Monday, November 01, 2010

Cheap Seats

In the late 90's, one of my favorite places to spend a few hours was at the "Cheap theatre". Some called it the "Dollar fifty theatre" as that's what they charged for admission. If I happened to miss a film while it was in first run, the cheap theatre gave me an avenue in which to still see it on the big screen. The formal name of the movie house was Cinema 1-2-3.

The Mrs. and I had seen Chris Tucker's breakthrough in "Money Talks" a number of weeks before, but were so amused by him that we decided to catch the film once again at the cheap theatre.

We were one of the only ones there. Partway through the movie, it started getting quite cold. My girl said that her nose was cold. I wasn't about to put up with it, so went up to the only employee who appeared to be there: a teenager named Zach.

I told him that my lady was freezing her touchis off, but it was to no avail. He said that there wasn't any way that he could adjust the thermostat. I didn't believe him. I told him that I'd keep a mental note of his name, which is obviously still the case thirteen years later. We watched a couple more minutes before electing to leave, sneaking out the back door so I wouldn't be tempted to give Zach any more disapproving looks.

One evening, while waiting for the movie to start, I sat on the aisle when a bunch of black kids found seats near the front. Over the next few minutes, they ran back and forth from their seats to the lobby. To encourage them to slow down, I stuck my foot out into the aisle a number of times. They still ran, but avoided my side of the aisle. Before I knew what hit me, a black lady was all up in my face wondering why I was trying to trip her brood.

Some nights when my lady was working, I'd go to the movies by myself. "Boogie Nights" was one of the best movies I saw back then. It was my first brush with Julianne Moore and Philip Seymour Hoffman and that last shot was a doozy! The most notable thing about seeing "Dangerous Beauty" is that the audience was virtually all male. This, mixed with the mature subject matter, made it feel like I was attending a porno screening.

One night in 1999, we were out with my mom. They wanted to see Anthony Hopkins in "Instinct" while I opted to see Catherine Zeta in "Entrapment". I knew I made the right choice when partway through my movie, I went to see how they were doing. It felt like Vegas in July; there were a great deal of people in there which could have been the source. I sat for a moment with them remarking on how warm it was. They didn't seem to mind. A moment later, I returned to the coolness (pun intended) of "Entrapment".

Later in '99, I went to see the "South Park" movie for the 4th time at the Cinema (the first three were seen first-run). While waiting for the show to start, a teenager with crutches came in with his father and a friend. The father sat a row or two behind his son and friend in order to give them some space. I'm not sure the father knew just how hard-R this film was, so looked forward to seeing his reaction to various scenes. Indeed, he appeared quite offended by a couple of sequences, but there was no way he was going to infringe on the fun his injured son was having.


ExtraO said...

I don't believe I have seen even one of the movies you mentioned.

Rocketstar said...

I never realized how dangerous a theatre could be.

Oh, Rollergirl!

King of New York Hacks said...

Oh man , you have to come to New York and go see a movie in some of the theaters that would blow your don't know if its a movie, a play . or a gang war you're at !! LOL

Randy said...

We used to have a $1.50 theater, but it closed. Popcorn & drink would run you $20 or more (for the kids & I), but the movie was cheap.

The attitude of the other patrons matched what you saw...