Symphony Home Alone

Houston Symphony celebrates the holidays Home Alone — and it's a real scream!

Houston Symphony celebrates the holidays Home Alone and it's a scream!

Home Alone movie
The classic movie, Home Alone, is celebrating its 25th anniversary with screenings in HD at concert halls with symphonies performing the Academy Award-nominated score in sync with the film. Courtesy photo
Steven Reineke, Principal Houston Symphony POPS conductor
Principal Houston Symphony POPS conductor designate Steven Reineke, show here in file photo, conducted the music to Home Alone. Photo by Richard Termine
Home Alone movie
Home Alone made young actor Macaulay Culkin a star. Courtesy photo
Home Alone movie
Steven Reineke, Principal Houston Symphony POPS conductor
Home Alone movie

Houston, specifically downtown Houston, is in no short supply of things to do during this time of year. But on Friday night, the Houston Symphony took the stage at Jones Hall for what might be the most unusual holiday treat this season.

The POPS orchestra performed the music of the classic Home Alone while the movie was shown in HD on a big screen. Since it's one of my must-see holiday movies, I had to be there!

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the movie is being shown around the country with symphonies playing renowned composer John Williams’ charming score, including the 20th Century Fox intro. The holiday hit features Kevin McCallister (played by Macaulay Culkin), an 8-year-old boy who is accidentally left behind when his family leaves for Christmas vacation and must defend his home against two bungling and idiotic thieves.

Nowadays it’s almost impossible to picture such an ordeal — leaving a child home alone with no way to contact parents for help. They can text, tweet or Facebook if they’re left alone and who needs a pay phone to call home? But the nostalgia that came along with the orchestrated picture was a perfect reminder that the holidays are all about family— even the ones who drive you crazy. 

Many families gathered at the holiday show, some kids presumably seeing the flick for the first time, and their heartfelt laughter was heard throughout the theater, adding to the overall love and excitement of the season. The laughter in the packed hall was most pronounced during the scenes where Kevin outsmarted the bandits, with kids presumably trying to out-laugh one another at the outlandish scenes to stop the robbers (paint cans in the face, blow torch to the head, tar and nails to the feet, just to name a few). 

The lobby of Jones Hall was filled with families taking family photos in front of the larger-than-life immaculately decorated Christmas tree, along with couples on festive date nights following right behind.

This was the first year Home Alone has played alongside a live orchestra, and if you missed it, cross your fingers it comes back next year.