I recently learned of the passing of long time film-goer Terry Blue, a regular at Oak Street Cinema, a former venue that I worked at. Learning of his passing was very emotional for me and it got me thinking about the act of film going more generally. Terry Blue lived to see movies, but more importantly, he lived to see them in the movie theaters around town, to see them with other people. He had an infectious laugh, and a wealth of film knowledge, not to mention a love of movies and the movie community. Terry was one of those guys who knew the cinema was much more than a house to watch film in, it was a community to watch film with. He engaged with you in the lobby before and after screenings. He met his neighbors, strangers, and friends at the cinema. And it wasn’t just our cinema, like most film goers Terry attended screenings all over the city. He once told me that the act of cinema going was democracy with a lower case d. As we live more of lives wired and less of our lives in real places and spaces, that statement seems even more true. The cinema is one of the last places in our culture where you can run into your neighbor, a stranger, and a friend, have shared experience, grab a beer or coffee with each other and talk about what you just witnessed. So for Terry’s sake, next time you attend a screening take note of the film enthusiast next to you, say hello, find out more about them, and you might just end up meeting someone like Terry, a sincere human who loves the movies as much as you do.
REMEMBERING THE FILM ENTHUSIAST