Seeing “Dune 2” in Imax 70mm at 3:15 a.m. was an unforgettable experience

“I have a story for you. You might kill me.”

These are words no writer wants to hear from their editor, and yet, on Thursday at 3:04 p.m., they came ringing in my ears like a death knell.

“So, 'Dune: Part 2' will be shown at 3:15 a.m.,” he said. I see where this is going. “Wouldn't it be fun if I went?”

And here the fear began. Not because I had just agreed to spend all night on the planet Arrakis but because it meant I had to spend the rest of the afternoon watching the first Dune movie, which, for whatever reason, I had managed to avoid in the two and a half years since its release. I went home and got to work.

I thought about how to handle this harsh task. Should I force myself to go to bed at 9pm and set my alarm for 2:30am? Treat AMC's plush rocking chair as a cradle and accept early on that it's impossible for my eyes to stay open for the entire movie? My friend offered me some of her prescription Adderall to stay awake, which I've thought about before – don't laugh at me – Google “Does Adderall give you a bad mood?” The first result was the helpline number.

So, after several failed attempts to sleep before the movie, I gave in and drank coffee an hour before showtime. I got an Uber and arrived at AMC Lincoln Square at midnight, where I was lined up Another 200 odd and/or insomniacs to watch Denis Villeneuve's sci-fi spectacle in stunning 70mm Imax on America's second-largest movie screen.

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It was mainly men. Besides a man in dazzling cowboy boots and sparkling chains, the dress code was casual. After all, this is not Barbie. (Although one older man showed off his studio spirit by wearing a Warner Bros. puffer jacket, a nod to the company that footed the bill for Villeneuve's vision.)

While in line, I spoke with three friends in their 20s who had driven 45 minutes from New Jersey. They had seen the first “Dune” movie just a few days earlier at a fan screening and bought tickets for “Part 2” at 3:15 a.m. because all the other 70mm Imax screenings were sold out.

This was a common theme. At this evil hour, people came to this place Not for magic But because they procrastinated. Chris, 26, and Christina, 23, a couple who arrived by car from Long Island, didn't ruin their Friday afternoon nap because required To — was their only option. The same was true for 22-year-old Victor, who camped out at the NYU library until 2 a.m. to avoid the commute back and forth to Jersey City. Emily, a 21-year-old film student at Pace University clutching two bottles of Dasani, was here because she was “bullied” by her friends.

For all its star power — the film's cast is an elite roster of attractive and likable people — none of the dozen or so people I spoke to even mentioned Timmy Chalamet, Zendaya, or Austin Butler. Instead, the caffeinated fanaticism seemed entirely focused on the film's specialty format. Move over Florence Pugh, and we come for Imax 70mm.

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For 31-year-old director Orgis Bakkale, it was simple math: “It's Dune. It's IMAX. It's 70mm. This is the screen.” Grocery smiled as he stood at the back of the concessions line, which until 3:30 a.m. continued to snake behind the supports. “The movies are back, baby!”

Amy, a 19-year-old assistant manager who scans tickets, told me before the movie started that her shift usually ends around 3 a.m., reminding me that AMC is not typically a 24-hour establishment.

“Usually our last showing times are around 11 or 12, but for 'Dune' we added another time because we knew people would They will come to watch it.” To be honest, the next time I do this type of shift, I need to have enough food and energy.

It was only 3:40 a.m. and my eyelids were already puffy, so I bought a huge Diet Coke. Much to my dismay, AMC had already sold out all those tickets Fucking popcorn buckets.

Inside the theater were people Pump. The room was about 80% full, but I found a pocket of empty seats to occupy. As Nicole Kidman's new ad hypnotized the audience, one person shouted: “I love you, mama!” And the title card that says “Dune: Part Two” isn't even claimed. Which Enthusiasm level.

About 45 minutes into the movie, I thought for sure I was toast. Those gorgeous desert sand dunes reminded me of cushions, and I wondered what life choices I had made that had led me here, to Seat H35. But then I saw a man shaking his head two rows in front of me, and I thought how annoying it would be to watch this movie once again Just to catch the parts I missed. I'm not weak like for himI thought as I inhaled my Diet Coke. Even to my own surprise, I kept going, enjoying Paul Atreides' larger-than-life ride all the way until the credits rolled at 6:18 AM.

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While going down the escalator, I met my three friends from New Jersey. “What are your plans this morning?” I asked, and they told me they would walk west to watch the sunrise over the Hudson River. I didn't have the heart (read: brain cells) to tell them that the sun rises in the east.

Emily and her friends were heading to the Flame Diner for breakfast, one of them mentally preparing for the NYU rehearsal at noon. I? I got an Uber home. I had other business to attend to.

When I walked out of AMC, deliriously tired, the sun was smiling down on Broadway. A few people emerged from the subway, walking purposefully up and down the street. That was tomorrow, and these people were living in the future. I couldn't wait to slide like a sandworm into the bed.

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