Mr. Brown,

When writing about the late, great Hampton Cinemas Six, I thought about our beloved regulars who’d come in throughout the week. We had parents who’d bring the kids each weekend. There were couples that made every Thursday “date night” and would check out the latest rom-com. There were some who’d just come alone on a Tuesday, buy a coffee, and just sit back and enjoy a movie, distraction-free.

But we also had a celebrity regular – someone who was globally famous at the time, and universally famous as I write this. That would be you, Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, a resident of the Seacoast for many years, and our most notable regular at the Hampton Cinemas.

There was very little fanfare when you visited, Mr. Brown. You were just a friendly, normal-looking guy in khakis and a windbreaker. Some of my coworkers knew you as their former teacher in Hampton Falls.

But as the designated ticket-ripper, I lucked out, and was the one who got to recommend movies to you. A famous author, conversing with an elite ripper.

For a while – over a year, actually – I had a perfect record with the man who also brought us Angels & Demons and Digital Fortress. Then came the fateful night when you couldn’t decide between the Muhammed Ali biopic Ali starring Will Smith, and Cameron Crowe’s Vanilla Sky starring Tom Cruise.

To me, the answer was easy. Ali felt as sluggish as a boxer nearing the end of his career, while Vanilla Sky was a poignant, bittersweet film with a haunting message and a tremendous twist ending. And, it had "Good Vibrations" in it.

Alas, Dan Brown, you felt differently.

“How’d you like it??” I asked excitedly. You looked up, briefly made eye contact, and continued on your way.

That was the last time I recommended a film to the great Dan Brown. But I stand by my decision. If you want to see Will Smith throw a punch, you can just watch the Oscars.

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