I’ve seen “Hocus Pocus” maybe a hundred times. There’s something deeply magical and soothingly nostalgic about an early 90s flick. Especially when you add all of the spooky elements, it makes you miss that era of classroom Halloween parties and tripping over your too-big costume while running to the house that gives out full-size candy bars. 

So, when I stumbled upon the opportunity to see “Hocus Pocus” in theaters… I grabbed my roommates, threw some spooky earrings in and drove over to the new Sacred Heart University Community Theatre in downtown Fairfield. 

You couldn’t miss the Sacred Heart theater. Driving down Post Road toward the Fairfield University bookstore, it’s the giant lit marquee right next to Las Vetas Lounge. We parked just down the street, walked over and stood for many pictures in front of the sign.

By the time we had our fill for possible Instagramable shots, we entered, had our tickets scanned by a sweet lady who told us the Fairfield University students were really showing out tonight and entered a small entrance hall. The floors and part of the walls are all covered in an art-deco style print. That, with the smell of fresh popcorn, flowing fountain soda and glasses of red wine for sale (yes, they do serve alcohol) made this all seem like a classy establishment. 

I have a theatre like this near my house. They play those artsy, low-budget French films and I’m usually the youngest one there by several decades. 

The Sacred Heart theater doesn’t draw the same crowd in the slightest. It’s like a middle school dance with running, fighting over boys and girls sitting next to each other and meetings in the bathroom… like, a lot of meetings in the bathroom. 

My roommates and I found our seats, and the movie began without one commercial. Which was fabulous, but I guess the kids needed the commercials to get their energy down, because it was painfully loud. The so-called “bathroom meetings” seemed to occur often and involved a different group of pre-teens each time. About 15 of them were all sitting in the front row, and about every ten minutes, three or four would leave in a full-speed run down the side aisle to the back exit. 

This caused a good amount of chaos before some parents got involved and started shushing some of the kids and the activity, but still, we’re miles away from pin-drop silence.  To compensate, the movie seemed to get louder as time went on and my ears felt as if they were bleeding by the end of the evening.

I can’t say that the experience was all bad, the kids did add something to it.

There’s a moment in the movie where the main character Max Dennison (Omri Katz) is trying to talk with the girl he has a crush on, Allison (Vinessa Shaw) and his little sister Dani (Thora Birch) says “What do you call them, Max? Yabbos? Max likes your yabbos. In fact, he loves ’em!” 

The kids’ laughter at that scene ricocheted across the room at that one. Plus, their chorus collection of “Awes!” when Thackery Binx (Sean Murry) reunited with his dead sister was incredibly cute as well. 

All in all, I probably wouldn’t recommend going over to the theater if that’s your first time seeing “Hocus Pocus.” But, it was great to see it once more in a theater with my roommates and some popcorn in hand. And maybe, I even got to be present for one of those kids’ fondest Halloween memories; in addition to the trick-or-treating and Halloween parties galore, they got to watch one of the greatest movies of all time in their pajamas with all of their friends. Wouldn’t that be magical? 

 

 

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