Monday, February 27, 2006

Fun with Dick and Jane (24Feb06)

This week, our Tuesday night movie turned into our Thursday night movie. Then our Thursday night movie became our "Let's Just Clean Up Tonight and Go Tomorrow" Friday night movie. It almost became our "I'm Too Lazy to Go Tonight -- Let's Just Wait Until Tomorrow" Saturday night movie, but we finally managed to get off the couch, turn off the Olympics (though we were a little later than planned because I had to watch the end of the speed skating finals), and get to the theater.

This week's experience was totally different than our usual Cheap Theater experience. Not only did we got to the late show instead of the early show (weekend bedtimes are, after all, negotiable), but we went to an actual full-price Cheap Theater weekend show. Sure, it's still only $1.75 a ticket, but that's 3505 of what we usually pay.

But, as it turned out, the extra $2 made a difference.

That's not to say that the seats were more comfortable -- or the screen was bigger. All that stuff was the same. There were, however, two major differences.

1) It was busy.

There were people in line. There were people at the concession stand. The second concession stand -- which I've never actually seen open -- was in use. And there were two ticket-rippers on duty to accommodate the crowd.

Our ticket-ripper looked totally flustered. The poor girl had probably been pulled up from popcorn-buttering duty and was totally unprepared to have to direct people to the right theater. In fact, when we walked up to her, she almost forgot to tell us where to go, and I was so confused. How would I know where to go without the ticket-ripper telling me?

The poor kid looked like she needed a drink. Unfortunately, she also looked like she'd have to wait another three years or so to get one.

2) It was busy, but it was...normal.

It wasn't that insane, mass-hysteria, freakshow kind of busy that the Cheap Nights tend to be (especially during the summer -- and on Valentine's Day). It was buzzing with moviegoers, but they all seemed so...grown up.

We didn't get our usual back-row seats this time, but even though we were a few rows up, there weren't really any distractions. No one conversing through the movie or kicking my seat or laughing loudly during the serious parts of the movie. People laughed -- some of them so loudly and distinctively that I could make them out in the front of the theater. But they weren't obnoxious about it. They laughed when the movie was funny -- just like non-Crazies should.

The audience enjoyed the movie in a subdued way. They laughed. They chuckled. They snuggled with their dates. I even saw one guy try out the old Yawn-and-Stretch Maneuver.

It was all so normal that it was just plain strange. It actually seemed much like I remember my experience in regular movies. And that was almost as distracting as a pair of Loud Talkers.

But not quite.


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