As any old hippie will tell you, there is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert. Also though, there is nothing like a bunch of Deadheads filling a movie theater for a screening of a Grateful Dead concert film. This past 4/20 high holiday, The Grateful Dead Movie -- the strangest trip in psychedelic cinema -- was widely distributed and screened across the country, including numerous theaters in SoFla, for the first time since its release in 1977.
The movie is a treasure among the countless documents in the Grateful Dead archives. It was filmed in 1974 over the course of a five-night run at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco and was codirected by Jerry Garcia. Basically this film captures the Dead completely in their element, in one of the hottest periods of their career. And we get to view the phenomenon as Jerry wanted us to. Truly, it's a gem.
Thursday at a few select theaters in the bicounty area, there will be an encore screening of the film. Needless to say, we highly recommend that all of you who are into this sort of thing go and check it out. Before you do, though, we'd like to offer you a few pointers from experience.
Make your own snacks
The food at the concession stand is not nearly as heady as the snacks you would typically find in the lot outside a Dead show. We recommend cooking up your own heady falafel to eat outside, then having a power brownie (make it strong -- this is a good movie) for dessert.
Head to the front of the theater if you feel like dancing
Some peeps will be content to just kick it in their cozy theater chair and enjoy the film, while others will feel the irresistible pull to get up and groove. Both are acceptable ways of behaving at this event. However, out of consideration for the sitters, please head up to the floor just in front of the screen when it's time to boogie. That way, you aren't obstructing anyone's view. Plus, it's way more fun for the whole room if there is a lively little dance scene in the front.
Head to the back of the theater if you feel like getting really freaky
The Dead was born out of the era of free love, so it's understandable if you and a little lover friend wanna get it on while a ten-foot tall projection of Jerry's face is singing to you. But not everyone wants to hear your squishy little sex noises while they're getting into their own Dead zone. So be cool, and keep the bangin' in the rear (heh).
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Well, that's about all you need to know. We hope you all have a far-out time!
The Grateful Dead Movie. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 5, at Cinemark Paradise 24, 15601 Sheridan St., Fort Lauderdale; Magnolia Place 16, 9645 Westview Drive, Coral Springs; and South Beach Stadium 18, 1120 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach. Tickets cost $10.50 to $12.50. Click here.