January 5th, 2004

Tom Lehrer is Smug

It's Marathon Time

A little under two months to go now before the 29th annual 24-hour Boston Science Fiction Marathon takes place on President's Day weekend. Some of you may remember my nearly 10-year obsession with this tradition and some of you have gone along with me. It's fun.

This year marks another milestone for the marathon; it's moving theaters again. No longer will the Coolidge Corner play host to the Marathon, and while I'm not sure the full details of why, it appears there may be a bit of bad blood between the organizers and the Coolidge management now. (At least one person on the message board is referring to the place as "The @?$#! Coolidge".) It makes me sad because part of my love for the Marathon was directly reserved for the theater itself and the uncomfortable seats and the big beautiful auditorium in some state of renovation or another, and the balcony landing where you could crash if you were tired, and the McDonald's right across the street that opened at 6 AM on the dot and you bet some years if the movie playing was bad enough I'd wait in the theater lobby until I saw them open the doors and dash over for my food. But if they weren't willing to come to terms with what the Marathon organizers needed, so be it.

And the Marathon will survive, as it has survived several other venue changes in the past. It started out as a special event called "It Came From The Orson Welles" at the Orson Welles Cinema, which was located just outside Central Square in Cambridge. When the Orson Welles burned down in 1986 the marathon was moved to the Somerville Theater in Davis, and then to the Coolidge in 1989. And now we go to the Dedham Community Theater, out in the sticks as far as public transportation is concerned (there was talk of a shuttle bus between the Forest Hills T stop and the theater for marathoners, that would be helpful) and also bereft of the kaleidoscope of culinary options (yes, I said kaleidoscope, shut up, I haven't had my coffee yet and I can't cause I ran out of filters) that Coolidge had to offer. But the Dedham does have the Museum of Bad Art in the hallway leading to the men's room so that'll be a pleasant diversion.

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Tickets are still available and are $45. They'll be $55 the day of the showing. Come on. You know you want to do this.