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Christmas Day Movie Premiers

Every year when I was out in Los Angeles and in New York City when I was first pursuing my acting career I had a ritual every Christmas day with my acting buddies.  I was reminded of this as all the Christmas day premiers have been announced recently.  Most notably are “It’s Complicated” and “Sherlock Holmes.” Stars from those two movies have been making the rounds of talk shows and television advertisements. It seems to me that every station I’ve turned to lately has had either Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law or Meryl Streep on as a guest promoting their Christmas day film openings. I noticed Dave Letterman made the comparison with Jude Law of “selling soap,” although I’m not sure Jude Law agreed with that comparison.

Christmas was very different in Los Angeles when I lived there because of the warm weather. It never felt quite as festive as it did in the northeast, because of that. Let’s face it, no snow, no possibility of a “white Christmas” and of course, being Jewish, I didn’t really have a memory of Christmas time other than Hannukuh celebrations being at about the same time of year anyway.

Some of my friends that were also in “the business” went to the premiers with me. They included Nancy Baker, my friend Dana (who recently got married, congratulations!) and ex-boyfriends whose names are not worthy of mention here.

You could say my Christmas ritual of watching movie premiers became my personal tradition in place of childhood memories of Christmases past. A typical Christmas ritual would include going out to brunch and catching a matinee or two, which were very cheap out there. So we would be in the movie theater during daylight hours, then I usually had to work in the evening.

Christmas night was usually a good money night for bartenders, as most customers generally felt badly for us because we had to work on Christmas. Of course, being Jewish, it didn’t really matter to me. So I was glad to take the shift for my Christian friends who wanted to spend time with their families. In return, they owed me a favor and I could get a night off when I needed to swap a shift with them.

Actually, Christmas premiers started a whole week between Christmas and New Year’s Day of watching new movies. I seem to remember the Christmas season being huge for premiers, and I, as an aspiring actress, took it all in, dreaming of the day when I would be in one of those premiers.

About Kathryn Spira

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland, OH who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County, New York. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site