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How to survive and thrive during your first Oscars movie marathon

We live in the binge-watching era. Viewers devour full seasons of “House of Cards” or “Orange is the New Black” in a single day. If you’ve seen the hilarious “Portlandia” skit where Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein lose their minds watching “just one more” episode of “Battlestar Galactica,” you may have either laughed hysterically or perhaps shuddered at the realization that this was you.

So yes, binge watching is now firmly planted as a part of our culture, but what about movie theater marathons? While it fits under the all-at-once umbrella, there are different challenges to tackling a marathon in a community space versus doing a binge-fest all comfy and cozy at home. But there’s no better time to start than in the upcoming weeks: it’s Oscars time!

If you’re like me, you have been either too busy to see all of the nominees this year or you are also, like me, a last-minute procrastinator waiting to hear the buzz out of Hollywood.

Don’t know where to start? AMC will be holding their 10th anniversary Best Picture Showcase where they will screen all eight Best Picture nominees over the course of two consecutive Saturdays.

There are two locations in the greater Charlotte area from which you can choose, AMC Carolina Pavilion 22 and AMC Concord Mills 24 on Feb. 20 and 27. Having attended for many years, here are my tips on how to survive and thrive during your first movie marathon:

(1) Hydrate. But don’t go overboard.

Water is a must for the long road ahead, but don’t make the rookie mistake of grabbing that full gallon of soda (or my personal weakness, the large Blue Raspberry Icee). There’s nothing worse than having to sprint to the bathroom during a crucial, climactic scene.

(2) Don’t be afraid to make friends.

Most times when I go to the movies, I carefully scout out seats as far away from other patrons (and their texting) as possible. But one of the best elements of the movie-house marathon is that you are all committed movie fans with something in common: sharing the same space for eight to 10 hours. Should you choose to be social, it can often feel more like a MeetUp, rather than a solitary experience.

(3) Be a good neighbor.

Hand in hand with the above, you need to realize that being in the same location, with the same people, for the full day, will be easier if you are a good patron. Feel free to share thoughts on the film once the lights go up, but don’t tap people on the shoulder in the middle of an intense confrontation and ask, “Who’s that again?”

If you’re still feeling intimidated by the idea of tackling four movies in one day, you can also get in the Oscars spirit by checking out the Charlotte Film Society’s presentation of the Oscar-nominated Live Action Shorts or the following day’s showing of the Academy-nominated Short Films-Animated. It’s a great way to put your toe in the water without doing a cannonball into the deep end.

Now binge on, movie fans! And go win that Oscar Office Pool!

Photos: Jaap Buitendijk/AP/Charlotte Observer

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