How to Survive a Movie Marathon

I love a great movie, and when it is serialized into a trilogy or more I find struggling to remember details of past movies or making the time to find them and rematch. For a long time I wondered why theaters didn’t capitalize on what I felt was an interest I was not alone in. Well this year AMC Theatres did just that, with not one, not two but four movie marathons already this year. Sensing that this will become a more common theatre event, and having participated in 3 myself, I thought I would share some learned wisdom on surviving 6+ hours in cinema heaven.

My Badges

20121124-153856.jpgThe Ultimate Marvel Marathon

  • Iron Man
  • Hulk
  • Iron Man 2
  • Thor
  • Captain America
  • Avengers

The Dark Knight Trilogy

  • Batman Begins
  • The Dark Knight
  • The Dark Knight Rises

Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • The Temple of Doom
  • The Last Crusade
  • The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Rest up
As great an experience it can be, remember that we’re talking 8 or more hours in a darkened room in a comfortable chair. Relaxed, you may find yourself dozing ( as I did during the 2nd and 3rd Batman movies). That’s perfectly reasonable. But try to get a good 6+ hours of sleep the night before because depending upon the total length you may end up getting shortchanged the next night too – I didn’t get home from the Avengers Marathon until 2am Friday morning and had 4hrs sleep before heading back to work.

Dress comfortably
This isn’t a date night, so where something comfortable and loose. Dress in layers, as the theatre may be cool at the beginning if they haven’t adjusted their thermostat for early morning business.

Pack well
Bring a day pack, purse or jacket with deep pockets. This is NOT about bring in snack foods – I’m not a fan of cheating theatres out of their profit driver. But, you may want to think about items you’d like to have with you if your on a 1/2 day flight: mints, gum, hand lotion, Chapstick. If you where contacts normally, consider wearing glasses instead. I like to bring a Colgate “Wisp” disposable toothbrushes, a nice treat after 4 hrs of snack foods. Also, if you have an extra battery for your phone or a wall charger, bring it – nothing worse than realizing your phone has died and family, babysitter, etc can’t reach you.

Pace yourself
Most marathons will have 15-20 minute breaks between features, perhaps 30-45 minutes for a lunch break. You will get the urge to eat and drink a lot, and could end the day $25 lighter and 2lbs heavier if you’re not mindful. My diet starts with a coffee ( AMC has been cool about me bringing in a cup from St.Arbucks) and buying a Sambra mini pack of crackers & humus dip. I’ll then get a bottle of water and a popcorn for the 2nd feature, soda & sandwich for the third. After that I will nurse my bottled water and maybe get a snack to hold me until the final feature, for which I will refill me soda and popcorn for free. Again, AMC is great about giving marathoners a couple of perks that ultimately can keep your refreshment expenses to about $10-$15 dollars.

Enjoy Yourself!
In addition to the chance to experience the full arch of a movie series, you’re sharing it with maybe 100 other people who have this in common with you. Between movies there may be trivia contests and additional giveaways, but beyond all that is being able to laugh and share favorite moments with some pretty cool people.

What’s next?

Recently there was the Twilight Movie Marathon, which I declined. But there are a few series I’d love to see, so if you’re listening AMC Theatres, here are my suggestions:

  • Die Hard (there’s another Die Hard currently being filmed, so….!)
  • The Godfather
  • Star Wars (duh)
  • Lord of the Rings / The Hobbitt (double duh)

There are probably a few more I’d consider, but these come to mind.