Return to Nakatomi Plaza

Just wanted to write today (for the first time since The Streak Ended!) to talk about how little things can sometimes wind up carrying a big impact.

I got the chance to go see Die Hard in the theater again, and so I took it. I’m so glad I did. It was a reminder of how special movies can be, even after you’ve spent decades with them.

I had very vivid memories of sneaking into a theater to see it 32 years ago in August, after it had already started its journey as a sleeper hit. All the cool kids were talking about it, the ads were making us desperate to see it, and despite my overpowering fear of authority my friend was able to help me break a rule. We bought a ticket for…something?…and went into the mall movie theater.

I remember the seats we took when we eventually got into the correct spot, because we accidentally snuck into a showing of Clean and Sober. I missed up until the truck starts driving to Nakatomi Plaza on that first showing, which is honestly fine because it’s a beautiful shot.

I’ve heard and read people talking about being 12 or 13 years old and seeing Star Wars for the first time, and how it blew their minds. I’d say Die Hard is in a memory slot like that for me. It absolutely melted reality that something so cool and entertaining could exist. Everything was different after I saw it.

Revisiting it decades later in the theater recaptured that magic. I’m entirely pragmatic about the situation with movie theaters right now, but an event movie like this just isn’t the same in the comfort of your home. The auditorium we saw it in was smallish, but it was wonderful being somewhere devoted to immersing us in the experience.

For a moment, I was that kid again as I got to appreciate a big and spectacular movie the way I’d seen it at first. John McClane and Hans Gruber were larger than life, the sound was crisp and the quips made me giggle again.

Agent Bun went with me this time, so it felt a little like sharing with her a piece of myself she wasn’t around to see. We grew up many miles apart in different worlds, so sharing a little sliver of a past self was a pleasant thing.

It was nice to return to Nakatomi Plaza.

Alan Rickman Hans Gruber Die Hard
And, I mean, one of the greatest screen villains ever.