1. AMC theatres will open a new megaplex in Quincy MA replete with all the bells & whistles except one: humans. Yep they finally did it. They built a movie theatre that isn’t populated by any of those pesky, demanding staff. ATMs will sell tickets, a concession conveyor belt will dispense artery hardening food, scanning centers will allow people into designated theatres (RFID chips embedded in the tickets will ensure that nobody switches auditoriums), and iRobot Roombas will clean the places. Self-absorbed Millennials won’t notice any of this because they will continue texting to no one in particular and taking pictures of their popcorn. Hipsters will notice but will decide that movies aren’t cool enough, at least not until they become more retro.
2. On a whim, the beloved Brattle Theatre plays the lottery and wins – big. They buy the old Harvard Sq Theatre building, turning it into a beautiful, comfortable, stylish 12 screen complex. One screen will be devoted to old 8mm home movies (you can send yours now) but, more importantly, the overrated Kendall Sq Cinema will suffer by comparison.
3. Suffering, Landmark’s Kendall Sq’s owners give in and actually improve their facility by putting in comfortable seats and having audio that actually sounds acoustically correct. The staff will also lose their “too cool for school” attitude.
3a. It is later reported that the Kendall Sq Cinema’s “too cool for school” attitude has been seen lurking near the Coolidge Corner Theatre.
4. The number of film festivals in Boston will exceed 99 when the Boston International Exotic Fruit Film Festival begins. It specializes in films where characters have lengthy scenes with fleshy seed bearers from another country.
4a. Nationally, a number of Film Festival Director’s souls go missing. This will not be noticed until Eugene Jarecki makes a documentary about it. No reason is apparent until several indie pictures about Faust begin winning awards.
5. Plagued by plunging ratings for Trump TV, President Trump, aka Donny Very Small Hands, fires the American People. He blames them for destroying the greatness of the America that he loves. You know, the one where everything is in gold and his privilege exceeds all others.
5a. In response, those Americans whose brains haven’t atrophied boycott all Trump businesses.
5b. In response, Trump ratchets it up in a series of tweets. He blames the National Enquirer for spreading unfounded rumors as if they were facts. He is particularly aggrieved by their editors. He demands they take off their aluminum foil hats and go back to their own planet before he builds a wall around the Earth (Of course, he will make them pay for it.)
6. Feeling the love for Boston, Trump appoints car magnate Ernie Boch Jr ambassador to Russia. This becomes known as “Come On Down Diplomacy.” Vladimir Putin gets a new Subaru as part of the deal, but he already knew that. Hacking is such sweet sorrow.
7. A server at Durgin-Park Restaurant will sue the owners after she is fired for being polite. Accused of subordination (rather than insubordination), Maura Walsh (not her real name) will tearfully explain, “I got fed up with flinging finnan haddie and Indian pudding at total strangers with a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude.” She will lose when the owners argue (and argue and argue) that brusqueness is a trade secret.
8. Apple goes back to basics and makes a product that is easy and simple to use. Hipsters find it so cool that they ignore it. Stock plunges.
9. Facebook will announce that they’ve been hacked by members of the Dark Net. But not to worry because embedded in all those cute cat pictures are Trojan Horses that turn the hackers’ computers will turn into repositories of big eyed kittens and disgustingly cute songs. They’ll be trapped in a maddening world of cloy. Incidents of hackers’ depression explode. At least that’s what their mothers report after hearing noises in their basements.
10. All the film distributors (Paramount, Fox, Columbia, etc.) will merge their sales and operations into one company called Aggregate Acceptance Corp. This does not include The Weinstein Company, which says it will join but then changes their mind, demanding separate Oscar consideration.
11. In an effort to get better T service, Brighton changes its name to “Not In Service” because that’s where most of the Green Line trolleys always seem to be headed.
12. Boston Celtic GM Danny Ainge gets a guest shot on American Hoarders who reveal his basement is loaded with stacks of unused draft picks.
13. NE Patriot coach Bill Belichek will trade owner Robert Kraft to the Cleveland Browns for two #1 picks and a conditional #4. “It’s what’s best for the team”, he drones.
13a.Tom Brady is discovered in the locker room sucking the air out of a football and explains that it looked sick and he was only giving it mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
14. The Red Sox will sell the PawSox to a Chinese manufacturing group who misunderstood the concept of farm teams and thinks they are an agricultural endeavor rather than a breeding ground for trading overpaid (and possibly over the hill) baseball players.
14a. Then the Red Sox will use their new-found windfall to purchase Curt Schilling. They will lock him up, thus ending his embarrassing post baseball career and preserving the memory of his legendary pitching prowess.
15. Hazy Auguries
a. Hillary Clinton is astonished when all of her top secret e-mails are returned in a single batch by MAILER-DAEMON as having been undeliverable.
b. “Cheers” on Beacon Hill (formerly the Bull & Finch Pub), finally realizing that the TV show is longer being shown, changes its name to the “Game of Thrones Tavern” and becomes an R rated cosplay hotspot.
c. A digital screening of “Groundhog Day” at this year’s 42nd annual Boston Science Fiction Film Festival gets stuck repeating the same chapter for two hours before anybody notices.
d. Starbucks buys Dunkin’ Donuts and surprises everyone by finally serving coffee that tastes like coffee and isn’t just an excuse to drink cream and sugar.
16. Meanwhile, back in Hollywood, Steven Spielberg will once again make a film that Americans want to see.
17. Garen & Nat will snap out of their self-induced reverie and accept the reality that none of their predictions for 2017 will come true.
Garen Daly is the founder of the Boston Science Fiction Film Festival, Feb 10-20 2017, Somerville Theatre. He is an alleged media personality, film analyst/commentator and sometime director of the Orson Welles Complex, a documentary. on Boston’s most famous movie theatre.
Nat Segaloff is an author, screenplay writer and erstwhile Boston Herald journalist. He has written books on William Friedkin, Arthur Penn and more. His next book, coming out this spring on NESFA press, will be on legendary writer Harlan Ellison. He has produced TV shows, plays and dabbled in just about every media form there is. He currently lives in LA, where he really tries to return phone calls.