Whenever I go to a bridal shower and they have that activity where you write down a date night idea for the couple, I always write “Go to the Enzian.” It is by far our favorite movie theater. For movie buffs, the Enzian play classics. For those who like independent films, it’s the only place in town you can see them. The theater even boasts one of the best restaurants and bars in town – Eden Bar. This week, the Enzian is hosting the Florida Film Festival.
Last night, my son and I were lucky enough to attend a screening of Back to the Future with special guest Lea Thompson. My 12-year-old son Joey is a huge BTTF fan.
When he was seven, he dressed like Marty McFly for Halloween. We took him to a Delorean convention where he met movie creator Bob Gale, who co-wrote the screenplay for BTTF. They were so smitten with each other that Bob actually bought Joey a poster and autographed it for him. Pretty cool.
As fate would have it, Joey’s birthday is the day that Marty goes to the future in the second movie – October 21. In 2015, the actual date from the movie, we had his birthday themed for the occasion and went to a showing of Back to the Future Part II at the movie theater. I made a Jailbird Joey cake and we ordered Pizza Hut – just like they did in the movie. Joey loved every minute of it.
All of those experiences pale in comparison to what he experienced last night. After watching the original movie on the big screen for the first time, Joey turned to me and said “That was the most fun I’ve had at the cinema in a long time.” After the movie ended, Lea Thompson (who played Lorraine Baines McFly in the movies) answered questions from the audience.
After she was done, we lined up to meet her. Joey, wearing his Delorean shirt and Back to the Future Part II hat, brought along his Mattel hoverboard in hopes that she would sign it. As Joey approached Lea, she warmly greeted him. He told her about his famous birthday party. She reacted adorably, with a wide open mouth as if she had never heard such a wonderful story from a little fan before. Lea signed his hoverboard. They talked about how he was Jailbird Joey. Then she offered to sign his hat. We all posed for a picture. We thanked Lea and walked out. Joey was beyond thrilled. As we walked to the car he had a huge smile on his face and said, “I can’t believe that just happened.”
We are forever grateful to Henry Maldonado at the Enzian for making this happen for Joey. It was definitely a highlight of his life, that he’ll never forget. It’s clear that meeting the gracious actress from a movie he has adored since the moment he saw it was his density… I mean destiny.
For more information on the events happening through Sunday, April 30 at the 2017 Florida Film Festival, click here.
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