In the past few weeks the sun has shown us it’s power here in the sometimes polar state of Minnesota. I’m not going to explain why, but I hate this. I’m not a hot weather fan. Though, as I hear so often, the problem here, “…ain’t the heat, it’s the humidity.” There’s many ways to get cold when it’s egg frying on the street weather. I like to go to CVS, the drug store, and loiter by the perfume. That is the coldest area of the store and I sometimes wonder if the perfume there freezes solid. I can hide in my fridge, as I did last year. Then I have to empty it out and I don’t feel much like eating a ton in this weather.
My favorite thing to do is go to the movies, like I did today. Me and The Max have a ritual that we go through when we visit the theater. He gets a kid pack and covers the popcorn with too much salt. After which he asks for some of my popcorn that I embellish with a box of Jr Mints. Today we saw Kung Fu Panda. It was blah. But during the film my mind wandered to the many ways that a movie going experience is far different from what it was when I was Max’s age.
First off, and least important is the cost. Yes. It costs more. I have no idea with inflation if it is more than it was 25 years ago. I now pay ten dollars for a full price ticket. It feels like a lot.
Also, there’s the snacks. When I was a kid, we went to the Anoka Cinema, which is now a community theater with live acting. They offered popcorn, soda, and maybe five different kinds of candy. Now I can get my popcorn in seven different sizes. There are twenty different types of candy. Also: nachos, dipping dots, hot dogs, and of all things bottled water. And all these treats are whisked off the floor in a timely manner after each show. I distinctly remember my velcro sneakers sticking to the floor at the theater from the lack of clean-up in the past.
The seats are the improvement that I enjoy the most. Being short used to mean that you needed to worry about that lady with the aqua net hair-do sitting in front of you and ruining your view. Now, all theaters seem to have stadium seating. The person in front of you is going to have to be seven feet tall or better to block your shot of the screen. The seats are typically more comfortable, as they are made of squishy foam and cloth and not hard butt-bone-bruising wood. The arm rests with cup holders are an appreciated bonus.
Multi-plexes are what we have now as well. There are still the old theaters in the funky neighborhoods with only a screen or two, but it’s rare to see a new theater that has less than 10 movies showing at a time. I suppose choice is a good thing.
The only real gripe I have about the changes in theaters is the ads. I don’t want to go to the theater and see ads for anything other than movies. Previews are great. I seldom sit and watch TV. (not because I am a TV hater, I love the television with all my heart) But not watching television means that I do not really ever see commercials for what is going to be coming soon to the movies. I like previews for this reason. I don’t like watching ads for ketchup before the feature presentation.
So, though I am a sucker for nostalgic things, I am definitely happier with the improvements made to theaters. Most importantly, they are cold.