For nearly 21 years, John C. Williams, a principal at Process Creative Studios, has had a movie mogul pass, allowing him to watch 20 to 40 films stress-free. "Movies are the only way I can get my mind to stop racing," he says.
Film Buff: Williams has a method. He skims the program, reads the descriptions and color-codes each film: a single dot for interested, two for super-interested, a plus for a definite and two for a must-see. Then he makes an itinerary.
Buzz Feed: During short gaps, he heads to the passholder hospitality lounge on the third floor of Tower City for craft brews, finger foods and coffee. But for long breaks, he buzzes over to East Fourth Street's Erie Island Coffee Co. for another go at the program. "Any moment I get, I try to plan," he says.
Park It: Even the passholder valet at the Tower City garage jams up, so Williams tweaks his schedule during rushes. "If I'm going to see a film at 7 p.m. on a Friday," he says, "I actually see a film at 4:30 and stay for the evening."
Jane Buder Shapiro spends her hours after working as a psychologist and adjunct assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University watching 25 to 30 films. "I feel like I'm on vacation," the passholder says.
Name Game: Buder Shapiro skips reading the thick program, instead combing for recognizable names and award winners. She then reads reviews to pick movies but stays open to other options based on the buzz at the theater.
Event Brite: The Q&As after select screenings are worth staying for. In a once-in-a-lifetime moment, Buder Shapiro saw Frank Capra after watching It's a Wonderful Life. "I got to see my favorite director after seeing my favorite movie and having him talk about it," she says.
Early Bird: Passholders can't just waltz in. Buder Shapiro recommends being 15 to 20 minutes early since there are a set number of passholder seats reserved. Bonus: This means no cranking your neck from an awkward front corner seat.
Nick Hilf, owner of Rockefeller Barber Shop, prefers to savor a film or two at spaced out times each day so he can still run errands or grab a soda after the credits roll. "[There's] always one or two that blow my mind," he says.
Ticket Master: Hilf purchases his tickets for all his chosen films when the box office opens March 6. "I buy them all at one time, so I don't have to worry about the movies being sold out or not being able to get inside," he says. Plus, orders of 10 or more get $2 off per $15 nonmember ticket.
Wheel Deal: He's done it all — ridden the Rapid, taken his bike and driven. If he does get behind the wheel, he looks for street parking or goes to the Tower City garage and gets his parking ticket validated at a booth inside the cinema.
Three to See
Who Am I — No System is Safe
Following a hacker group that wears Anonymous-like masks, this hit German thriller is already slated for a Warner Bros. remake. "It's one of those films that will leave you on the edge of your seat,"Guentzler says.
Bread and Butter
It plays out like an awkward coming-of-age romance. The star is a woman in her 30s who hasn't dated but suddenly has two men: the refined Leonard and nervous Daniel, played by Saturday Night Live's Bobby Moynihan.
The Creeping Garden
A skittering score by record producer Jim O'Rourke and jarring close-ups make this documentary on elusive slime molds feel like a horror film. "Scientists study them to see if they are useful to humans," Guentzler says.