Avoid the Regal, man.

26 05 2007

I once worked at the busiest movie theater in town. It was right in the mall, and people would come from miles around for (I swear!) the THX sound and also for the last real buttered popcorn around. The seats were comfy, the canned cheez product concentrate was delicious (actually, it truly was – heaven!), the theaters were state-of-the-art, there were sparkly lights on the ceilings, and they played 80’s music to amuse you before the movie began. The Golden Era.

And then came The Regal. Or maybe it was the AMC on Palm Avenue. But for the purposes of this blog entry we are going to pretend it was definitely for sure The Regal. My own CinemaStar (where you can experience the difference) died a quick death and is now The Ghetto Theatre in town.

And why? Lord only knows. (Well, actually, it may have been the coffee bar in the lobby, but that’s closed now so it doesn’t count.) The Regal seems to have a problem showing a movie all the way through. I haven’t been there that many times – perhaps 10 or 15 in the last 7 or so years? And of those times, I missed the end of three different movies! And this isn’t a lack of maintenance – the first time it was mere weeks after the theater opened. In the 16 months I worked at CinemaStar, I swear I have no recollection of the projectors crapping out like that. I do remember one awful day where we had a huge storm complete with green skies that blew out the power and plunged all of us, the guests – including a group of elementary school kids on field trip – into complete darkness. We handed out a lot of passes that day, but it wasn’t our fault.

Therefore it is always a gamble when we go there. Why do we keep going there? Maybe it’s because we figure we’ve used up all our bad experiences and this one will be better? Maybe because of the crappy popcorn? Maybe because we just like to live on the edge.

So today we took the gamble on, of all movies, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. I think some of you might know of my passion for Jack Sparrow? Yeah. Can you guess what’s coming? Yeah. About eight minutes before the end of the movie, it suddenly stopped. Nice. It didn’t even give us the amusement of watching it stop and burn up before the hot lights. Nooooo, it just turned off.

And me? I shouted, “Fucking Regal!” and the rest of the audience? Lynched me. No, just kidding, they laughed. Because I felt their pain, and spoke for them.

Lucky for us (this time) we had seen a movie that was playing on roughly 90% of the screens there so we just walked into one* which had started only 15 minutes before ours (why was there room in that theatre on a holiday weekend in which a huge movie opens? Well, because everyone else was smarter than us and went to the AMC on Palm Avenue). So we ran into the next theater, watched the end – it was worth it! – and still got a refund. Because I would stand for nothing less. Bitches.

Moral of the story? Don’t go to The Regal even if it is less crowded or closer or has the movie you want to see. See a different movie if you have to! Because you just never can tell if the movie you see will have an ending or not.

You know what I mean.

*Under the supervision of a manager. Although I am not against theater-hopping.

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