I saw Insomnia there tonight; it was a good movie that I wouldn’t have gone to see if I knew anything about it, so I won’t say anything about it so as to not jeopardize gentle readers’ possibility of going to see it.
But the experience did leave me with the following questions about Empire Theatres:
- There are now 4 or 5 electronic ticket machines available at the entrance. You can’t miss them. It takes about as long to buy your ticket from a machine as it does from a person, yet even when there are 30 or 40 people in line, the ticket machines remain largely unused. Why? (Companion question: similar situation exists at Terminal 2, Pearson Airport in Toronto: you can check in with a terminal in about 15 seconds or wait in line for 1/2 an hour to check in with a real person; the terminals are seldom used).
- There is a new ritual of having an usher enter the theatre just before the show and say (and I’m paraphrasing from memory here): “Hello my name is Fabian and I’m an usher here at Empire Theatres. I’m just here to let you guys know about our Stash the Trash Program…” Fabian (or whoever) then goes on to tell us that we can “really help them out” by using garbage pails, and mentions at the tail end that if we have any temperature or volume problems we can come and talk to him. I’m wondering (a) why they put shy adolescents through such public speaking hell, especially when many in the audience are no doubt their classmates, (b) whether this scheme actually convinces people to stash their trash or not, and how much money they save from some number of the audience members doing so and (c) whether other audience members find this annoying rather than helpful. I always thought the opportunity to callously throw litter on the floor was part of going to the movies.
- The ushers and their overlords are all wearing headset walkie talkies. What are they talking about? “We’ve got a callous trash non-stasher in aisle 3; all agents respond.”
- The ushers that take tickets now refer to the theatres as “stadiums,” or rather “Stadiums” as in “Insomnia… that’s in Stadium 6, second door on your left.” Does this really impress anyone?
- Has anyone else noticed that the toy plastic “stadium style seating” they apparently bought from Wal-mart is rather flimsy and has the annoying property of echoing every tick, kick and jossle of anyone in the row behind you directly into your spinal column?
- Said Wal-mart style seating also incorporates cup holders, which while they make soda storage much easier, also render useless the arm resting feature of the arm rests. Did the designers not think of this?
- Why do you young teens think it’s okay to talk at the movies? I never talked at the movies as a young teen. Talking at the movies is wrong. Such people should not be allowed to attend movies. I consider them one step below the “hey, let’s roll some M&M’s down the aisle for kicks” people.