my chances were of getting a ticket for the two available times in the afternoon. He said no way would I get into a showing today unless I pre-ordered online.

"But the signs on the doors say two shows aren't sold out. Why then are all these people standing on line for the box office?" I asked. He replied that since the sold-out signs were posted, remaining tickets flew out of the box office. The folks on line were probably picking up tickets purchased online, checking if there were any cancellations or no-shows, or getting tickets for a future show, he said.

Damn. With dozens of people in front of me, I left the box office line and observed the lucky ticket-holders.

As expected, it was mostly a diverse gay male crowd; young adults in torn jeans, middle-aged men in downtown business drag, muscle bears in tight shirts, etc. Saw one lesbian and one gay male couple, all decked out in genuine rodeo clothes, including big cowboy hats waiting to buy popcorn. And there was mix of African Americans, Latinos, Asians and white guys. I'd estimate about 20% of those in the lobby were women.

It was a happy crew, all in all, and I could feel their palpable excitement with being among the first few to see "Brokeback Mountain."

Guess I'll have to wait until next week to catch the flick, when the opening weekend is over and it's less crowded.

In the meantime, tonight I'm going to catch, for the fourth time in two months, the best film out there right now: Michelangelo Antonioni's restored 1975 masterpiece about alienation and one man's search for identity, "The Passenger," which is at the Opera Plaza for one more week, starring Jack Nicholson at his sexiest.

If I can't watch gay cowboys, then I'll take Nicholson and Antonioni.

No comments: