Holy Good Times, Batman!
Though not actually a part of the Fanexpo festivities the Underground Cinema’s movie screening of the ’66 Batman movie with a question and answer segment starring Adam West could only happen because of the expo. A note on the venue: it’s my understanding that the Underground Cinema hasn’t been in operation all that long (just a few months in fact) so I really shouldn’t be surprised that everything was so clean looking, but I’ve worked at theatres, and I’ll tell you: they degenerate.
Okay, enough using colons; when the curtain was raised a man is revealed in front of the screen, dressed as Batman of course. The crowd erupts into cheers, which die away as we wait for… something. It ends up being a half awkward pause until “Batman” leaps off the stage and the movie starts rolling. But that’s funny, possibly the exact same kind of funny you find in this Batman movie. The colour was faded, sometimes the scene jumped around thanks to a messed up bit of reel, and I don’t think the crowd would have wanted any different. We see Bruce Wayne tied up beside his beloved Ms. Kitka and then we jump to him being released and it’s pure West fighting off the Joker, Riddler, and the Penguin. How did he get there? The movie certainly won’t tell us, and though there was a split second of disappointment that waved through the theatre at not seeing scenes in their entirety, we changed our tune quickly… because that jump is just too hilarious.
It was a night of Bat-applause with a cue every few minutes like when the Bat shark repellent is used, when Robin says “Holy Heartbreak!”, and of course with the appearance of this first “KAPOW!”
When the movie was over we all turned our heads to the back of the theatre at the announcer’s request, and there’s Adam West strolling in Hollywood style, a smile on his lips and sunglasses on at night. Of course we gave him a standing ovation. What followed was us listening to a guy joke around.
“Where’s Burt Ward?”
Adam West: “Why, he’s in the car!” Uproar of laughter and applause.
He even gave us a short “Bat-tusi”, which is obviously the ultimate in silly/awesome.
When it came time for the last question of the night the moderator and Adam West are both scanning for that last person when someone yells “BATMAN!” There’s a short look of confusion on the faces of the two at the front, especially when a few others are also yelling “BATMAN!” and now pointing to the right of the theatre. The fans were trying to force the final question to go to where it was most appropriate: to the trio dressed as Batman, Robin, and Batgirl. The question was “do you remember the last time you put on the cape and cowl?”
“Last night,” laughter, “no, I haven’t worn it in years, but I still have my Bat-jammies.”
The experience was a blast, and a great finish to the first day of Fanexpo.