At The Movies

Posted: Friday, December 28, 2007 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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So I went ahead and shelled out an extra $3.50 a month to Midco Cable in order to get the NFL channel back and be able to see all those important football games at home instead of the bar.
Now I find out the NFL has caved-in and will not only allow Saturday’s big game between the Patriots and Giants to be carried on network television..but both CBS and NBC will have it.
On the bright side, though, my $3.50 also frees up about 20 other digital channels that Midco has been holding out on me.
 I probably will watch the do it yourself channel..also the farm channel, RFD, which not only carries Imus in the Morning, but also the Big Joe Polka Show with Joseph Siedlik and his happy polka band from Omaha, Nebraska  seen 12 times a week.
Other than that, my extra 20 channels, including women’s entertainment, high school football, soccer, Soapnet and a couple kids’ networks, don’t hold much interest.
 
I watch too much TV anyway.  But, I spent a lot of money on our high definition set and it would be a shame to not use it, right?
I enjoy movies but on the rare occasions that Hollywood turns out one I want to see, I’m now perfectly content to wait until it comes out on video so I don’t have to go to the theater
In fact, I don’t even go to the rental place anymore.  On-Demand and Pay-Per-View carry most of the new releases. All I do is push a couple buttons on the ol’ remote and for cost of a month’s worth of 20 extra channels..$3.50, I can watch at home.
 
I used to love going to “the show,” as we called it.
Each theater had its own personality and just one screen.
It was an event…and affordable.
You could take a date, buy the tickets, popcorn, coke and maybe some milk duds, without having to cash a savings bond to pay for it.
There were actually ushers in uniforms carrying flashlights to guide you to your seats who weren’t afraid to tell talkers to shut-up or escort anyone who got out of line toward the exits.
 
It’s a different story in today’s megaplexes.
 
This week, my six year old granddaughter, Zoey, wanted to see the film, Alvin and the Chipmunks and my daughters Suzan and Patty thought it would be fun for me to go with them.
So off we went and before long, most of the reasons I don’t go out to movies anymore materialized.
With 14 theaters under one roof and a bunch of popular films playing, the huge parking lot was full.
Buying tickets not only sets you back the average annual income in Somalia, but you have to shuffle like mice through a maze getting to the counter. At least they’ve removed that glass barrier that made you feel like you were placing a bet at Churchill Downs.
The sticker shock continues over at the snack bar..or whatever it’s now called.
The confused looking young man at the cash register doesn’t bat an eye when he says $16.75 for a big bag of popcorn and three drinks.
 
The previews have already started when we enter the stadium. There are four seats available on the main level and four teenagers directly behind using them to rest their dirty feet. They gave “us” a dirty look when we chose to sit there.
During the endless previews and the movie itself, they never stopped talking..or EATING.
They must have held up a casino earlier because they were loaded down with expensive movie-house groceries and the noise of them digging into the bags to feed their faces never stopped for two hours.
Ah, the smell of popcorn breath coming from directly behind your head.
After about the tenth time the kid behind me banged into the back of my seat I was wishing there was an usher like the old days to finally shut him up or show him out.
 
But then, I noticed something else. My granddaughter laughing out loud when Theodore passed gas in Simon’s face or when Alvin was taking a shower in the dishwasher.
 
She was having a great time and because of that..so did I.

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