Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Going to see a Movie at Jimmy Page's Theater


In my dream -

Me, Admiral Karen and six of our friends were hanging out in L.A.

We were looking for a movie, and so I got a newspaper. Nothing looked interesting until I turned the movie page over and there, hidden amongst the other arthouse and revival movie houses was one called "Outrider Theater" and it appeared to be showing Musicals from the 40's - 50's and 'Exploitation' features from the 30's and 40's - the kind that are so bad and hypocritical that they become hilarious.

Most intriguing was at the bottom of the ad, in the smallest type, was the phrase "do you dare?" and the initials "J.P.P."

And I suddenly new what 'Outrider' meant, since I was one of the few who had that album. It meant that Jimmy Page was running a movie house.

The theater was, surprise, outside of the city, North, and right on the ocean. There was a huge, flat, rocky promontory that jutted out into the sea, many acres wide and long, and on the landward side was a huge building, almost entirely covered with vines, plants and jungle.

The long, steep road up to this gigantic granite brick, was full of twist and turns. At each corner was a small, electronic sign board, like highway safety crews use, and the message of each sign would change for every car that approached.
Willow, Chris, Mykey, Margie, Admiral Karen, Me.

The messages were all cryptic and challenging, but positive. "When have you been the happiest?" "How hard will you work for your dream?" "What have you always wanted to do?" and every so often "Stay at the Royal Orleans".

I wasn't driving so I was admiring the immensely tall trees the lined the road. Halfway up some of the trees were lights, and these cast strange and eerie shadows across the road. The tops of these trees were lost in the dark of the night. One tree though, on the left, had a very weird trunk that looked like fabric. I followed it up, and it wasn't fabric, but it wasn't wood either. It was concrete (or something) made to look like fabric.

Up up up I looked, craning my head out of the car. The light on this tree was way out on a branch, or was it an arm? And way at the top, under a hood was the cherubic face of Jimmy Page. Out by himself in the night - ever the Hermit.

There was no parking lot in sight. Instead every car stopped at the end of a red carpet and a valet approached the driver and said they would take care of the vehicle. And everyone got to walk the red carpet, with photographers and autograph seekers on both sides. Everyone got to feel like a star.

But I also noticed that some of the people in the adoring crowd were taking people aside, speaking quietly to them, separating them from their consenting groups, and leading them away. What was up with that?

Tickets were a little pricey at $30.00 a head, but my group was already transformed by the experience, so we gladly paid. And we were already down one. Chris was missing. I asked my friends and they said that one of the bushes on the redcarpet walk had asked him about his nice camera, and when he stopped to talk to them, several men and woman appeared and whisked him away, with a wink and a wave in our direction. "We'll return him after the movie!" one of them said.

Inside the theater the lobby was huge and sumptuous. Several stories tall, and leading into a long, wide corridor that disappeared off - to the left.

Food and concessions were on the right, and on the left was a series of curtained panels. Three ninja-like employees approached Karen. "Are you a knitter?" they asked, eyeing her project bag. "Yes," she replied. "Does Jimmy need socks? What size are his feet?" And the ninjas laughed, winked at us, and whisked my bride away. "We'll return her after the movie!"

There was a big push to get into the theater proper, and most folks were simply passing everything by. Matthew noticed a door with a sign that said "Outside". Not "Exit" or "Emergency Access" but simply "Outside". We all took that advice.

And we were out in a foresty, jungly place. We walked along a path for awhile, admiring all of the plants, bushes and occasional Tangerine tree. We came to a spot where a much wider road crossed our path. A Crossroads. And a posse of cowboys and cowgirls pulled up and stopped in front of us. They simply stared at all of us in turn.

Finally Margie stepped forward, mesmerized. A handsome young cowboy reached down and swept her onto his horse behind him. A woman on the next horse put a cowboy hat on Margie and their horses clomped off down their road. The last rider turned around to us and the rest of my group all said in unison "We know. 'We'll return her after the movie'!"

We followed the path a little longer and it ended on the broad, flat plain of the promontory with the ocean in the distance. We stopped here and admired the view. Jenya did a headcount and discovered that Willow was missing now too, but we couldn't decide if it was due to the wily employees or just all of the marvelous plants nearby. Oh well. She'd turn up.

On the right side of the promontory was a gigantic Ferris Wheel. The huge, inverted "V" that held up the wheel was made to look like the lower half of Robert Plant, so it was tight jeans with bell bottoms that flapped in the light breeze. The wheel jutted out from where his manly bulge would have been.

Margie, Mykey, Matthew, Jenya, Me, Admiral Karen.
As we watched the ferris wheel we all jumped and gasped as it slid sideways on its axis a few degrees and stopped. Screams and laughter came from the various cars. Then the ride righted itself and resumed for awhile. We decided that none of us wanted to go on that one.

Jenya though let us around to the back of the ride, because she wanted to see if they had made Robert's ass also. And they had.

And up on top, on the left cheek, waving to us, was Mykey, who was now dressed in a thick white jumpsuit with a sturdy black cable coming out of the back. He received some instructions that we couldn't hear and put on a white helmet with a grill, like fencers wear. Then multi-colored pillows were shot into the air and Mykey (and a few other folks) ran out on Plant's buns and jumped in the air to catch them.

There must have been air grates or something in the 'floor' as he was jumping much higher than was possible. And also, he was diving out over the end of the ass and over the edge of the granite promontory. But the cable held him safe and hauled him back in each time.

Matthew and I laughed and shrugged and then noticed that Jenya's mad cackle was not joining us. Some shadowy types were walking along side her as she wandered out across the plain. We could see her gesticulating and knew she was preachin' up a ruckus.

Matt and I walked slowly and returned back down the jungly forest path to the theater. We walked along the curving corridor, and Matthew noted that it was getting narrower, and I mentioned that there were far less people in it now.

The curtains on our left parted and a man was revealed in a gold suit and suspended as the World card from the Thoth tarot deck, in a room outfitted to look like the rest of the card. He seemed delighted to be able to inhabit this space, and to dance with a 20 foot  long serpent that was emerging from an eye in the ceiling.

Next up on our left some black curtains were raised a dark room was revealed. Most of the remaining crowd stopped and watched. A light went on and showed some doctors entering the room from the left and over on the right was a slumped man with cartoon ribs sticking out of his chest.

The doctors rushed over and examined him. "Its bad, Doctor" one of them said, "His bones just aren't knitting together".

"Did someone say 'Knitting'?!" Karen exclaimed, appearing on the left, deckout on a superhero costume with crossed needles and a ball of yarn emblazoned on her chest. She whipped out a pair of huge, neon-colored needles and went to work on the 'patient' as the doctors all backed away in astonishment.

The curtain lowered and the crowd laughed and clapped. I went over across the aisle to the concession which had a sign above that read "Achilles last hot dog Stand".

Matthew motioned for me to continue on. "I wanna go on" he said. "I want to see the end." I said I think I needed to be where I was. He smiled. "Okay then. I'll see you after the movie!" and he cackled and danced on down the narrowing hallway.

I ordered a hot dog from a middle-aged woman who offered me a gazillion different variations and toppings. But I needed some familiarity at this point, so I kept it basic, she smiled understandingly and turned to place my order.

I leaned back against the counter and John Paul Jones was standing next to me.
This was Jonesy circa 1970 with the pageboy haircut. We looked at each other. I slowly extended my hand and he took it, grateful that I wasn't going to explode and make a scene.

"Thank you" I said, "Your music has been the soundtrack to my life". JPJ smiled and placed his other hand - his large, soft, beautiful hands - over our handshake and said "Good."

I then asked if he was real. He removed his hands, looked at me impishly and said "Define your terms". And then he vanished.

My waitress called to me that my food was ready and I turned around to get it. She didn't move away, so I asked her "So, what it like to work for Him?" I waved my hand around to indicate the spirit of the owner.

She laughed "Oh, Mr. Page is a stern one. Very exacting. But I believe in what he is trying to do with this place."

I swallowed a bite "And that is?"

"To take people out of their ruts. Challenge their perceptions. Give them some tools to tackle their demons and dreams."

I nodded and shrugged. "Show them that Magic is real."

The laughlines around her eyes deepened. "YES." and she reached under the counter and presented me with a CD, before moving away.

I looked down at the steady face of Mister James Patrick Page, Order of the British Empire. And he looked back at me. And winked.

Angus McMahan
angusmcmahan@gmail.com
@AngusMcMahan



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