Monday, September 24, 2007

Tony Curtis

To continue my string of seeing famous old people at random movie theaters (see this, this, and this), I saw Tony Curtis this weekend. He introduced a showing of Some Like it Hot at the Hollywood Blvd. theater in Downers Grove (Chicago suburb). It's possibly the most hilarious movie ever, and it's not even skanky or obscene in any way (sort of).

I was really looking forward to seeing the movie on the big screen—it's one of those I can watch lots of times—seeing Tony Curtis in person was, frankly, just a bonus. Now, I figured this was going to be a pretty popular event, so we got there about an hour early. It was a bit more crowded than I had anticipated; the theater was basically packed, and the line to meet Tony was out the door. Luckily, I wasn't planning on meeting Tony. He's cool, but I wasn't going wait in line for an hour and pay $20 to get his autograph.

We did, however, want to get a good seat in the theater and we had to do some sneaking around in the lobby to get to the front of the waiting crowd. Luckily, 95% of the people there were 70 years of age or older, so we had no problem taking them down on our way into the theater. It was so packed that they decided to show the movie on two extra screens, but luckily we made it into the main one.

We sat for a few minutes waiting for Tony to show up in the theater. They had a little couch set up at the front for him and a microphone which is definitely more than they've done for anybody else we've seen there. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect from Tony Curtis. I know that he was married to Janet Leigh and he's Jamie Lee Curtis's father, but that's about the extent of my Tony Curtis knowledge. So I wasn't sure if he'd be interesting, or really boring, but I figured any stories about Some Like it Hot have to be good.

Tony finally made his way into the theater and the audience loved him. They stood for him as he wobbled down the aisle...he had a knee problem apparently. Not really surprising, seeing as he's about 100 years old. He went and sat down on the couch in the front while the manager of the theater tried to get him to use the microphone. He didn't want to use it, but it was definitely needed. So then he held the mic but kept talking with his hands and moving it away from his face. But it was ok because he was completely hilarious! I thought he might be a little crazy and weird, but he was actually really clever and mostly normal. He had some great, entertaining stories to tell that everyone enjoyed. He got another standing ovation the way out. Adorable!

The best part was, the manager of the theater was trying to ask Tony questions and keep things on track, but Tony would have none of it. He was going to talk about what he wanted to talk about. He wasn't going to be held back by silly questions. It was great.

Overall, the night was a huge success. Tony Curtis is by far the most interesting person we've seen at this theater. I took some video on my point and shoot digital camera and it's really dark so you can't see much, but the audio itself is entertaining. I'll be posting it once I get it uploaded.

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