One of the events I had planned on attending at the Mill Valley Film Festival was A Tribute to Clive Owen scheduled for Friday October 9, 2009 at the Rafael Theatre in San Rafael. Since this was one of the events for which the tickets were “sold out” in the first hour the sales lines opened, I knew I had to get there early enough on the 9th and queue up for the RUSH line in order to get my hands on a pair of tickets. I was ready for the adventure and with a bit of planning drove up North with a friend at 8:30 a.m. in hopes that I would be the first in line.
I must clarify here that after calling the Mill Valley Film Festival phone lines to determine how early on the day I should be there, I got mixed information so in order not to take chances I decided on being there as early as 9:00 a.m. It’s funny, I have been to the LA Film Festival and the Tribeca one but I guess since the Mill Valley Film Festival is small compared to the other two, it was pretty quiet at 9:00a.m. I sat at Starbucks adjacent to the theatre for approximately two hours since it was very cold outside. I watched for activity around the theatre and of course cars pulled up and made deliveries, doors opened and closed, here and there but nothing significant was happening that early in the day. After the two hours my friend and I decided to walk around 4th street to kill more time but upon our return to the area we noticed the ticket office sign indicating they would open at 2p.m.
We both decided to queue up for the ticket line as early as 12:30, in case there was a chance they had a pre-RUSH last minute sale or something. After waiting in line for an hour and a half, we were told the Clive Owen tribute was still sold out and need to return at 5p.m. to queue up for the RUSH line. It was also suggested we may consider showing up at 4p.m. as this was one of the popular events. As if I didn’t know that.
Anyway, exhausted from waiting around an entire morning, I decided to go to the car and perhaps catch some shut eye and eat the lunch I had prepared for my friend and I. We did that for about an hour until my anxious friend suggested we go to the line at 3:30p.m. just in case. Her argument was that we did not come all this way for nothing, so we might as well guarantee our position in line. I agreed of course and appreciated her support of my madness, we made a few jokes about inappropriate suggestions we would make to Clive just to keep our spirits high.
As we proceeded the theater, which was located around the corner from the parking lot, we noticed they had finally put signs for the lines. We located the RUSH line and stood there, we were the first. At this time of the day the sun was beaming directly at the part of the street we would be queued up, it was 76degrees outside with no breeze. Troopers we were, we weathered the heat and stood for three hours to ensure we were the first to get the RUSH tickets should they become available.
The other lines also began to form and then it dawned on me that because there were three shows happening in the same theatre at the same time, the lines included all the ticket holders to all the events. First come first serve for the best seats in the house and so most of the ticket holders showed up as early as 4:30p.m to guarantee front row seats. The RUSH line didn’t pick up until a little after 5p.m. I watched the planners buzzing about the entrance, trying to determine where Clive Owen would walk and stand to answer reporter questions. Each planner pulled at the ropes and rearranged them back and forth, walked around pointing at things and all I could think of was, will we get in. The same time I was hoping to get the tickets, I also was fighting with myself to be outside at the time Clive Owen would arrive so that at least I could get a close up of him on the red carpet. I had the best seat in the house for the red carpet for sure since I was the first in RUSH line.
Suddenly a man approached my friend and said he had a ticket for the Tribute and couldn’t go, he asked if we were interested. My friend suggested I take the ticket and if she were unable to get one, she would be more than happy to wait for me in the car. As I struggled with the cash payment of 75.00 out of my pocket, another lady approached us and said she had a ticket to sell as well, we jumped on the second and ran over to the ticket holder line. Although we were the last people in the ticket holder line, I didn’t care, I was guaranteed a seat inside to watch Clive Owen’s tribute. Although a part of me wished I could have stayed outside a bit longer to see him walk the red carpet. The line began to move and we followed the crowd in.
See You Inside…