Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The drawbacks of movie cheap night

It’s been awhile since I’ve been to a movie on cheap night. I think the last time was to see As Good as It Gets (James L. Brooks, 1997) starring Jack Nicholson. Nah! Couldn’t have been that long ago – could it? In any case, I remember being squished in among a packed auditorium with the kind of crowd I seldom experience on other theatre nights. In other words a crowd that yakked, belched, threw popcorn at one another (reminding me of attending Saturday afternoon  movies as a kid) and who were generally rude and boorish.....I took myself to see Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen’s latest, last night. I wasn’t expecting a packed house for a Woody Allen film, at least in Windsor. Boy, was I wrong. When I arrived at the theatre for the 6.50 screening the only seats that remained were in the several front rows immediately below the aisle and in front of the screen, and two seats in the upper level. (This was admittedly one of Silver City’s smaller rooms.) I asked the usher to show me those seats, and I ended up with one at the very center of the top row. Which was great. However, on both sides of me were couples that a) seemed only there because it was cheap night and it was an eeny- meeny-miny-moe pick b) weren’t very familiar with Woody Allen films, and c) didn’t have much sense of courtesy to filmgoers around them as they talked throughout the movie. You know the kind of things people say such as explaining aloud to their seat mate something in the film that is obvious (“oh, here comes that car again!” or “oh, is he going to get in trouble now!”).....This was a delightful movie, with a story I wasn’t at all expecting. But, at the end of it, a couple in front of me got up and one said to the other, ”We should have gone to so-and-so’s place after all”.....On cheap nights the theatre fills with people who wouldn’t normally go to an Allen film. In a word, Philistines, who didn’t seem to catch the drift of a lot of the artistic or intellectual references in the movie.....A couple of other things. On cheap night the theatre lobby is packed, with line ups even at the self-ticketing kiosks, which don’t seem to work all that well anyway. For example, the kiosk I used wouldn’t accept my Cineplex Scene point card. And when it finally allowed my purchase it spat out a credit card receipt but no ticket. (See receipt picture above.) I almost wasn’t going to be allowed into the theatre save for a kind supervisor who took a look at the receipt and waved me through. Note to self: next time buy online....Another thing about cheap night. With all these people attending to save a few bucks off a regular ticket they sure liked loading up on pricey concession items. Go figure.....Finally, cheap night ain’t so cheap anymore. I paid $7.25, thinking I would only be charged about $4.50. Yes, maybe the last time I did go to cheap night was in 1997!

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