Malco Theaters Are The Devil
Once upon a time, in that faraway land called Circa Two Years ago, there was a mighty Malco Theater ten miles from my abundant wilderness in which DLP digitally enhanced theater screens shown with a high def shine and a mighty boom from the sound system that would send shivering tingles up your spine on something as boring as a Coca Cola commercial.
They were, for me, that good.
But time has passed and, I guess for the good of the franchise, all the DLP systems were stripped from my Malco and shipped away to...well I don't know where. I'm stuck with a second rate sound system and an image that is easily inferior to a DVD presentation on a standard definition television.
Whereas when DLP was king, there were no visual disruptions; now I have thin black lines running up and down and dancing along the image. GET THOSE BLACK LINES OFF MY EDWARD, YOU BASTARDS!
(Sorry, did I type that out loud?)
Yeah I wasn't happy with that presentation of "Eclipse." I was even more disappointed when viewing "Toy Story 3" on opening day, at the very first showing, and it also had black lines ruining the image, not to mention the sound fluttering momentarily at the beginning as if it was recorded back in the 1930's.
My picture perfect theater is no longer so, so now I have to put in extra mileage to attend another Malco Theater with, well what do you know, DLP projection systems. And that theater is about 5 - 7 years older than mine. My theater has eight viewing halls, the other has twelve. My theater was sacrificed for...unknown reasons. I really have no clue.
Screw you Malco -- if you lot can't restore the proper equipment in my theater, then I'm going back to the Carmike.
Adventures With A Fangirl
So what prompted this? The wife of a dear friend asked me if I'd take her to see "Eclipse." I said I would, and did a long rant which you've just read. Off we go to the "better" theater, passing up the one I fell in love with some years ago. It was convenient, it was very affordable, and it was (WAS!) state of the art.
So I load her up today, and we hit the interstate. Off to the Malco 12. She hadn't seen a first run movie (or any movie) in theaters in about a decade, so I wanted to treat her. I pay for both our tickets, and point out where the theaters are, and where the restrooms are. I look at my ticket, and say "ours is over there. We've got five minutes."
The Malco 12 is very nice. So is the building and furnishings of my smaller Malco 8. The only problem is, as stated earlier, the projection systems.
My companion is impressed, and as time ticks away, we head for viewing hall eleven and come across the trailer for "Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader" in full force, and she's pretty much knocked back a few steps.
We make our way in, sit down, and with just enough time for her to get the hell freaked out of her by the trailer for "Paranormal Activity 2." She jumps, and I'm taking it all in stride.
And so the trailers pass and "Eclipse" begins. And it runs. I'm enjoying it even more the second go around since I have no visual anomalies, and she's absolutely involved in every single moment upon the screen. After the first chase, involving the wolves, the Cullens, and Victoria through the woods, she turns to me and says "that was intense."
I smiled and said "it's just going to get better."
And it did. More time passes, and then we're at the crucial moment when Edward takes down Victoria. I look over to my friend and see her jaw hanging down. I pat her upon the knee and go "you okay?"
She smiles "yeah, I just didn't expect that."
As our feature ends, she's smiling ear to ear and looking somewhat post orgasmic, repeatedly saying that was the best movie ever. She's all smiles and relaxed.
It's nice to know I can still show a girl a good time.
I take her home, and she immediately begins fawning over the movie and everything, and her husband states that he has had to promise his daughter he'll take her to "Eclipse" as well. So I immediately launch into...
A Cinematic Survival Guide
Rule 1 -- Sunday Morning Is The Best Time To Go. Besides being not as costly, it's also the time when the theaters are nearly empty. Aim for a late morning, very early afternoon showing. The general rule here is between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM. After that things start getting hairy.
Rule 2 -- Park As Close As You Can With Easy Access To Get The Hell Out Of There. Enough said.
Rule 3 -- Don't Drink The Water. Or, better yet, don't buy their bottled water. $3.50 for a Dasani? I'm sometimes at the point where I need to be drinking water, and that's the condition I was in this morning. I rarely buy anything to eat or drink at any theater, but I needed the aquatic intake. I'll just buy a small Sprite from now on if I need something.
Rule 4 -- Always Dress Warmly, Even In Summer. I'm cold natured, or so I've been told. I'm always the first to be cold, and the heat kills me. But I know that theaters are sadistic machines that want you to be cold, even in winter. I was wearing a sweater and my usual cargo pants in "Twilight" a few years ago. And what was at the forefront of my mind? MY HANDS ARE FREEZING!
I'm doing the My-Hands-Are-Cold Dance in my chair while I'm trying to warm them up by sitting on them, by sticking them under my arms, by holding them close and them together. My companion today was in shorts and a short sleeve shirt, and I could tell she was cold. I told her I'd learned from experience that you must always dress warmly in the theater, no matter if it's August or January.
Rule 5 -- Always Sit On The Left Side Of The Theater. This is something I learned from Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel. They were giving tips on the theater going experience in the weekly Sunday periodical of either "Parade" or "USA Today." I'm not sure which. Anyway, they stated their theory of "as most people are right handed, they tend to follow their righty preference."
After I read that, I started practicing that theory. And, in my own limited way, I can see the merit of such a theory. I also see it when visiting a Wal-Mart Super Center. When you're inside one, and preparing to check out or simply leave, walk the length of the registers. I constantly observed the ones to the left are never as busy as the ones on the right. There's also a lower amount of available check out lines. Go Left, Young Man.
Further Adventures With A Fangirl
Having gotten her jollies of looking at Edward, and wanting to visit a video rental establishment, I felt I'd go inside and poke and prod the obsession a little more. Walking the wall displays I found all the Robert Pattinson movies she didn't know about: "Haunted Airman," "How To Be," "Little Ashes," and "Remember Me."
This is the part where others would say "I've created a monster." I simply fed it this time around. I've only seen "Haunted Airman," but I could see the wheels spinning in those eyes.
I guess one day soon there'll be a Robert Pattinson movie marathon here in the hills of Arkansas. I'll make it up to her husband -- he loves "Firefly" and "Serenity," and I've promised to help him select a new high-def television.
PS - Yes, I will start talking about "other things" besides "Twilight" and Robert Pattinson. Hopefully sooner than later. But, for right now, these are the only thoughts in my head. Besides, I'm trying to resurrect my instincts for the written word, and a person has to start somewhere.