This whole Dark Knight countdown is becoming a huge obnoxious competition against myself to find out who is the bigger Batman fan, ME or ME? Either way, it’s on like KONG! (the article above appeared in the Cineplex Odeon newsletter called “The Biz” in ’97)
When I was 16 I applied to work at the local Cineplex Odeon Cinema at the Menlo Park Mall. (Cineplex Odeon is now AMC Theaters) I knew it would be the perfect job for me especially since I was in high school and didn’t want a job where I had to be too serious or have too much responsibility. Without even realizing how fast the time went I wound up working there for about 5 or 6 years! I met so many awesome people throughout that time and saw a ton of movies. Sometimes on a Thursday night we would have screenings of the big films that were coming out the next day. I remember getting sneaks of all the cool movies especially for all the Star Wars re-issues and The Phantom Menace. I have some great memories of that place.
For the first 2 or 3 years I worked there the management was very supportive and excellent to work for. One busy night at the theater in 1997, Bob, the house manager, pulled me aside. I got a bit nervous. Bob was easy to get along with but he was nothing but business. He wasn’t smiling so I thought something was wrong.
JAY: “Did I do something wrong, Bob?” I always ask that of all my bosses…I just like the sound of it.
BOB: “No of course not, as always you’re doing a great job! I just have something I want to ask you…”
JAY: “Oh Ok sure”
BOB: “How would you like to be Batman for us at our premiere of Batman and Robin?”
JAY: “Are you serious? Holy Crap, of course!!!”
F–k Jean-Paul Valley! What an opportunity for me since I used to pretend I was Batman for the first 16 years of my life and now I could actually be him in front of people. I definitely felt like I was a shoe-in for the job because everyone there knew I was the resident Batmaniac. When I put on the cowl and cape, such a familiar feeling came over me as if I had put on a cape and cowl every day of my life. I did my best impression of Michael Keaton when he became Batman. Screw Kilmer and Clooney, I was still a Keaton mark! Not only did they get one of the more professional looking bat costumes for me to wear but they also had a few members of the management team create an overhang above the ticket ripper that made you feel like you were entering the Batcave!
To make the premiere even more of an event they had one of the girls who worked at the concession stand, Jen, play Poison Ivy. Like me, she really ate it up. She waltzed in like she spent months taking lessons from Uma Thurman! The kids and adults loved it! I shook so many hands that day, was asked to be in a ton of pictures, and I was also asked for autographs which was bizarre but I had prepared for it just in case. I remembered that back when I was a kid I met a Batman impersonator at the Wildwood boardwalk back in ’89. I took a picture with him and he signed the Polaroid. I dug it up and took a look at how he signed it and I sort of lifted his technique. I know, I know…you all want to ask the burning question: Did I stuff my codpiece with socks? Don’t you know that Batman never reveals his secrets? Let’s just say, the ladies seemed to be quite aroused! Come to think of it, they were probably more distracted by my huge batarang. (pictured below: Batman/Me trying to resist Poison Ivy’s pheromones)