JOHNSTON: A day at the movies isn’t what it used to be | Lifestyles

BY DONNIE JOHNSTON THE FREE SPEAR STAR

SOME THINGS just don’t make good business sense.

Last week, I wrote about zero-degree temperatures in restaurants (and got plenty of “Amens!”), so this week, I’m going to tackle the movie industry.

I wanted to see “Top Gun Maverick”. Well, actually, I really didn’t, but everyone kept telling me how good it was. Still, I haven’t seen the original “Top Gun,” so I thought I might be lost in the plot.

But if it was that good, maybe I’d better check it out, so one night when there was nothing on TV and it was too humid for farm work, I headed to my local cinema.

The line was out the door, so I thought “Top Gun Maverick” must be a really good movie. Then I realized there were also two kids movies showing, so now I knew why the crowd was there.

I stood in line for a few minutes and suddenly noticed people in front were walking away with popcorn and drinks.

People also read…

“Is it the ticket line or the food line?” I asked the guy in front of me.

Both? I’ve been to a lot of theaters in my time, but the ticket line and the food line have never been the same. I know there is a supposed labor shortage, but that was ridiculous. In addition, there were four people working behind the counter. Two lines were possible.

But the guy in front of me was right. The same person selling tickets was also taking food orders. It was going to be a slow line.

Eventually I got to the counter and, debit card in hand, told the lady what I wanted to see. His first response was, “Don’t you want some food?” There was sadness in his voice when I said, “No.

His next remark caught me off guard. Before I even put my debit card in her machine, she said, “OK, choose your seat.”

Choose my place? At first, I didn’t understand. You walk into a movie theater and find a seat. This is how it has always worked. But the lady pointed to an electronic card and told me to choose a seat.

What? I want to find my own seat when I get there. I don’t want to find myself sitting next to someone who hasn’t had a bath in weeks or two teenagers talking across the board. I am perfectly capable of finding my own place, thank you.

But no! I have to choose a place on this board. Of course I protested.

“We want to know where everyone is sitting,” the lady said. I guess it has something to do with COVID, which has now almost supplanted Hitler as the cause of all bad things.

“Oh, don’t worry, sir,” the lady said with a smile. “As soon as the movie starts, you can get up and move wherever you want.

It all really made a lot of sense! Several times I attended movies in this theater when I was the only customer in the audience. Five people in this establishment has always been a crowd. Now they want to give you seats you really don’t have to sit in? I felt like I was part of a mischievous third-grade class trying to get something past a substitute teacher. But I obeyed orders and chose a seat.

By the time I walked into the room, of course, the movie had started, so with the permission of the ticket seller, I sat where I wanted, hoping that some stinky old man who had chosen that seat wouldn’t show up. walk around in the dark and sit on my lap. Fortunately, no one did.

It was a very good movie. And even though I hadn’t seen the original “Top Gun”, I had no trouble following the plot. Now let’s move on to “Elvis!” »

Speaking of things that don’t make sense, I got something in the mail the other day that I thought I’d never see again: a phone book.

Hey! I don’t even think the land line in my neighborhood is working anymore and I’m sure the phone company has no intention of fixing it.

A phone book with only fixed numbers? As my old grandmother used to say, “That’s about as useless as teats on a boar!”

But then we live in a world where they make you choose your theater seat even though you don’t have to sit in it.

Of course, when I was a kid, you had to be convicted of something to get a “mobile number.”

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