$1 movie ticket: small price, big atmosphere
There are all sorts of senses. There are the five physical senses, of course, and there are senses as a capacity to understand something, like, say, a sense of humor or common sense. With all these flying around, it’s not surprising that some people get shorted a sense or two.
Helen Keller, for instance, was shorted sight and hearing but was big on personality.
On Nov. 6, I wrote a column titled, “$20 movie ticket: Call it hush money.” It seemed funny enough at the time (to me, anyway), but a few people didn’t get the joke.
I could see how it might have been misconstrued as serious. After all, I do discuss serious subjects. For example: a tub of popcorn so large it can only be purchased with credit approval.
I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe I just don’t have a sense of humor. Maybe I’m just not funny. So, to atone for my cinema blasphemy, I decided to explore the positive aspects of movie theater culture. Here it goes.
When I go to the theater, I’m not paying to view a film, I’m paying for atmosphere. Just as the previews are more enjoyable for many than the feature, I prefer to listen to the banter of my fellow theater-goers. These are real people with real issues, unlike the action on the screen.
I contemplate the questions they pose, like, “Is he going to die?”
And when a group of viewers laugh as Juliet takes her own life, I thank them for taking the edge off an otherwise tense moment.
Occasionally, I hear them chewing loudly, and I try to guess what it is my brethren are eating. I smile knowingly to myself as a drunk man slumbers on my shoulder.
At times like this, I feel a strong sense of community.
It pleases me to sit in gum. The subsequent adhesive quality of the seat of my pants reminds me that they need washing every time I stand up.
That five spot I dropped at the ticket counter is at work stimulating the economy. It’s paying the minimum wage salary of the kid who scooped the popcorn for the guy on my left, and when he encounters something unexpected in his tub-o’-corn, I nod my approval.
It is an extra special treat when the theater’s climate control system is functioning less well. I marvel at the skin’s exocrine response. Soon body odor permeates the air. Our ability to adapt to outside stimulus is truly amazing.
In the back row, a couple provides proof that Alanis Morisette lyrics can influence behavior. Ah, nature is a beautiful thing.
On the air I catch the faint odor of a marijuana cigarette and feel a tinge of nostalgia as I wonder if this was what it was like in Shakespeare’s age. I ponder the possibility that a similar marijuana cigarette might have been responsible for the fire that demolished the Globe Theater, an historic joint itself.
Unique to the film industry is the fact that this cultural experience has an inverse relationship with ticket prices. The less you pay, the more you get. Theaters should follow the example of Greentree 4, otherwise known as “the dollar theater,” and let the culture in.