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Christmas Day mecca: the movies

Posted by Meredith Goldstein December 29, 2006 11:28 AM

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Sidekicker Liza Weisstuch had this to say about a recent trip to the movies on Christmas Day:

Here are some of the things you don't see at the Loews Boston Common movie theater on Christmas Day: those heavily embroidered (read: tacky) Christmas sweaters, wrapped presents, figgy pudding. Here are some of the things you do see: mobs of people, Korean men in cowboy boots, black men in mink coats, white women in mink coats, kids trying to suppress temper tantrums because they're not interested in seeing "Happy Feet," (can you blame them?), dejected couples scrambling to make ad hoc backup plans because they couldn't get tickets to the sold-out matinee of "Children of Men."

Drama, action, comedy, it's all on display in the lobby. You don't hear Christmas carols - not even at the concession stand. You do hear lots and lots of different accents in the many conversations flying about.

The movie theater on Christmas Day is a mecca, of sorts, (or, for some, a Jerusalem and for others still, a Shangri-La). People who go there on Christmas Day -- and I am one of them -- have made a pilgrimage because we can. Offices are shut, editors (in my case) are with their families, and I have a rare weekday reprieve. Aside from the packed throngs at Peach Farm, the traditional Chinese restaurant in Chinatown where a friend and I later indulged in a post-cinema helping of seaweed soup and moo shi, the movie theater has got to be the most bustling spot in the city.

But there's something oddly calming about the hubbub of the crowd and the eye-popping length of the ticket line. Muslims and Jews converging over something shared: a day off, a free pass for a day of entertainment and play while our Christian neighbors honor a sacred birthday. As I stand in line for my ticket, it feels as if deeply entrenched ideological animosities never existed. Then again, movies are the stuff of escapism.

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Katie Johnston Chase likes dive bars, old country music, and pop art that has something to say.
Meredith Goldstein is keen on DJs who spin pop music and restaurants that serve real food after 11 p.m.
Emily Sweeney is a lifelong Bostonian who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.
Jeff Miranda has never heard a '90s alternative-rock jam that's not already a mainstay on his iPod.
Joan Charlotte Matelli digs movie singalongs, well-made cocktails, and alt-country rockers.
Courtney Hollands is a shopaholic and a music junkie with a penchant for tapas, chai, and Hall & Oates dance parties.
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