I hardly ever go to the movies. It’s not that I don’t enjoy them, I do. I have fond teen-age memories of the Idle Hour Theater in Hardwick where the movie was far less interesting than who showed up to sit in the balcony where you had to be over 12, and therefore pay adult prices. Fifty cents, up from 35, was a small sum to pay to sit among the glamorous highschoolers. It didn’t matter what was playing; there was one movie and it was the only game in town and everybody went, every week.
But these days I don’t like the trek into town and the current prices they are charging approach what we used to pay for a week’s groceries. I have little interest in “explosion movies” and the animated flicks, so popular on the silver screen, make me jittery.
So it was a rare opportunity that presented when I was visiting family in Cincinnati last week and an expedition was formed to take in the latest version of “Pride and Prejudice” at the local theater-o-rama, Ohio style. I think “Titanic” was the last movie I had seen in a theater.
Before leaving home for the local cinema, my daughter ordered the tickets on line. When we arrived she swiped her credit card in a thing that looked like the check-in at the airport and out popped eight tickets which she doled out to the family. It was an “all girl” event, a supreme “chick-flick” happening.
A huge island of things for sale to eat and drink dominated the lobby, about the size of a gymnasium. Every candy bar known to civilization was there to be sold, all in size large. Popcorn (small, medium, large, extra large) was sold salted, buttered, both or neither. Soda and the most expensive water on the planet was offered in every size bottle and degree of temperature. Coffee was iced or “Frappuccino.” Ice cream of all flavors was sold, with or without carbohydrates or calories.
We loaded up, momentarily putting aside the vows of the day before (Thanksgiving) to never, ever eat again.
We strolled toward one of the 10 theaters which each had kiosks with more popcorn for sale in case an emergency shortage broke out while the film was in progress. Another huge vendor island loomed half way there. It was limited to hot (greasy, smelly) food. Pizzas of every ilk topped the sales with grinders, meatball or sausage, and buckets of fried dough available to anyone who found the earlier snack super-mart lacking.
No drinking fountain was anywhere to be seen. Remember drinking fountains?
The movie was spectacular in every way. The screen was the size of a large barn and the music loud enough to make one want to go home and gallop across the moors. The brooding Mr. Darcy and the feisty Elizabeth served up heart-pounding romance on a grand scale with plenty of yearning, longing, betrayal and happy endings, all that good stuff.
The seats were comfy and the sight lines unobstructed.
I’m thinking I should do it more often.