Sit back, relax and enjoy the movie

Posted: July 11, 2013 by shawnfury in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

It’s a Fury family New York City tradition that we hit the movie theater on the holidays. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day — we usually spend them in a dark room watching the latest blockbuster or Oscar wannabee. Depending on the time of day — a matinee or the evening — the place could be empty or packed. On the Fourth of July we went to The Heat and I was surprised to see a long line when I strolled up to the theaters at 84th Street and Broadway on the Upper West Side. It was 7 p.m., I thought people might not venture inside when the fireworks would be coming up outside.

I worried while waiting for Louise to arrive, picturing the scene that surely awaited us: Packed theater, dark, stumbling around looking for two seats together, rowdy teens snickering, our shoes sticking to the floor.

And when we finally walked in at about 7:35 for the 7:30 show it was packed. But instead of a crammed theater and tiny seats, we had…

This is the life.

This is the life.

Now, this isn’t totally accurate. We took this picture after the movie ended and after everyone exited. But those are the real seats. Leather recliners. Every seat was taken for The Heat, with strangers perched to my left. Didn’t even notice them and they probably didn’t even notice me scarfing down food and soda. These seats could alter our moviegoing lives. We’d avoided the 84th theater for a few years because it has fewer screens and the overall experience was always lacking. Now? In addition to upgrading the seats — which just happened the past two months — they also added food to the menu. But it’s those seats that changed everything. I could have easily napped in them and that wouldn’t have even been a discredit to the Melissa McCarthy-Sandra Bullock flick. I wanted to steal one and bring it home, though the logistics of it were too complicated given the short amount of time I had to come up with a scheme for the heist.

I try to get to a movie every couple of weeks, usually during the weekday when the theaters are nearly empty. I don’t think I’m picky about my theater experiences but over the years I have developed some routines that probably disprove that belief. And most of these routines center around the theaters at 68th and Broadway, another AMC facility that is home to 13 screens. But with these seats at 84th…things might change.

First thing: I have to get there early. When I go with Louise I’m always anxious because movie punctuality is not a concern of hers. She knows the trailers play for 15 and 20 minutes and we’re there for the main event, not the previews. Me? I want the trailers. I don’t mind paying $13.50 for a ticket but I like getting my money’s worth. Everyone knows movies are way too long these days — every superhero movie seems to go two and a half hours, every Oscar hopeful nearly three. I don’t mind, because I’m bleeding that expensive ticket dry. So I like getting there 20 minutes before the previews even begin — yes, give me the AMC first look at some TNT drama I’ll never watch; give me the ads to the Realtor who hasn’t aged in the decade I’ve seen her ads on the big screen; take me behind the scenes of a Coke commercial. And show me 10 previews, the audience growing more and more restless each time a new one appears and the main show is delayed.

A few weeks ago I went to Man of Steel and arrived late after some subway issues. The trailers had started when I walked in with my chicken fingers and soda but when I sat down I first stepped on some gum. Stupidly I touched it with my fingers, then spent 3 minutes wondering if I could catch Hepatitis from eating my food after touching someone else’s discarded movie theater gum. I bolted out and went to the bathroom to wash my hands, knowing time was not on my side, even if the CDC was. Fortunately I settled into my seat right as Man of Steel started but I couldn’t get comfortable those first 10 minutes, not when I knew how close I’d come to missing the beginning.

Another routine? That food. Need a large soda, the type Bloomberg hopes to eventually rid the city of forever. At 68th Street I always get the chicken fingers, occasionally nachos on the side. Behind the counters are pictures of mozarella sticks and onion rings but I’ve never seen any actually offered, the ultimate tease. If I’ve had dinner before hitting the theater, a small popcorn suffices. Skittles are a good snack, but 68th continues to offer Milk Duds instead of Whoppers, despite my 76 letters to management I’ve written over the years, protesting their chocolate choices.

With the seating I’m never in the middle, always on the end. Provides more freedom during the movie and when it ends as I can bolt out while others in the crowd are still digesting the twist ending. When the theater is empty during the weekday I blatantly disregard protocol and put my feet up on the chair in front of me, though there are exceptions that allow this for anyone over 6-3.

I won’t shush anyone who speaks during the movie, although I’m okay with others in my party doing that, as my friend Cheri did back in 199 when we went to The Sixth Sense and she lectured a group of teenagers, all while I stared straight ahead, anticipating the food hitting my head as they left.

That’s one thing about the movie on the Fourth. The crowd was very lively. Part of it’s due to the nature of the movie. It’s pretty funny and people react to the physical comedy and one-liners. They shouted encouragement to the characters, because, who knows, maybe they can hear the crowd and will alter their destinies or repeat their funny lines. Could happen. Normally this would bother me. But not in those recliners, which make everything in life seem better — at home and in the movies. Bring on the four-hour movies.

  1. Cheweyyy says:

    Wow that chair looks so comfortable. I wish we had movie theaters like this where I live. If we did, I would go far more often.
    “people react to the physical comedy and one-liners. They shouted encouragement to the characters, because, who knows, maybe they can hear the crowd and will alter their destinies or repeat their funny lines.”
    Ha ha, that is so true!
    First time I actually read you blog (was recommended in my wordpress dashboard). Ill be sure to read more often now.

  2. shawnfury says:

    Thanks, Cheweyy. Forgot to mention the best endorsements for the chairs. My wife will never go to an opening weekend movie, because she can’t handle the crowds. But The Heat was packed but she didn’t care and said she would be willing to go to an opening weekend, as long as she had the recliners.

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