My wife and I have attended the two-day marathon on and off for the past five or six years, and it’s something we both (okay, maybe just I) really look forward to when we can make it work. It’s true that sometimes you wind up sitting through Amour at 10am on a Saturday, but it’s also an opportunity for me to see the movies that are generally considered the best of the best, which I normally wouldn’t pay to see on my own, at least not all of them. And let’s face it, if I don’t watch them before the Oscars, I’ll rarely go back and watch any of them afterwards, because there’s always something newer and more exciting out I want to spend my time on.
What’s cool is that the theater makes the marathon into an actual event, with lanyards and giveaways, and sometimes you wind up chatting with the people you sit next to. We often see the same people year after year and now it’s a little bit like a reunion of hardcore Oscar enthusiasts getting together to hang out. Like a little snobby community.
It’s definitely not for everyone, but it is a unique movie-going experience on par with the excitement of seeing, say, a midnight release or an advanced screening. You do need to be ready to sprint towards the bathrooms, though.