The Back Row


l+j 1.27.14My pal Rosie likes to scold me (in the nicest way possible, of course) about all the current movies I have yet to see.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug? Nope.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire? Nope.

Saving Mr. Banks? Her? Anchorman 2? THE NUT JOB?

No no nope nadda nope.

See, I used to go to the movies all the time when I was growing up, and when I was in college, I had access not only to a cheap cineplex but also several indie theatres like the Michigan and the State.  Oh, to live in a granola-munching liberal hotbed again!

Then I moved to Philadelphia, which has no “regular” movie theatre (i.e., one that would show Catching Fire) in its Center City district where we live.  We’re the fifth largest metropolitan area in the U.S. and there are no big movie theatres in “downtown” Philadelphia!  The indie theatres in Center City do offer the regular “award season” movies, but most of the time I don’t see those either, as described below.

So basically, I never go to the movies, and I don’t watch TV regularly because we don’t have an HD hookup and our remote stopped working on our cable box and I’ve had no strong inclination to fix it.  We’re all sorts of out of the loop, pop culture-wise.

There’s a whole slew of reasons we don’t go to the movies regularly, from logical to crazy:

  • At most theatres in and around Philly, ticket prices can often bump up against or tip over $10. Between the two of us, that’s enough just to buy the movie outright when it comes out on Blu-ray, so we have to really want to see the movie right away if we’re going to justify that expense.
  • The only way to see a “blockbuster” movie cheaply is to go to an AMC Theatre before noon, when tickets are about $6.75 a person. But actually getting out into the suburbs to see a morning movie on the weekends is more difficult than it sounds…and then you gotta factor in the cost of gas and then it just becomes a big mathematical process. I’m tired already just thinking about it. Plus, the AMCs around us will randomly not have big movies like Thor: The Dark World or THE NUT JOB.
  • The theatre-watching experience on the East Coast is much muchmuchmuch different than back home in the Midwest. People here talk throughout the movie. All. The. Time. It’s a regional different that just drives me crazy.
  • Lance and I also have very different tastes in movies, meaning that I won’t see Her or 12 Years A Slave until they’re available on Redbox.  The general rule of thumb is that if it doesn’t have an alien or a cape in it, we’re probably not watching it together.
  • Lance and I have also butted heads several times (and continue to do so) about Lance’s preferred place to sit in a movie theatre.  Lance is, as I think he’d admit, sort of spatially obsessive-compulsive.  While these rules don’t apply to stage performances, at a movie theatre, Lance MUST sit in the back row in the corner.  When I first learned this, it was soul-crushing to a guy who always preferred to sit essentially in the center of the theatre to get the most balanced, immersive experience…and we’ve had some really stupid, ridiculous fights about this.  “You can sit by yourself,” Lance would say as I stubbornly plopped down in a middle row.  So instead, we have to sit next to the tween couples making out and the perverts in large trenchcoats.  Theatre chains usually don’t light the theatre enough before the show to even see the back row, so I often find myself fumbling around in the dark for a cup holder, only to brush up against something…unpleasant.

Essentially, the point of this post is that I only ever get my pop culture news from Twitter and Tumblr, and I don’t ever really know what I’m talking about.


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