Void If Detached: An Accidental Archive Twenty Years In The Making

In December 1991, 16-year-old me met up with some friends and drove to the sprawling new multiplex in Tyngsboro for the premiere of Star Trek VI. The place was packed. Sitting in front of me was a guy wearing a varsity jacket emblazoned with the logo of the United Federation of Planets. His crew took up the whole row, and had managed to sneak an entire pizza into the theater in the box, which remains the single greatest feat of movie theater contraband I've ever seen. 16-year-old me loved the movie, so I went again two weeks later — then set both ticket stubs aside on a dresser. That's when the tickets began accumulating. When I left for college, I swept the pile into a Japanese air mail box that my sister had used to send something home from Tokyo. The box is still with me. For twenty years, I've been sticking ticket stubs into my wallet the instant the usher tears them, then dropping them into the pile when I get home. Nearly 300 in all, a scrap heap of dot matrix and thermal ink. Why?

I have no freakin' idea. At some point I noticed that I'd been doing it for a while, and my brain automatically checked some box somewhere that says "Repeat Until Death." Hooray for consistency?

While writing about The Avengers earlier this summer, I took a quick picture of my ticket from the 1998 movie by the same name. Digging through the pile to find it was an unexpected memory bombardment, and before I really knew what was happening, I was possessed by the idea that I should photograph all of them. Each and every one. Then suddenly I was making a spreadsheet to catalog them, at which point it crossed a line and became a thing I was actually doing.

Naturally, I'm putting it all on the internet.

So this is me introducing Void If Detached, the Tumblr where this little endeavor will live. Check it out every now and then to see how much popcorn I've excavated. If you're on Tumblr, feel free to follow it or do other Tumblr-ish things. I'll also maintain an index on this page with links.

Consistent though I've been, not every ticket is here. There are some gaps in my college years — Crimson Tide, Braveheart, Heat, Get Shorty, Desperado, Fargo and The Usual Suspects just to name a few. What can I say, shit gets lost when you relocate to/from campus four times a year. Also, my friend Johnny worked at a movie theater in those days, and would sneak friends in when he could. I did not pay to see Stark Trek: First Contact or The Island of Dr. Moreau. There, now you know my terrible secret.

Anyway, yeah. This whole thing may end up only being interesting to me, but ... I mean hell, have you seen some of the other stuff I've put on this blog over the last five years?

Date Movie Location Price Time
 Dec 6, 1991   Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country   Tyngsboro 12   $6.50   9:40 PM 
 Dec 21, 1991   Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country   Tyngsboro 12   $4.00   2:20 PM 
 May 23, 1992   Alien3   Tyngsboro 12   $6.50   7:10 PM 
 Jun 20, 1992   Batman Returns   Tyngsboro 12   $6.50   9:50 PM 
 Jun 10, 1993   Jurassic Park   Tyngsboro 12   $6.75   9:50 PM 
 Jun 30, 1993   The Firm   Tyngsboro 12   $6.75   9:45 PM 
 Jul 9, 1993   Jurassic Park   Tyngsboro 12   $6.75   10:00 PM 
 Sep 18, 1993   Manhattan Murder Mystery   Unknown theater   $2.50   1:30 PM 
 Jan 9, 1994   Shadowlands   Tyngsboro 12   $6.50   9:30 PM 
 Jan 21, 1994   Philadelphia   Loews Janus Cinema   $7.00   10:20 PM 
 Jan 29, 1994   Schindler's List   Loews Harvard Square   (?)   4:00 PM 
 Circa 1994   The Rocky Horror Picture Show (possibly)   Loews Harvard Square   (?)   12:00 AM 
 Mar 28, 1994   The Ref   Tyngsboro 12   $6.50   4:15 PM 
 May 15, 1994   The Crow   Tyngsboro 12   $6.50   4:40 PM 
 Jun 3, 1994   Maverick   Premiere 8   $6.50   9:50 PM 
 Jun 18, 1994   Speed   Premiere 8   $6.50   9:55 PM 
 Oct 7, 1994   Ed Wood   Hoyts Newington   $6.75   9:40 PM 
 Oct 11, 1994   Quiz Show   Hoyts Newington   $6.75   9:30 PM 
 Oct 15, 1994   Pulp Fiction   Hoyts Newington   $6.75   9:30 PM 
 Dec 19, 1994   Junior   Tyngsboro 12   $4.50   9:15 PM 

Prices don't include charges from Fandango or Moviefone. Man, remember Moviefone? "Hello! And welcome to Moviefone! Brought to you by the New York Times and American Express!"