I was walking down the street when I saw the movie marquee: "Barry Briggs International Film Festival." That sounded pretty interesting so I purchased a ticket and went inside. I was the only one in the theater but I attributed that to my superior taste.
The theater lights dimmed and the first film began, followed by another and then another. And I thought, "Damn! This is great . . . all my favorite movies, right here in one theater." There were several fascinating movies about past relationships. And there was a really engaging one about a possible future relationship. And there was a tear-jerker about my dear kitty who recently moved to a new home. There were movies about the enlightenment. There were movies about having a different body, much younger and much much better looking. There were movies about the weather. About other movie theaters. There were movies about movies.
And, here was the curious thing: Occasionally the house lights would come up, the projector would stop, the screen would lift, and the bare brick wall at the back of the theater would appear. Sometimes I could get a good look at it but more often the projector would quickly flicker back to life, the lights would dim, and the movies would start up again.
It wasn't long before I noticed that some of the movies were starting to repeat. In fact, there were quite a few re-runs, and re-runs of re-runs, and so on. At that point I said, "Well, this isn't so interesting any more," and tried to leave the theater. But the doors were locked. The term "chamber of horrors" was invented for just this situation.
So the re-runs continued. And, as before, occasionally the projector would shut down and the brick wall would emerge from the gloom. But I never saw anyone at the controls. (And there wasn't even a refreshment stand. What's the point of going to the movies if you can't get some popcorn?)
Since I couldn't get out of the theater, I settled into my seat (which by now had become extremely uncomfortable) and tried to enjoy the show. But, as the same films showed over and over, I got pretty irritated. I mean, who wants to watch last season's re-runs? But even my pissiness did nothing to shut down the projector. It just randomly shut off on its own and the brick wall would appear.
In the third week, I started to get pretty interested in the brick wall during those rare moments whenever it showed up. Actually, in some ways it was more interesting than most of the movies, although frankly a few movies never lost their charm.
And so this wacky film festival continued until I suddenly found myself back on the street. Then I noticed a funny thing. The same movies were playing out on the street. Everywhere I looked, the same movies. And, occasionally, the movies stopped and I could see the sidewalk. How weird!