Condemned and Redeemed
There’s a section of town just outside the city limits that makes my skin crawl. I’m not going to name it since, knowing my luck, you probably live there. But suffice to say, it is crowded with expensive stores, contains limited parking so everyone in a car is on edge, and the sidewalks are usually clogged like plaque-filled arteries. It is an unenjoyable experience to meet anyone there.
Of course, last week, the movie we wanted to see was only being shown there. So we drove down to the town, spent an inordinate amount of time trying to park, and I hopped out of the car to get us tickets while Josh spent another 10 minutes trying to feed the newfangled meter.
I stepped up to the window at the movie theater and asked for two adult tickets. They asked me where I wanted to sit in the theater and brought up a computer screen showing that pretty much EVERY SINGLE SEAT was open because even though it was only three minutes before the movie was set to begin, it was the middle of the week and fairly quiet.
I know that assigned seats in movie theaters abroad are the norm, and I have to be frank: I think it’s a terrible idea. We’re not talking about a stage theater experience where different seats have different visibility. We’re talking about a small room that usually has gum stuck to the bottom of the chair. What if I get to my chosen seat and the floor is sticky from a spilled soda? Or I’m sitting next to someone annoyingly texting through the movie? In all other theaters, you look at the screen, judge the distance back you wish to be based on the type of movie, and — as a short person — glance at where other people are sitting and seat myself accordingly in a space where I can see. And you move if your chosen seat suddenly annoys you.
I was cheerfully informed that if I wanted to change seats once in the theater, I could get an employee to move my seat before the show begins.
If it had been the weekend and the theater was semi-full, I could understand sticking to their plan, especially if you’d like to see before you buy tickets that there will be two seats together. But did I mention the theater was empty? This was just one more reason to hate this section of the city.
I bought the tickets because I knew Josh would want to stay. (I would have immediately walked out on the idea of the movie.) But I told him that it would be the last time I’d ever step foot in that theater. The movie itself was nice writing and nice acting with a weak plot and weak characters. I’m not going to name it because, knowing my luck, you probably wrote it. But suffice to say, it was so not worth the annoyance of assigned seats. As we left the theater, I reminded Josh to take a good look around because I would never see that concession stand or ticket booth as long as I lived.
I mean, unless they change their assigned seat policy.
Can I take a break in the story to ask your opinion on this? What do you think about assigned seats in movie theaters? I’m not talking enormous, old movie theaters. I’m talking about normal 15-row movie theaters. And please add if you live in a place where this is the norm.
Feel free to try to convince me of the beauty of assigned movie theater seats since I clearly don’t see it.
Afterward, we went to get sushi, and through the large plate glass windows of the restaurant, we could see people entering and exiting Max Brenner’s chocolate bar across the street. We were debating whether or not it was finally open for business or whether the people we had seen in the building were doing construction (at 10 pm?). After dinner, we slipped across the street to check it out, and realized that they must be still building it hence why paper was still covering the glass.
“Let’s try to peek in through that slit in the paper,” I said, and brought my head down to the crack.
At that moment, the door opened, and a man tried to walk out, straight into me. We started laughing, admitting that we’re pretty excited to have Max Brenner chocolates in the city; excited enough to creepily try to peek into a construction site. The man invited us inside to see the progress. It’s gorgeous. The bar itself looks like squares of chocolate, and across the wall in a 70’s inspired font are the words: Chocolate is Good For You. I commented that I couldn’t wait for the store to open because I promised the ChickieNob a special mother-daughter trip for dessert.
And the man told me he could make my night. He went into the kitchen and brought us two containers of chocolate to take home to the twins.
Blew my mind.
We walked back to the car, sniffing the wrapped chocolates. You could practically attain orgasm just by nasally experiencing the chocolate. You can imagine what happens when you actually put it in your mouth.
I like cheap chocolate as much as the next person. I’m a huge fan of Hershey kisses and M&Ms. But there is nothing like really good, very creative Israeli chocolate.
That man’s generosity redeemed an otherwise irredeemable town. Rather than writing off part of the map, I’ve decided to only condemn the movie theater. And yes, like everyone else, I will go through the frustration of parking to visit four square blocks I like to call the Devil’s Armpit in order to get my hands on more Max Brenner’s chocolate.
Doing it for a chocolate bar make sense, unlike assigned seats in a movie theater.