There were speeches and there was pre-ballgame entertainment. The actors arrived before the rain could soak their overcoats and top hats and put out their cigarettes held on their long, fancy cigarette holders.
At a particular time the lights dimmed. The big screen lit up as if powered by magic. And the doors to the aisles leading down into the bottom-level seats creaked to a slow, macabre closing off between the viewing hall and the concession stand.
The movie played without incident. Building up to a climactic finale which held the audience at the edge of their seats. Even I was pinching the air pipes in suspense, because although I was in the movie, I have not seen the entire product of filming. No one has actually seen the ending, which is supposed to be the most important, revelatory sequence.
The film tells the tale of a film crew (Mar Motion Media) on a quest to uncover the origin of a series of tapes detailing horrendous acts by unscrupulous characters. Along the way in their daily lives the crew begins to encounter certain oddities. A dent on a car. A box containing a leathery patch (real leather...or treated human flesh?!). As it is, Cristina Treviño, the film's director and Mar Motion Media exec is still in fear of public outings. At the premier she was jumpy and edgy. And then the unbelievable happened.......
Someone sabotaged the projector and killed the film at just 10 minutes prior to its finale!
The crowd booed and teased the theater directors. Popcorn flew. Sodas with babas hurled across the aisles drenched a couple of the actresses at the front row wearing questionably low cleavage. The whole theater seemed on the edge of a riot.
I searched for Cristina and Will (another Mar Motion Media member) to try to figure out what had happened.
Was someone playing tricks? Was someone trying to keep the truth about human sacrifice in our community from surfacing? In the commotion someone shouted "There he is!" We all looked up at the projection booth and noticed a mysterious man in a black trench coat quickly exiting the theater. We hurriedly gave chase. Pushing and shoving people, old ladies in walkers and children in diapers all tackled aside as we tried to catch and subdue that man. But as we broke through the doors out onto the sidewalk on Conway Avenue the man in black was nowhere to be seen. In the pouring rain and heavy traffic honking and splashing the water collecting on the curb it was simply impossible to see much less give chase to a mysterious figure.
We returned to the viewing room where the crowd's furor had subsided. A look of concern had supplanted the crazed, looting-mode faces. Will took a microphone and addressed the multitude. In an attempt to appease and prevent pandemonium, he informed them that Mar Motion Media and Border Theater had just agreed to hold a second premier on Saturday, April 30 at 6:30 p.m. He conveniently left out any talk of the man in the black trench coat, even though the murmurs abounded among the audience members as they speculated who that could have been.
I attempted to question Cristina and Will as to what exactly was happening. What had I signed up for? Was there more to this story that they had not divulged to some of us in the cast and crew? Were they simply trying to protect us from knowing the full depth of the horrors that they had uncovered? And furthermore, what was it that the man in black had tried to prevent us from seeing at the end of that film? But I saw the look on their faces. A heavy, dreadful look in their eyes seemed to burden and overwhelm their appearance. I stood back. I wondered. I want to know...I will know this coming April 30, Saturday night.
No matter what we uncover. No matter who shows up. No matter if there is sleet, rain, or snow in some weird end-of-the-world departure from normal weather conditions. I will be there...we will know the truth.