Going to the Movies

The guys on /Filmcast were sharing terrible experiences at the cineplex today. Kermode and Mayo are assembling a list of behaviors that should be banned within the theater. Meanwhile, slowly but surely (as opposed to slowly but unsurely, or quickly but surely), I’ve practically stopped going to the movies. I was there for Furry Vengeance (2010), because my daughter shows up in it. I was surrounded by youngsters and their parents, all of whom, like me, seemed to like the movie and laughed in the right places. My daughter and I spent an evening at the Stanford, a restored movie palace in Palo Alto with a functioning organ for the silent offerings, and saw Flying Down to Rio (1933) and another 30s film, the name of which I’ve forgotten (feel free to remind me), about an elderly impecunious woman who pretends to be a… what?…countess? baroness? or whatever, to impress her daughter’s visiting fiancee… or something like that. This was on a weeknight and various seniors and lonely singles were scattered about the theater. We sat over on the side. That’s about it for my movie-going, with the following exception: my son and daughter-in-law gave me two gift cards to the local metroplex several years ago and every six months or so I go over on a weekday afternoon, buy an In-and-Out burger, and use my gift card to obtain a ticket to a random movie – and then surf around inside for five or six hours. The last time that I did this, I watched Inception (2010) and Salt (2010) and parts of The Expendables (2010), and… uh… three or four others, which I forget… the climax of Avatar (2009), for one, my first time checking out the new 3D – I found one pair of glasses in the barrel at the back. The 3D I didn’t like so much.

When I pull into a parking lot, I take the first space that I come to, way out on the edge. Similarly, in the theater I like to sit on the side or in the back, anywhere where the seat population is sparse. The notion of getting stuck in front of somebody texting or tweeting or unwrapping something hard to unwrap or with a tub on their lap, of popcorn, ugh.

But with lots of space, empty seats, around me, and lots of time to kill and that big screen unobstructed up there in front of me, the sound thumping, with burgers and coke and my legs draped over the seat in front of me, it’s still the best.