Sunday, September 09, 2007

Giving Tucson's theaters an ultimatum

My sister was in town last week. We took the opportunity of free babysitting to go see a movie.

Specifically, we saw The Bourne Ultimatum. By the way, I think it should be pronounced ul-TI-ma-tum (not ul-ti-MA-tum) because that way, it matches the titles of its two predecessors.

Anyway, we've been to the movie theater in Tucson exactly one time in nearly two years of living here. So we had to look up the theaters all over again on the internet. We found one that was fairly close to our house, and decided to go there.

On the way, I was struck by the contrast in going out on the town in Tucson and going out in Amman. In Amman, it's always an exciting and refreshing experience: there's the mystery of flagging down a taxi, the glamour of its being a large city, and that special feeling of being in a foreign country and hanging out with the locals.

In Tucson, we walked three steps outside our front door, got in our car, locked the doors, drove to the theater through mostly quiet streets, walked brusquely and purposefully through the dark parking lot, and entered the theater.

Do you know how much it costs to go to a movie these days? Something like 9 bucks. I didn't know that. But babysitting was free, so we paid it and went inside. I was immediately disappointed with what our hard-earned 9 bucks had bought us.

The theater was hideous. To begin with, the seating was very old with ugly, worn upholstery. The slant of the seating was far from stadium style and not nearly steep enough. The screen looked dusty and small. But most of all, there was a nasty pee/puke/miscellaneous-body-fluid smell mingling with the standard movie popcorn smell.

We didn't even take our seats. We walked right out again, got our money back, and drove to the theater across town for a later showing. That theater, I am glad to report, was perfectly normal.

The movie was fantastic. When it was over, I checked my phone and my poor sister had texted me about half an hour earlier (at 11.30pm). This is what it said:

"Bridget there r cops outside - i'm kind of scared but i think everything's fine. I just don't want u 2 freak out when u pull up."

Oh, Tucson

I bet you can tell which category I'm filing this one under...


Crissy Bear said...

I know what it is like to need a movie. Jason was sitting on the couch yesterday and he said, "We're never going to a movie again are we?" And I said, "Oh honey, no probably not." The problem is always overlapping free babysitting with when movies we want to see are out. It is not always easy. And yes movies are so expensive. What is the deal with that. Even the icky theaters charge a ton. I'm glad you guys walked ouot and found a nicer theater. When you go so infrequently you deserve the best. Crazy story about the cops. What was going on?

Bridget said...

You know, we didn't even bother finding out what happened. The cops were gone (from a few houses down from us) by the time we got home.

Isn't there somewhere online where you can look up stuff like this?

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Do you remember when we used to frequent a hideous old theatre in Beaverton with old ugly worn seating, small dusty screens, and a nasty pee/puke/ misc.-body-fluid smell mingling with the standard movie popcorn smell? Ahhh, old Valley Theatre I miss you--but at least you only charged $1.50 for the privilege. My favorite part was that you entered the actual theatre under the screen and had to face everyone staring at you as you walked up the steps to seek a seat, which was doubly embarrassing if you walked in after the previews had begun, and you couldn't see a thing in the dark, but everyone could see you as you blocked their view of the screen.

Nancy said...

I'm so glad we have dollar theaters here. Viva 50 cent Tuesdays...not that we use them all that often, and they are gross, but still, at least they're cheap.

I'm still in the stage of separation anxiety. Once I'm over that, maybe we'll go out and spend our 2 bucks on a date :)


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