It started in late 2008. My roommate and I–both born and raised in Southern California–had moved into an apartment one block away from the magical gates of Paramount Studios, on a charming street on the furthest stretches of a glorious Old Hollywood neighborhood called Hancock Park. We were both giddy at the idea of living right in the shadow of film history…ok, so maybe I was the one excited about that–my roomie, ever so much more practical than I, was most excited about having an actual washer/dryer unit. Even my new job, working as an editorial assistant for a film magazine at the Directors Guild of America, made movies a part of my daily diet. We’d drive down winding roads of the city at night, when Los Angeles is at its most intoxicating, listening to Frank Sinatra at full volume: windows down, fingers twirling with the rushing wind, thoroughly and utterly in love with life.
The feelings were so intense, that blogging became a natural outlet. I created a blog entitled The Kitty Packard Pictorial in November of 2008, and … my life changed forever. Suddenly, I was thrust into a world I hadn’t even known existed outside of watching Turner Classic Movies: the classic film community. Since then, many close friendships have been made–people I cherish just like family–and, of all things, a husband.
When I attended the opening night of the inaugural TCM Classic Film Festival in 2010 I was overwhelmed by the magic of it all, but never in my life did I ever expect it to lead me to my husband. Movie fans all over the city were aglow for weeks after the festival ended, and we couldn’t wait for the next year…and the year after that…and the year after that. These film festivals soon became more than just about the movies–it was very early on that they became about the people. Every screening and ever line was so full of love–friendships were made instantaneously. It was like being introduced to an entire family we never knew existed … we were home.
As soon as the festival schedules were announced each year, friend and co-worker of mine used to make a ritual of going out, getting drinks and diligently planning out our screening schedules. In 2014, one of my must-see movies was a film noir called The Narrow Margin: not only had I never seen it, but it was screening at the Egyptian Theatre (always a plus) and the “Czar of Noir” Eddie Muller was introducing it, so there was no question. I took up my seat in the theatre, just a random row, and was scrolling through my twitter feed when someone leaned forward from the row behind.
“Excuse me, are you Kitty Packard?”
I looked up, stunned and startled (and more than a wee bit flattered) at someone recognizing me from my blog. I said yes, and he extended his hand for a shake. “Hi, I’m Martin Hildebrand, and I love reading your blog!” We chatted, casually, for the few minutes until the screening started and that was that. The next day, we ran into each other again in the lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel and sat down at the lobby bar for a quick drink and chat. I gave him my card, said ‘let’s keep in touch’ and … three years later, we’re husband and wife.
Married at the Movies is, above all, dedicated to my loving husband and partner in movie crime, Martin. It is an outlet for our journey through life, love, and of course, all things classic.
We hope you’ll have fun along the way, too, so without further ado … Action!