The Last Unicorn Tour stopped in Long Beach
About two months ago, when I asked my friend April for one of her favorite quotes, she gave me, among others:
"But I'm always dreaming, even when I'm awake; it is never finished." –The Last Unicorn
And I thought, what is this poeticness? It just has a beautiful tone to it. And thus my dive into everything "The Last Unicorn." It wasn't long before I had the book and read it.
Then, by some weird coincidence of all things magical, there happened to be a movie tour as well. So, of course, April and I got tickets for that. Even better was it took place at the Art Theater in Long Beach, which was built in 1924 and made for this classy movie-going experience. I mean, really, I couldn't have imagined anything better.
The movie viewing happened last Saturday. And while some people grew up with this book and movie and got all decked out in unicorn horns, shirts, and other paraphernalia, I was kind of happy to say that this was my first time seeing it. Mostly because of how all the elements of this new unicorn world opened up for me and came together in just a couple months. And more than just watching the movie in an old-style theater, there was also a raffle (which I didn't win anything in), and most especially, the author himself – Peter S. Beagle – was there for a Q&A session.
That, more than the movie itself actually, ended up being my favorite part. I liked the book, the movie was good, but the author? I'm a definite fan. He's just so genuine about his process and the way he talks about how he put the book together and his decision-making process, it made me want to hear him answer a thousand more questions.
My favorite moment of the Q&A was when someone started going into detail about the end of the story, and people started yelling, "Don't spoil it!!" so she paused a moment to rephrase her question:
Q: What was your inspiration for the end of the novel?
Peter S. Beagle: Simply because it had to end that way.
Such a simple answer. I think if I ever had to answer something like that it would take me hours. But I thought about it for a bit, and he's right. It did. Like so many other things in life. This guy's great.
Among other questions, another favorite answer was that he wrote the cat into the book simply because there was a cat near him when he was writing that particular chapter. I love that it was so unplanned. Often, it's hard for me to just do something without having a focus as to where it will go.
"That book happened in very strange ways," he kept saying. And so did my finding it.
Another tidbit of interest is how this particular book changed how unicorns were viewed. Before the book was published in 1968, unicorns were always depicted as male. There's no record of a female unicorn before then. At least that's what they told us. I tried to verify it, but can't seem to find an actual source, so take it as you will.
In addition to all this unicorn greatness, the area around the Art Theater is fantastic. There's really cute vintage shops and places to eat. Check it. April and I got lunch at Artisan Pasta. See April's Instagrammed pizza photo here (Warning: view at your own risk, may cause instant longing to go eat there and dissatisfaction until you go).
And for all you "The Last Unicorn" fans, I'm happy to be joining you!