There was a time when people who were shocked by the fast pace of change used the phrase- future shock. It is when you step off the plane from Kansas and find yourself in downtown New York. Everything has jumped forward about 50 years. It is disorienting.
So Eduard and I went out on a date on Sunday. We have been buried in work on his estate issues and our own life has been on hold for months. We needed to escape to something quick and close. We went to the movies- you know, the theater where you can see a new movie before you down load it on cheepflicks/netshows/blockbummer- later in the month. To be painfully frank, we haven't been in a movie theater together for about 4 years. I think he went on a work escape one time during that last 4 years, but it has been a long time for him, too.
We went to see "Mirror, Mirror"- a children's (and a bit of adult) movie. Because they had great costumes, and it had some of my favorite stars playing bit parts, but mostly because we just needed to get away and it seemed like a good idea at the time.
The disorientation started as we approached the building- there was no place to buy tickets. No guard at the door. Just walk in. There was a full alcohol bar that took up about 2/3 of the lobby and the area where the ticket office used to be was now a space age lounge. There was a computerized ticket kiosk on the wall and a small area where you could buy tickets with one helpful agent. We waited in line because we were confused.
When we got to the "agent" we ordered two tickets for Mirror- we had to select our seats from the few that remained. We chose the very back wall for that privacy you get when avoiding a child packed theater, but I have never chosen a seat for a "movie" before. Eduard offered a $20 bill and the agent stared at him. The tickets cost $34.50. He had to grope around in his wallet for another $20 bill. I was staring at the food area, trying not to notice his embarrassment.
They had gourmet popcorn- you know, the kind with chocolate dribbled on and coconut and nuts. And cheesecake. And sushi. And a variety of wild coffee drinks. You could get chocolate fondue with fresh fruit to dip or donuts. Somewhere on the menu was some regular popcorn, but it was buried in fine print, no pictures. Don't forget that full alcohol bar. There is a margarita waiting in there for you, to go with the gourmet nachos.
We slipped past the food and headed for the theater. Finally, we found the guard who checked tickets. He directed us to our theater. It was empty and the show started in about 10 minutes. I remembered looking at the seating chart, and was able to find our seats without help. A few other patrons wandered in behind us with the waiters. Every thing was black except for the table lamps between pairs of seats. The seats were fully reclining leather like lounge chairs- automatic, too. There was a little bottom lighted table tray between the seats to rest your food on and a lamp. The arm of the chair had a cup holder. The waiters were dressed in inconspicuous black and took your order quietly as people wandered into the room. There was a menu and drink list on the table tray- we looked.
Eduard and I decided that we would order some outrageous coffee drinks if the waiter made it up to the last row before the movie started. Fortunately, he did not. Then a group of children and a couple of parents clambered loudly into the section next to us- one of the young ones wanted the sushi and the parents ordered it. I took out my knitting for comfort.
As the house lights dimmed just a bit, the waiters delivered the food to the comfortable guests and the "previews of coming attractions" filled the screen- for 30 minutes. Too dark to knit, too weird to get comfortable, too light for the main movie, too loud to chat. I realized that this additional time would stretch my bladder but I didn't have time to go before the show- damn!
When the show ended, we exited last and climbed the stairs to the restrooms. I was really glad that I had not ordered that coffee drink. The upper floor was fully dressed with seating in clear plastic tables and chairs to a view over the railing- glass wall construction. Down below, the afternoon crowd was filling the bar with a big screen tv above showing previews, bites of sports, and some of the latest fashion. In between bites, there were little commercials about the grand theater company and how they loved their audience.
Eduard- we are not in Kansas anymore.