A little trip to the movies...
by Sean Naberhuis
Ah... in this modern age we are so fortunate to have the wonderful world of movies at our disposal. We have an incredible selection: always something for everyone, whether it be "Bambi" for small children or "Rambo III" for the macho type. We have historically accurate documentaries, futuristic space-age films, and numerous comedies, thousands of them. It's all so simple, just find a movie to see and go. Let us use my recent example...
At 4:15 p.m. last Friday, I decided to take my girlfriend out to the movies. Our first question, of course, was what to see. The newspaper informed us that we had fifty-eight choices. This number was reduced to fifty-two after we subtracted the six we had already seen. This is supposed to be easy, choosing a movie. It only took us about half an hour to narrow it down to one: "Beauty and the Beast." While it was not a really new movie, neither of us had seen it, so it seemed good. The theater was at the other end of town, so it would take a while to get there. Knowing it was an older movie, we assumed fewer people would show up, so we thought we could get there only ten minutes before the 6:30 show-time.
When we arrived at the theater, the lines were long. We forgot that "Batman II" was only a week old, and it also started at 6:30. A slight error in judgment on our part. We got our tickets; naturally I paid ($15.00). Fifteen dollars is a lot of money just to sit and stare mindlessly at a movie screen for less than two hours.
Nobody goes to the movie without buying popcorn, soda and candy. We are no exception. Great, another line to wade through! Show-time was to be in two minutes, but we needed our food. The watered-down sodas cost two bucks apiece, the greasy popcorn cost four, and since Christine really wanted those "Goobers" ($1.50), the total cost for our little excursion was raised to almost twenty-five dollars... OUCH!
We were then five minutes late for the show, so we hurried to the theater. We entered to find a black screen, a crowded room, and annoying elevator music playing. We noticed two seats, so we squeezed our way through what seemed like a thousand knees, I think I hit them all. How bad could it be for business to put, let's say, another foot and a half between the rows for moving traffic? It is painfully obvious to me that capitalism would collapse if the owner sacrificed twenty seats to make the other two-hundred more comfortable.
Well, the seats we found were fairly good, at least not any worse than the others. Like all the others, there was no leg-room, rivers of spilled soda on the floor, mountains of stale popcorn under the seat, and empty cups left behind by people too lazy to take them to the trash can not more than thirty feet away. Another late couple sat right in front of us, both tall, effectively blocking half the screen. It really made a difference; the movie was ten minutes late and still had not started.
The movie finally started twenty minutes late, or at least the previews did. After another fifteen minutes of my life was wasted seeing previews for "Nun-munchers from hell-part XIV" and "Benji saves the Universe" (both obviously destined to become classics of American Theater), the feature FINALLY started. Perhaps the only redeeming quality of the trip was that the movie was good this time. The last several movies I had seen were not so. Most movies are littered with mindless sex, violence and other negative aspects of life. Truly good movies are a rarity and excellent movies are almost non-existent. On the average, movies are actually getting worse. Oh well.
With all that the movie-going experience has become, I always ask myself, "Why do I keep going back for more?" The seats are never clean; there is always someone 7'10" with a big neck sitting in front of me; and the food is grossly overpriced and of inferior quality. All things considered, my 25 dollars could have been better spent on a fuzzy toilet seat that plays Dixie when you sit on it. At least that is a material item I can spend time enjoying (yeah, right). When the movie comes out on video tape, the cost will only be 20 bucks, and it can be watched as many times as desired. It would be rentable at only 2 bucks tops, with virtually free popcorn and soda (at least compared to theater concession stand prices). The best part of renting, though, is you can fast-forward past the preview for "Bloodbath Part VIII, the Revenge." Why even go to the theater? It is a total waste of money.