“Avengers: Infinity War” Marathon at El Capitan Theatre (April 25-26, 2018)

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Day 1, Hour 1: My niece Leyah and I pose for our pre-marathon pic.

Still bursting at the seams from a 32-hour MCU binge at El Capitan last week, my appetite for Marvel flicks hasn’t waned any; I doubt it even can. In addition to seeing “Infinity War” again while it’s in theaters (and who doesn’t need to?), I’ll resume my steady diet of Captain America, Iron Man, Star-Lord, Dr. Strange and Spider-Man movies – among all the others. OD’ing on superheroes is a regular thing for me, I dare say with pride.

The movie marathon officially kicked off in an alley behind a building. I was at the back of the line to get into the theater, clutching all the gear I had brought to stay comfy for the event: one Kat-bedazzled large back-rest pillow, one small pillow, one Avengers blanket, one hoodie and one too-full-to-zip-shut Black Panther-themed purse. My niece was there with me too (isn’t she amazing!), juggling her belongings. I was 99.9-percent sure I’d stay awake for the whole marathon, but I had set up a makeshift bedroom in my hatchback as a fail-safe before leaving my car. (It would have meant sleeping in a see-through box in a dimly lit public garage though, so I’m thankful that my cinema-psychosis kept me alert and made that unnecessary.)

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On my back-rest pillow, I featured my trademark poorly drawn feline and the name of the event, loosely copying (for lack of artistic skills) the theater’s self-applied typography.
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My niece and I waited in a line that wrapped down Hollywood Blvd. and behind the theater.

After only an hour of trudging through what had to be the remnants of at least one person’s excretory system, my niece and I were through the line and inside my Valhalla: El Capitan Theatre. I posed for pics beside cardboard personas of my fav characters, was interviewed by El Cap with my niece, and then headed into the auditorium for the pregame costume contest. (Only kids ever win those contests, so I entered knowing my prize would be just being around other high-voltage Marvel zealots like myself – and they didn’t disappoint.) And then, it was marathon time: ready … set … “Iron Man”!

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Sponsored by Hot Topic, the costume contest kicked off the marathon.

Regular breaks in between the 12 movies were only five minutes long because we had gotten off to a really late start. Meal breaks lasted 30 minutes though, and our $100 ticket included four meals catered by Chick-fil-A: dinner on Wednesday and breakfast, lunch and dinner on Thursday. Plus, we got vouchers for two tubs of popcorn (not in the special tin), one 20-ounce drink and loads of memorabilia. All other concessions had to be purchased at their regular exaggerated prices.

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Each marathon ticket included a souvenir popcorn tin (upper- and lower-left) with prizes (upper-right) inside, along with a commemorative 10-year anniversary MCU poster (lower-right).

Each movie was introduced by an MCU celebrity, not only actors but also directors and a composer. (Check out El Cap’s YouTube page and Instagram profile for pics, vids and details.) Before the main attraction, El Cap even brought in a DJ and turned the 1920s movie palace into a circa 1977 Studio 54. A chorus of throbbing subwoofers was still mid-song as our final MCU guest, “Infinity War” director Anthony Russo, took the stage to introduce the movie.

I was so physically run down by that point (I had been up for roughly 36 hours) that my body objected persuasively to my remaining conscious. But I summoned the strength to stay focused … I think. Until I see that movie again, I maintain my doubt as to whether some of the things I saw in it were exhaustion-induced hallucinations or just … well, just that movie. “Infinity War” is like the “Alice in Wonderland” of the MCU, and after you watch it, you’ll find yourself saying, “It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.”

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