Our tiny town's tiny movie theatre is showing two films this week: Fifty Shades of Grey and Spongebob.
Something for everyone.
For the longest time, we didn't have a movie theatre here. When I first started dating my now husband, there was a small duplex, run by one of our Selectmen. They showed what I would call first-and-a-half run movies. New titles, but maybe two weeks after they opened at the multiplex a few towns over. The auditoriums were decidedly low-tech and the concessions were reasonably priced. Best of all, I could walk there from our apartment.
The owner eventually sold the building to our YMCA, which turned it into a gymnastics studio. I spent many a pleasant afternoon there, in a folding chair with a copy of The New Yorker, while my daughter tumbled. But, I missed having a movie theatre. The Y eventually sold the building to developers and that's when things got interesting.
A group of concerned citizens started a not-for-profit called The Warwick Theater Foundation. Its goal was to restore and preserve the space for future generations. They printed 1,000 "WTF" bumper stickers before someone figured it out. Although well-meaning, the group didn't seem very organized and despite its best efforts, the building was demolished.
Not to worry though. When the new "multi-use" development opened, we had a cinema once again. And not just any old cinema. The new place has a bar menu and waitress service, comfy reclining seats with trays so you can imbibe while you watch. It's all very fancy. And, don't get me wrong, I'm just happy that there's a movie theatre in town again of any sort.
But, Fifty Shades of Spongebob? Really, is that the best we can do?
Don't get me started on the dearth of films for thinking grownup women. But, maybe I'm not the target audience.
My daughter and her friends are no longer into Spongebob, and only mildly intrigued by the whole Fifty Shades thing. In recent cafeteria conversations (recreated by my daughter as we drove through the snow to her stable yesterday), the girls — most of whom are turning 17 — seem much more excited about their newfound ability to see an R-rated movie than by anything specific in said movie.
Meanwhile, despite the runaway popularity of the soft porn Fifty Shades novels, and the massive publicity afforded the film, none of the adults I know are particularly interested. The reviews to date have been ... um ... fifty shades of lousy. And I can't help but wonder how the adult title is affecting attendance at the family feature.
Surely some of Spongebob's prospective patrons — or, rather, the prospective patrons' parents — are scared off by the more colorful title next door. But, hey! At least it's just next door. At least there's a door between them. The audiences at the WestWind Solano Drive-In in Concord, CA don't have that much.
Apparently, the drive-in is playing the same two movies showing here. The issue is that both screens are visible across the parking area.
Should make for an interesting "Family Nite" at the movies.
Whips and chains and blindfolds. Oh my.
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