After months of closures, there are only days left until cinemas can finally begin opening again across the UK – ready to welcome in socially-distanced moviegoers for all kinds of fresh cinematic adventures. As we prepare to re-enter the multiplexes, arthouses, independents and more, Empire presents a series of essays from the Greatest Cinema Moments Ever issue, featuring Hollywood’s finest opening up about about their most memorable big-screen experiences. Here’s Tessa Thompson on seeing Get Out on its opening weekend.
I was in Hollywood at the iconic Cinerama Dome; it was opening weekend of Get Out. I remember being in the lobby waiting at concessions and the energy was already kind of explosive. The whole place felt abuzz with anticipation (think it was the Sunday). And it was, by far, the most electric cinematic experience I’ve ever had. You could feel the whole audience interrogating together; some vocally — the laughs were big, the gasps too, the cheers at the end powerful — and suddenly there was a charge in the room as the movie ended — this collective (albeit tenuous) connection.
I’ve always been so taken by being in the cinema. Well before I was in films, I have always liked to watch people watching films. I adore being able to see people unguarded, immersed in story. And when I started acting, it was in the theatre — so it’s always been about the communal. Now, to be able to share stories with a global community is beyond what I ever imagined for myself. I believe that films are portals and postcards of the time they are made in — and at their very best, the stories we tell have the ability not just to reflect culture, but to shift it.... I believe I’ve had the chance to contribute to some narratives that are aiming to do just that — and it’s a dream.
Originally published in Empire's March 2021 issue.