We bought our tickets for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in Smell-O-Vision ™ basically the minute they went on sale, which turns out to have been a wise move. Even if it had just been a revival screening of the film I would have been in, because we all know a) it’s fantastic and b) I’m nuts for revival film, but this showing came with treat bags of things to taste & smell, sing-along lyrics, and our fabulous host, Augustus Gloop.
Audience participation events can be hit or miss. I’ve enjoyed sing-along Chicago, West Side Story, and of course The Sound of Music, but I had a pretty awful “Buffy” experience, with an audience screaming so much at the screen that you couldn’t hear whole stretches of dialog. Wonka had a great balance between the obligatory cheers & hisses and actual movie-watching, and boasted a better-behaved audience than Buffy. Unsurprising, because a decent chunk of the Wonka audience was made up of children. (Not as much as you’d think, though, because this is Seattle, and we have a lot of nerds.)
There were a bunch of great moments, which I won’t spoil for you since they’re going to do it again at the holidays, but my favorite was probably when the whole audience was blowing bubbles, which have never been prettier than they were caught in the light from the projector.
There’s nothing like a movie in a theater, kids. Nothing.