The Amazing Johnathan is more than just Amazing. He is like a worker ant, industrious and underground.
The Amazing Johnathan can cause us to laugh even when we are determined not to. He has a direct line to the special set of ganglia in what some charitably call our brain. When we watch him perform, we become like a monkey on crack — or more like a monkey on crack than normal.
But we have a refined taste and our predilections may not match yours. That makes yours wrong.
Admit it, guzzling Windex and lye is genius!
No less an influential thinker than Jean-Jacques Rousseau (“J.J.” to us) identified this very phenomenon in the late 1700’s. In his Letter to d’Alembert he argues against the establishment of theater in Geneva because plays touch the audience directly and allow for the manipulation of the emotions. In fact, said Rousseau, comedies are worse than tragedies. In tragedy, there may be some connection with the characters on stage, and perhaps it will evoke empathy. But in a comedy, the audience laughs because of a special connection with the characters and the situations they face.
So, what have we established? The Amazing Johnathan is worthy of his title and has a special power to control the higher-functioning comedy aficionados among us. J.J. Rousseau knew this type of theatrical genius could cause problems. And like a worker ant, The Amazing Johnathan is both industrious and subterranean.
The Amazing Johnathan built a theater beneath the surface of Las Vegas, Nevada. But it is not just any subterranean theater. It is a subterranean drive-in theater with cars, and a snack-bar, and a giant screen, and those little speakers you hang on your car door.
The Amazing Johnathan told The Cleveland Examiner, “I needed a cool environment to display my classic car collection. There are twenty-one cars in all and I thought a Drive-In movie set would look great. Then I decided to make it functional so my friends and I could watch late night movies. I also made it look like the Gratiot Drive-In, the theater I worked at in Roseville, MI.”
He found the perfect fixer-upper in the bottom of a “wartime era ammunition bunker almost two stories underground.” He has space for his cars and the theater accoutrements with more than 5,000 square feet; and it is all under a beautiful night sky thanks to planetarium projectors.
With his current investment in the theater exceeding $40,000 at this point, The Amazing Johnathan seems most interested in creating a once in a lifetime experience for the theater’s patrons. The theater is not only unique in its very existence; it is also an interactive experience for moviegoers. The flying saucers come right out of the screen, flying overhead, only to return back into the screen. The stuff of nightmares crawl out from the screen and walk amongst the guests and, if someone is more than a little observant, they might find that the psychopath in the movie may have taken up residence in their back seat. All of the interactive features of the theater can be tailor made to the patron’s desires.
The Amazing Underground is not open to the general public, unfortunately. It sounds a little like The Magic Castle in this regard. You’ll need to be a member of The Amazing Underground to visit. If you are part of a large group –and aren’t we all — your posse can receive a special temporary membership for corporate outings and special occasions.
For more information, go to The Amazing Underground’s website.
J. J. Rousseau would certainly argue this is precisely the type of theater that poses an insidious danger to free society; so you can take guilty pleasure in your indulgence.