I don’t enter many contests, but I get an email newsletter of coming movies and events on The Movie Network. A couple of weeks ago they were advertising a contest for movie passes to the screening of “The Fighter” on December 16th.

My birthday jumped off the page and I said to myself, “Hey, why not? Maybe I’ll have birthday luck!”

And I did! I won two passes to see the screener of the new movie, “The Fighter”, in Halifax last night, on the night before it is released across the country.

On the ticket it said no cell phones or recording devices would be allowed in, and that there are more tickets than seats given out to ensure a full capacity audience.

I did a bit of research online to see how this would work. The movie start time was 7pm, with doors opening at 6pm. The people online said you need to get there early to get your choice of a seat. Geez, I didn’t want to sit in the front row! We better get there early!

5:15 it is.

We found the theatre in the basement of a mall in Halifax. The box office at the movie theatre wasn’t even open yet, so we picked up a couple free coming events/Halifax news flyers and took a chair. People started gathering around, all with internet print outs. I did a bit of eavesdropping and speculation to deduce that they had internet print offs of the same official looking ticket I received by courier from the Alliance movie company.

As soon as a girl appeared near the ticket sale counter, I sauntered over and let her know I had a movie pass for The Fighter screener, and asked how it worked. She said the ticket was to be given to an usher and we could proceed downstairs to the theatres if we wanted. Well at that point it was 5:45 and with the doors supposedly scheduled to open at 6, I whispered the information to Jeff and we went downstairs. A young couple that had also been waiting came down and asked a lady who worked there where we go. She said it was going to be shown in theatre 8, and we could line up there whenever we wanted. I verified the information, and then I was off.

I smelled an opportunity and my hiking boots were in action. I didn’t look back for Jeff, I passed the other couple, and I marched myself down the long winding hallway to theatre 8 so I could be the FIRST person in line.


A line formed swiftly behind me. Jeff first, of course, followed by a few dozen other early birds.

But the odd thing was, every one of them was on a cell phone.

Huh? Don’t these people read their tickets? We left our smart phones, begrudgingly, in the car, under our seats. And here were all these people on cell phones. One guy even had his laptop, and another lady had an entire suitcase on wheels!

“She’s the one”, I said to Jeff. “If anyone is a movie bootlegger, it’s her.” She was a frumpy middle-aged woman, knit sweater, homely clothes. “I bet she’s got multiple cameras in that suitcase for her bootlegging operation.”

6pm came and went with the line of smartphone browsers getting longer. The lady who had told us to line up there returned, and she said she thought security would probably come to scan our tickets and let us in, so we should continue to wait.

I think it was closer to 6:30 when another lady came to let us in. All she did was rip our pass in half and let us in. No security check. No camera check. Nothing. So off we charged for my favourite seats.

Backrow centre baby!

And the seats were ours! Woo hooo!

Here we were at my first movie screener, with free entrance, I was the first in line, AND I got the seats I wanted. Could my birthday get any better?

Quickly people started packing in. Jeff took our ticket stub and left to get popcorn and coke for us.

At 7pm, when we figured the movie previews would start, a guy ran to the front and said he was from a local radio station. I gather that several passes were given away on the radio. All the passes were actually free, but you need a code to order them online, or you could win them, like I did.

He introduced the movie, and the actors, and then him and another guy ran around the theatre tossing out t-shirts! WOW! AWESOME! Except we were in the middle of the back row, so no t-shirts made it back to us.

The guy then introduced the other guy as being from Alliance, the company that is distributing the movie. He had a The Fighter prize pack, and did anyone have a birthday today?


But unfortunately another girl did too, and she was up near the front standing, and although Jeff was yelling that I did, and I had my arms up in the air, they asked her to run down and show her birthday ID.

Aww well, wasn’t meant to be.

But then a minute later, either she was lying, or couldn’t prove it was her birthday, and I was ON!!

He said HURRY DOWN HERE WITH ID, and I grabbed my bag, made my way to the end of the aisle, and ran down the stairs to the front. I whipped out my Nova Scotia driver’s license, listened to the Alliance guy say his birthday was on Saturday, and to the lady who told us where to line up an hour ago say “Oh I’m so glad it is you, you’ve been here from the start”, and then was passed a black bag.


I ran back up the stairs like I was Stallone in Rocky.

As I made it back to my seat, I had about 3 seconds to survey the bag’s contents before the lights dimmed.

A hoodie, a water bottle, a headband, and a set of earphone ear plugs for my iPod, all with “The Fighter” written on them!!

The day couldn’t get better!!

And then the movie began – without any previews!!

It was a really unique movie. It had elements of a drama, a comedy, with a dash of a potential cult classic, all woven together.

Mark Wahlberg played the main character, but the support actor role that Christian Bale played was award-winning.

I highly recommend going to see this movie in the theatre. The sound was fantastic – I looked around a few times to see if everyone around me was clapping, or if it was on the movie (it was on the movie).

I don’t want to give anyway any of the plot, or storyline, except to say it is a boxing movie, but it isn’t like any other boxing movie you’ve ever seen.

Go watch! It opens today in a theatre near you!

Rating: 5/5 stars for its uniqueness