May 4, 2017 at 10:50 a.m.
When Marvel first brought us Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Spider-Man, Captain America, and everything leading up to the Avengers, comic book fans, for the most part, were ecstatic. By the time the Avengers movie came out, all of us, non-comic book fans as well, were hooked. I myself saw the Avengers movie a total of five times in the theater. Theaters began late night premier nights, which have the best audiences. Lines were taking up the length of the parking lots and coiling up in the lobby. Conversations were never-ending, opinions were ever spewing, and the anticipation for each movie was more than could be contained.
With each new movie Marvel released, there were more characters to know and love. Even more fun was that new characters being introduced meant more movies to come. Marvel comics has a plethora of characters that have been followed and loved over the years, and fans are loving all the attention and recognition that the comics are finally receiving.
Over the next two years alone we are to see more titles from Marvel comics, and it's no where near the end of the comic book movie genre.
Thor: Ragnarok has to be the best trailer of all time! The soundtracks for the movies and trailers is nothing but awesome! The new Thor movie is due out November 3rd.
Spider-Man: Homecoming will also be starring RDJ as, of course, Iron Man. The new kid did good in his debut in Avengers: Age of Ultron. The new era of Spider-Man dons July 5th.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is next in line for Marvel. Kurt Russell comes on board as Star Lord's father Ego the Living Planet. This guy knows how to attach himself to some big movies. First he ties onto the Fast and Furious, and now he latches himself onto a Marvel Movie, smart man. The Guardians of the Galaxy save the galaxy once again on May 5th...yeah, that's tomorrow.
In 2018 :
Ant-Man and the Wasp I would have never guessed or even pictured Paul Rudd as a Marvel character, but here he is in two Marvel movies, Ant-Man and Captain America: Civil War. Now, I cannot picture anyone else as Ant-Man. Paul Rudd returns July 6th as Ant-Man.
Avengers: Infinity War Part 1, pay attention to the "Part 1" part. Yup, that means it ain't over yet, and be prepared to sit through the entire credits for the sneaks. By now, that should be common knowledge to anyone who attends a Marvel movie. You always wait until after the credits are done rolling. Yes, yes, kudos to all of those people listed in the credits, and job well done. But, show us what we're waiting for! Infinity War Part 1 is due out May 4th.
Black Panther was introduced to us in Captain America: Civil War, and, as usual, at the very end of the Civil War movie we found out that it would not be the last we would see of Black Panther. Like I said, with every movie Marvel releases, more characters are introduced, which means more movies to come. Black Panther comes out February 16th.
In 2019: These titles and dates may be subject to change.
Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel has an initial release date of July 5th.
Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 is so far due out May 3rd.
Captain Marvel was first introduced tot he comic book world in 1967. She is due to make her movie debut on March 8th.
Phew, and that's not all. There are more titles to come. The comic book genre came in with a boom, is still booming, and looks to continue booming into the future. With the fandom that it carries with it, it stands to have a long and prosperous future...so long as the movie makers get it right. Comic book fans are the worst critics. They will let nothing slide...very far.
The next couple of years are big for Marvel movies, and they are pretty big for my favorite movie theater, Showplace 3 Cinema in El Campo, Texas. Showplace 3 has been bringing entertainment to El Campo and surrounding areas for over thirty years, 33 years to be exact as of April 13, 2017. It opened that same day back in 1984. It was a Friday, and the owner, Gary, along with the oldest employee there, as in been there the longest, Michael Orsak (1987), still can quote you the titles that were shown on that Friday night. They were Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter, Footloose, and Romancing the Stone. The movies that were held over the most were Titanic, staying for 16 weeks, and Pretty Woman, staying for 15 weeks The second longest were La Bamba and Selena, both staying for 6 weeks. In addition to staying for 6 weeks, Selena reportedly has the record for longest line the theater has seen. Vehicles were lined up from the parking lot to the end the loop where the theater is located.
The lines can be frustrating at a theater. You wait in line for your ticket, and then you wait in sometimes an even longer line at the concession area. This can all be very frustrating, especially if you lack patience like my son. The one thing that helps relieve the frustration is the Showplace 3 crew. It is so nice to share the movie experience with familiar faces. They are always friendly and make it a point to know their movie goers. They share in the experience with you, which makes it more fun. I was able to chat with some of the crew members not too long ago. At the time it was only the guys on shift, not planned, just happened that way. They were Jesse Acuna, been there 3 years since 2014, Wade Labay, been there 5 years since 2012, Cory, been there 6 years since 2011, and both Ryans, Ryan Bartosh who has been there for 3 years and Ryan Wutherich who has been there for 2 years.
They are a great group of guys who always know how I like my popcorn, which is a lot of butter and a little popcorn. The popcorn at Showplace 3 is an attraction all its own. It is AMAZING! Even if there is nothing playing that you want to see, which is rare because Showplace is good at picking something for everybody, you still go just for the popcorn. The guys say it's the machine that is the secret to the wonderful tasting popcorn. It is broken in just right. Okay, so they can never rid the theater of the popcorn machine. That is law as of right now.
So why work at a theater? I mean the movies are fun and the people are great to interact with. But, there is an ugly side to working in a theater. For one, there is the clean up, especially after the kid movies. The guys say that is the worst moment and that the trash can be so bad that it's hilarious. Yeah sometimes things can be so bad that all you can do is laugh. You can literally find anything thrown on the floor. Odd things of note that have been found during cleanup have been a vine of banana peels, one shoe, and even a bra. Common things that are found during cleanup are cell phones, #1 thing found. Most disgusting items found during cleanup are dirty diapers...ok major ewwww. The worst part about cleanup, says the guys, is that person, and you know who your are (though no names were mentioned by anyone), who gets up to leave, sees the crew there ready to clean, and drops their trash to the floor. Really people who do that? That really is not the time for a mic drop move.
Even with the impending cleanup always there waiting for them, the guys still say there is no other place they would rather work. They love movies, they enjoy the people who come to the theater, and they have fun. They also agree that owner Gary is a great boss.
The guys also told me that when it comes to movies, El Campo knows what it likes. Kid movies will usually always do good. Award nominated and Christian movies do well with the more mature audiences. Movies with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Vin Diesel, and Melissa McArthy always seem to do well, also. Recent big sellers at the theater (well at the time of the interview) were Boo! A Madea Halloween, SING, and Finding Dory.
There has been several changes to the theater over the years, mostly to keep up with a changing movie industry. In 2013, the entire theater was upgraded to digital, which took some pretty pennies to make happen. A downside to the upgrade is waiting on tech help when something goes wrong. There's always the likelihood of a quick fix.
Gary opened the theater because he saw the need for El Campo have a three screen movie theater. He has been meeting that need for over three decades now. It's a great theater with a great crew and the best popcorn around. This weekend the theater will be showing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, The Circle, and How To Be A Latin Lover. See something for everyone.
A big hearted thank you to the guys of the crew for taking the time to chat with me and see y'all at the movies.
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