Movie Rituals

My favorite time to go to the movies is the first Friday matinee. I park in structure across the street where the theater validates and take a spot on the side that faces east and NOT the ramp because it’s too hard to get out of.

The theater is mostly empty. Few employees. The same person who takes my money, tears my ticket and tells me to enjoy the show. I don’t get food or drinks. I sit in the exact middle of the theater. If there are talky looking people in that area I will go higher.

Last weekend I saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which I loved more than I expected. I remember when the first one came out. I loved the book and couldn’t wait to see the movie. I remember being with a bunch of kids, perhaps someone’s birthday although the release day was June 30, 1971 which means it wasn’t my birthday but that my memory of seeing it with Scotty and Stacy is probably correct.

I watched the 1971 version a weekend earlier and it holds up okay for a movie made in 1971. I admit to fast forwarding through all the musical numbers. I don’t think it adequately conveyed how miserably cold and poor the Buckets were — it left out Mr. Bucket completely. The 2005 version is more true to the book and wonderful — I don’t know where to start. I liked Johnny Depp’s kooky performance and I loved the addition of Willy Wonka’s back story. Tiny spoiler but turns out his dad is Count Dooku/Saruman.

Also last weekend I saw Must Love Dogs which got dreadful reviews but how many critics are women my age? This is certainly a stupid movie but still satisfying for women around my age or older (who were the only people in the half full room with the exception of two gray haired men who arrived with female companions). While we waited for the movie to start the theater did not show “the 20” (endless commercial pimping various other things to watch or buy) nor did it play any music of any kind. I wasn’t sure if we were being neglected because our demographic would be likely to complain about Mountain Dew commercials at ear bending volume, or if it was because they didn’t want to waste their time playing the stuff knowing we would be unlikely to buy Starburst or Diet Coke or watch a new TV show about a group of large-toothed twenty-somethings grappling with inane problems.

I finally visited Cinetopia a new entertainment complex that opened in east Vancouver. I’ve been reading about this place and was a bit skeptical — it’s an upscale theater where you pay more money for a better quality experience. I was expecting it to show the latest numbnutz action movies and stupid comedies and was thrilled to see they have a variety leaning more towards the small films that I would actually want to see.

The reason I went today is because they are showing um, Star Wars in high definition. That was viewing #9 and hi def is AWESOME. (I realize it is not a small film but who cares? I was a film I wanted to see.)

The theater is fantastic. The auditorium theaters have big snazzy leather seats that tilt back and lots of foot room. While I was there I checked out one of the living room theaters and they have luxury leather recliners with an ottoman for your feet. And after 4pm they lock out minors and you can enjoy an adult beverage served at your seat. I told Bob I want to go there for our anniversary in a few weeks.

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