Yesterday, I heard someone claim that Field of Dreams came out 16 years ago. No way, 16 years. But sho' nuff. Kevin Costners' been playing some version of Ray Kinsella for a decade and a half.
It also means it was 16 years ago that my dad took me to the Merrifield Multiplex (now the National Amusement Arlington Blvd/Lee Highway Mulitplex Cinemas) to see it. That theatre may be ho-hum now, but back in 1989 , it was the shizznit. Sure, there were other movie houses, but if you wanted the full Hollywood experience, Merrifield was it. By Hollywood experience, I of course mean play arcade video games. Where else could you go play all the newest bitchin' games and then go see a movie about a kid playing all the newest bitchin' games?
I love the Merrifield Multiplex. It's so bad.
Back then, at least as far as I knew, there were movie theatres and video arcades, not movie theatres/aracades. Ballston Commons had Tilt, but it didn't have a theatre. (plus those Tilt jerks wouldn't let anyone under 18 play during school hours. What good was skipping school if you couldn't go to the mall and play Altered Beast?) Tyson's had a theatre but no arcade. (Now they don't even have a theatre. They built the lame-o Rain Forest Cafe in its place. One day I'll be drunk enough to get in there and wrestle that magniloquent alligator, I swear.)
But Merrifield had both. I would even forfeit coming attractions to spend a few more minutes to stand in the lobby and play After Burner. (My god! It has a joystick just like a real plane! I'm like that guy in that fighter jet movie! You know, he's real famous, what's his name, Jason Gedrick.)
This all ended with Field of Dreams. About 90 minutes in, I excused myself to go to the "bathroom". I made sure my Dad didn't hear the quarters jingle in my pocket as I left the theatre and headed for the lobby. He found me 15 minutes later in front of BAD DUDES and he was pissed. Plus he had to drag my kid sister out to find me. We missed the whole Moonlight Graham saves the daughter scene. He was so angry that I doubt the father-son-playing catch scene made much of an impact.
It was a long time before we went back to the Merrifield Multiplex. I had to settle for Courthouse or crappy ol' Skyline.