Talking Pulp: Why I Love/Hate Fancy Theaters

movie-theaterFancy movie theaters are all the rage nowadays, at least where I live in Southwest Florida. Where one popped up, we now have at least a half dozen in just a few years time.

Now let me start by saying that I was ecstatic when the first one opened. They had a full bar, I could order craft beer, they had premium menu items and still had the regular theater food. I mean, who doesn’t like a bone-in tomahawk ribeye with a side of Sno-Caps and a Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA? Talk about a perfect pairing, right?

Then there are the massive seats. Not only are they massive, they are leather, and cushy and they recline! I can practically lay down in the theater while drinking myself into a stupor! Besides, it is easier to wipe my piss off of a massive leather chair than some polyester-canvas blended airplane seat saturated in soda, popcorn butter and toddler mucus.

Then there was the best part!

No longer would I be stuck in a movie theater with annoying kids, giggling teenage girls or bad parents who bring their screaming toddlers into some gore-ridden horror film. There would be no more assholes talking on their phone mid-movie or texting like socially depraved buffoons desperate for companionship at the risk of ruining everyone else’s experience. I felt like I had walked into a world of true moviegoers: people who appreciate film and the other finer things in life. People who were willing to pay just a little bit extra to actually go to a theater where other people respect not just the movie but the other serious filmgoers around them. This was perfect! This was a film lover’s nirvana!

It existed like this for a little while anyway. Then those jerks who don’t appreciate anything in life and are self-absorbed assholes started to show up. Suddenly, there were obnoxious kids, oblivious parents, texting teens and just typical douchebags buying up seats in these fancy theaters.

As more of these theaters popped up, these little film clubs became the norm. The secret was out and the general public had to ruin what was special for the few of us that actually want to watch a movie we paid to see.

And then, the theaters themselves started to evolve and turn into something less virtuous and more sinister.

These fancy film houses started employing waiters and offering full-service during movies. Mid-movie, some dickhole can just wave over some teen kid with a giant bright iPad and order a full course meal and cocktails. Next thing you know, what should be a quiet dark movie theater, turns into a night at Golden Corral!

All I want to do is just sit there and watch Gandalf bark orders at Hobbits but then I’m interrupted by a dozen fucktards stabbing their plates with forks in a lackluster but raucous effort to get that last crouton. Glasses hit glasses, utensils stab dishes, people chew loudly while talking about Ryan Gosling’s majestic eyes, they clang bottles, they cut steak vigorously and just when you think it is finally over, dorkdick #3 orders cheesecake and cannolis for the whole row in front of you. Then artisan coffee. Then fizzy bottled water. Then a cocktail named the McConaughtini. “Oh, I forgot to ask for that salmon ranch dressing for my popcorn tacos.” It never fucking ends!

Yes, I am often times a bitter and angry bitch. However, my one love in this world is film. Sure, I love other things but film was the first thing that really grabbed me as a kid. I was fortunate enough to grow up with the works of Spielberg, Lucas, Cameron, Carpenter, Donner, Landis, Zemeckis, Reitman, Hughes, Barker, Craven, Dante, Cronenberg, Lynch and so many other great visionaries. I also grew to love the works of Kubrick, Kurosawa, Hitchcock and Leone in my teen years. Film was always a big deal to me.

The catch is that the best way to see movies is in the theater. The reason why that is a catch is because everyone else ruins the experience. And while I thought I found a great way to get a good theater experience, that was quickly ruined as well. There really is no place to go and quietly watch and enjoy a film without distractions by self-absorbed jackturds and theater managers more worried about selling an idea of luxury, as opposed to a great moviegoing experience. They are in the movie business, not the five-star hotel business.

Recently, after being fed up with how these fancy theaters have turned out, I went back to the crappy theater. The chair was stiff, it smelled a bit funny and the floor was sticky. But I soon relished in the fact that there was no one there to bother me. It was also a Wednesday morning at 10 a.m.