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Every time I see or even hear the words “A Hard Day’s Night” I think of my night out with Tom Hanks!
Back in 1994 I went to a showing of the 30th Anniversary of A Hard Day’s Night movie at a theater in Santa Monica. My mom was a Beatles fan and their music served as the soundtrack of my youth. I had a crush on Paul McCartney from the age of 7.
Hearing about the revival and being able to see a movie I’d only seen on TV in the theater, I talked my friends in to going. After getting our popcorn and sodas, we settled in to our seats and chatted, happy to have a little girl time
A woman came down the aisle to the row in front of us. I thought to myself, “cool glasses…hmm she looks familiar” and went on chatting with my friends. A few minutes later, I looked over as she stood up and waved to someone behind us. I took a quick glance behind me to see who she was waving at. There, holding his son’s hand and carrying another child on his shoulder was TOM HANKS!
“HOLY CRAP!”, I thought….”that’s TOM HANKS…and she’s…she’s Rita Wilson! Oh, my God…I love them!” I was trying to contain my huge grin. I looked over at my friend who sat there with her mouth open. She turned to me, wide-eyed. “I know!” I silently mouthed.
Tom made his way down the aisle right in front of us and got his kids situated. Rita got up to get the snacks. I felt a tap on my shoulder from the row behind me. “Is that who I think it is?” someone asked.
“Yup”, I responded.
After a bit, Rita came back, passed out the popcorn, candy and sodas to her family and we all settled in for the previews.
The first preview was from “AFI’s Top 100 Movies” (only about 3 minutes long). Tom Hanks appeared on screen 3 times (Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan and Philadelphia) Every time Tom appeared on screen, Rita would lean over to her husband, shake her fists and whisper “Yay!” (We would refer to it as a “Squee!” in 2012 )
It was ADORABLE! When the actual movie began, Tom turned to his oldest child and said, “This is the best boy band ever!”
I spent the majority of the movie watching Tom Hanks watch the movie
After the film was over, people began to file out. Except in our section where word had spread about our celebrity audience member. Everybody seemed to be timing their departure to walk out right behind The Hanks Family. (My group included)
And his exit was pretty amazing. With a sleeping child on his shoulder, he seemed to activate an invisible bubble around him. No one bothered him or his family by asking for an autograph. Instead I think we were all happy to know that we had a movie night with Tom Hanks!