The Only Way to Get This Girl to the Theater

There is no reasonable explanation for why I don’t like movies – I just don’t. Some people don’t like sitting down to read two chapters of a book. I don’t like to sit down and waste two hours of my life in front of a movie. I’d much rather spend that time with Ruth or Tony or flipping through cookbooks.

But what I like even less than a movie is a movie theater. For movie theaters, I do have a reason. Many in fact. I don’t have to get into all the costs that, by the time the ending credits roll, have added up to a final bill that could rival Urasawa. I can count on one hand all the places in LA where I don’t have to pay for parking. I can’t even carry enough cash to pay for a movie ticket. And don’t even get started on the concessions.

But the cost factor is rendered moot when I think about the other stuff. Theaters are dark. They’re cold. They’re uncomfortable, crowded, dirty, messy and downright unsanitary. My ears ring louder after two hours in a movie theater than six hours bouncing around the dancefloor. The soundsystem is amped to superhuman decibels, and people are even louder with their “whispering” and laughing. There’s chewing, slurping, and ohmigod-what’s-that-smell burping; hollow rustling in the popcorn tub, and that *snapcracklepop* of twenty dollar twizzler wrappers. Straws squeak up and down rubbing against the tiny triangles of plastic pointing downward on the plastic lid. The alternating high- and low-pitched squeaks that echo in the cavernous 64 oz. wax-coated megaphone of a cup sounds disturbingly like my neighbors who go at it with full-force at 2 am. *ugh*

If we absolutely have to watch a movie can we just order it in along with some, oh, I dunno, Indian? Gawd, I’d even be okay with pizza if it’ll keep me away from the movie theater.

But there is one thing that will make me forget every dime spent, every squeaking straw, every piece of greasy popcorn stuck to my ass from the person who sat in the germ-infested chair before me – Vince Vaughn. And now, there are two things that will get me to a movie theater without kicking and screaming – Vince Vaughn, and a full-bar. Take me to the ArcLight!

I’ve always thought the business model for a Brew n’ View was brilliant, but never heard of them in LA. Actually, I’m not sure I’ve heard of them anywhere, so if I just brilliantly made up “Brew n’ View,” don’t steal my idea! There are a few places in LA that show movies with dinner and drinks (like CineSpace), but they’re primary business is restaurant.

Of course, the ArcLight, the big ritzy glitzy movie theater on Sunset in Hollywood serves better than just brew. After 10 pm on most weekends, you can attack their full bar upstairs for the 21+ shows. About the same price as any bar in Hollywood, drinks aren’t cheap, but they’re not weak either. Now that’s the way to watch Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. *dreamy sigh* Seventy-five percent buzzed on citron/soda, I can’t hear all the noise because I’m laughing louder than everyone else.

Who knew you could have a hangover from the night before…at the movies? ;)

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  • Anonymous

    I left a comment a while ago about the eggplant bhartha at Ambala Dhaba.

    Have you tried the Bristol Farms wine tasting event? It includes dinner and 6 wines. We had Sauvignon Banc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Elu-Meritage, and Moscato–all by St. Supery. The Moscato is very unique.

    Yesterday, dinner was Seared Sirloin with Point Reyes butter, Chicken Penne with Goat Cheese, Green Peppercorn Brie with Rye Toast, Baby Greens with Raspberry Vinaigrette, and apple strudel for dessert.

    BTW, if you’re curious, my blog is http://www.xanga.com/mysuebaru

  • Mike

    Your blog entries have proven enjoyable, but this one was just a slap in the face.

    Why?

    I’m an aspiring filmmaker. I’ve watched more movies than LA has skinny blonde chicks.

    Perhaps you’re just not watching films from the right perspective. How could anyone be bored during the rough and tumble serial adventures of Indiana Jones? Or the mystical, magical travels of Gandalf and Frodo? Surely you weren’t snoozing during Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

    At least, I hope not.

    You should really give movies another try. As a trade-off, I promise to peruse a few cookbooks the next time I’m aimlessly wandering Borders.

    Deal?

  • BoLA

    Too funny. I’ve wondered about the ArcLight 21+ shows since I’m on their mailing list and get weekly updates of what’s playing. I just find that it’s so way expensive to go out there…

    Hmm…have you gone to MOCA, LACMA, or the Natural History Museum (or any other museum) at night when they serve adult drinks? One of these days, I’ll have to check it out…

  • Ziz

    Psh!

    Everybody has their dislikes…and if movies and theaters are yours, then more power to you (I can’t believe I just said that cliche)!

    After reading your post I was trying to figure out what the hell is so great about movie theaters anyways??

    I haven’t been in the longest time…and don’t plan to be back. Unless of course its Vince or Owen. :)

  • Xericx

    If you ever come up to Portland, check out the McMenamins Kennedy School. Its an old school building they changed into a bunch of different bars and restaurants. They turned the gym into a movie theatre and put couches there! You can sit on a couch, order a steak or burger and drink booze all night long….then go to “detention” aka another bar….fun times!

    Its a hotel too!

  • Xericx

    Oh yeah, I hate the movie theatres too. Its such a draining experience.

  • Helen (AugustusGloop)

    Your description of the cinema made me laugh! I love the cinema. What’s not to like about being in the dark and having an excuse to eat? =) Not to mention the communal experience of laughter.

    Each to their own but in the interim, I hope you don’t mind but I’ve tagged you for this meme. It’s an easy one (and interesting to see what your archive digs up as well).

  • Rachael

    Cinespace has terrible projection, awful prints and worse food, so I say skip it. (Then again, how often can you go out and see Valley Girl on a big screen?)

    On the other hand, Outfest has open bar cocktail hour before films at least once a month. (They are gay friendly, not all gay subject matter…so there are a lot of Liza and Streisand screenings)

    Sorry this is getting so long, but in England they really got it right, you got an assigned seat so you can text message your drink orders during the movie and they brought it to you. Now that was kick ass. (http://www.theelectric.co.uk/)

    BTW, I think its hilarious that you live in LA and don’t like film. What you really need to do my peach, is meet more people with their own screening rooms. Your mind will change…

  • Oakland Rezident

    I love seeing movie on the big screen. I think it’s the BIGGER THAN LIFE aspect that really attracts people to sit down with strangers to share a laugh, cry or in Sarah’s case a swoon. That being said the bigger the screen the better – at least for me.
    In regards to your “Brew n’ View” the bay area has a one of these great places. The Parkway in Oakland is California’s First Speakeasy Theater. (http://www.picturepubpizza.com)
    It’s great ! Check out the menu- it’s not just pizza – you’ll be impressed.

  • Mike

    LACheeseMonger,

    Thanks for checking out my blog! I appreciate it. I will also look into that program you recommended. And yes, Korean cinema is definitely the hip thing right now. Oldboy is actually one of my favorite movies! Chan-wook Park is a genius. I did not care much for Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, though. :-)

    I actually did not get the “penis enema” reference for a good five minutes. For a while I had no idea what you were talking about!

    -Mike

  • sarah

    suebaru: hi! thanks for stopping by :) i’ve never been to bristol farms for their wine tastings. i think i need to do a little home-schooling first to learn how to appreciate the juice ;) besides, i can only imagine that the events are pretty expensive – i mean, it is bristol famrs, after all. ;) i have, however, been to a few of the cheese tastings hosted by the cheese store of bev hills which also have wine, and those have been good :)

    mike: i have a long response for you, which i’ll post shortly. hee hee.

    kristy: the arclight is sort of expensive yes, but it’s nice that when you buy a ticket, they also give you a seat, so you’re not stressing about trying to find four contiguous seats in the middlest row of the middle section. that’s part of the reason why it appeals to me over the other theaters, where it feels like i’m flying southwest airlines ;)

    alicat and AG: theaters are so exactly like that, aren’t they? haha!

    rachael: it would be awesome if they had little remote controls or something at each seat to order cocktails in our theaters here! could you even imagine? and why don’t you bring me along when you go on these private screenings, hm? ;)

    oakland rez: that’s so funny – i actually think watching the mvie on such a large screen with such booming sound gives me a headache, lol! what a whiny one i am, eh?

  • sarah

    suebaru: hi! thanks for stopping by :) i’ve never been to bristol farms for their wine tastings. i think i need to do a little home-schooling first to learn how to appreciate the juice ;) besides, i can only imagine that the events are pretty expensive – i mean, it is bristol famrs, after all. ;) i have, however, been to a few of the cheese tastings hosted by the cheese store of bev hills which also have wine, and those have been good :)

    mike: i have a long response for you, which i’ll post shortly. hee hee.

    kristy: the arclight is sort of expensive yes, but it’s nice that when you buy a ticket, they also give you a seat, so you’re not stressing about trying to find four contiguous seats in the middlest row of the middle section. that’s part of the reason why it appeals to me over the other theaters, where it feels like i’m flying southwest airlines ;)

    alicat and AG: theaters are so exactly like that, aren’t they? haha!

    rachael: it would be awesome if they had little remote controls or something at each seat to order cocktails in our theaters here! could you even imagine? and why don’t you bring me along when you go on these private screenings, hm? ;)

    oakland rez: that’s so funny – i actually think watching the mvie on such a large screen with such booming sound gives me a headache, lol! what a whiny one i am, eh?

  • sarah

    wait a second here…xericx, are you in portland?!?! you sneaky l.a. hound! lol!

    now mike. well, perhaps i exaggerate a touch on the movies. i didn’t say i hate movies, i just don’t love watching them, and that’s mostly because of the theater aspect.

    but in addition, i think part of my non-love of the movies is that i simply prefer reading a book, which leaves the visuals up to my own imagination; that if the book were to become a movie, i am my own director in my head. especially when i watch movies that are based on a book that i’ve read, all of the imagination is taken away.

    hm, is “perspective” the right word, here when you speak of watching indiana jones, lord of the rings, etc.? what is that perspective? i am not sure. help me.

    i’m not saying i didn’t/don’t enjoy a lot of the movies i have seen/see. i loved all of the indiana jones movies. there are some i love. maybe i only like a certain genre or “type” and i shouldn’t just cross my arms in front of my chest and say i don’t like all movies, but rather that i only like a certain type. i love the princess bride. i love top gun. i love say anything, lost in translation, american beauty, brazil, it’s a wonderful life. do these all fit into one genre?

    when i think about it, i realize i like/love these movies because i can associate them with an experience – the people i saw them with, having dinner with them before, quoting over and over from the movie, laughing during and after, then driving home and grabbing their arms with “omigod, remember that part…?” when my sisters call, i recognize their numbers on my cell phone, and i still always answer with “talk to me, goose.”

    but it’s not like that so much anymore. movies in the theater are always anti-social. as soon as the lights go down, you may as well be in the theater alone because it’s just you and whatever colored lights are flickering on the screen. but then again, it’s not just you because you can hear, smell, sense everyone else in the theater, too, but you’re not interacting with them.

    maybe that’s why i focus so much more on food, which is always an experience for me.

    am i rambling? LOL! damn, i should make this into it’s own post. i have no idea what i am saying.

  • djjewelz

    Sarah – totally off topic, but which dancefloors do you bounce on for 6 hours these days?

  • sarah

    hmmm…now will i be revealing my dark side?!?!

    lol!

    here’s a hint: if it weren’t for the “w” thing, i’d be bouncing to carl cox banging it out on friday night ;)

  • djjewelz

    ahh..I know where you bounce! My friends and I might be checking out Carl tomorrow but having to move an apt the next morning might ruin that one. I don’t recall when your “W” thing is (this sat?), but Timo Maas, Ferry Corsten, and Armin will all be spinning in the area over the next few weekends (10/1-10/8)! It’s going to be a great.

    And yes v******d rocks ;)

    See ya on the dancefloor sometime!

  • chi

    Actually, Chicago has a real, honest to goodness, “Brew and View” at the Vic Theatre. Its a damn shame they don’t do it here. I suppose it would create a bevy of drunk drivers in a driving town. Great blog, BTW.

  • Daily Gluttony

    girl, you are so right about the movie theater thing…they gross me out. can’t see what’s on them seats. blech!

    the arclight is definitely a more pleasant expereince tho’!

  • hermz

    Man, I actually remember not so much of that movie. haha!

    And did I know of your love of The Princess Bride? I think I’d’ve remembered that. It’s possibly my favorite movie.

  • Anonymous

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  • peter

    “but it’s not like that so much anymore. movies in the theater are always anti-social. as soon as the lights go down, you may as well be in the theater alone because it’s just you and whatever colored lights are flickering on the screen. but then again, it’s not just you because you can hear, smell, sense everyone else in the theater, too, but you’re not interacting with them.”

    MAN do that i agree with that! i totally understand you! movies at the theater are so antisocial, and alot of times i wind up going by myself to see a movie, but its got to be something i REALLY want to see, cuz movies tend to suck these days and i rarely go. i went to see the A team movie recently, was dissapointed with iroman 2, and will be seeing the expendables for sure. but the whole theater experience isnt fun when your alone, and tickets are damn expensive.

    as for hateing movies, thats so opposite of me. i love movies, BUT i only like certain ones, or certain kinds. i tend to love old movies, i love watching TCM and i miss the days when movies werent overly sexualized and there was like no cursing, no horrible gross violence with blood and gore, it was better to watch. nowadays you gotta be careful what you see cuz its so brutal out there. so i am very particular with what i watch, i tend to like more action/adventure films though. i love Terminator 2, the Matrix movies, lord of the rings, ghosbusters, rocky movies, rambo movies, things like that. i cant stand todays comedies, they are more like sex comedies and too much cursing and dirty humour and are always rally stupid and the ppl they cast annoy me all the time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Randall-Marshall/1288523666 Randall Marshall

    Oh wow – so I’m NOT the only person that doesn’t like movies. Who knew? I can’t stand them anymore. They’re too long, too dumb, and too “sit on your ass and be spoon-fed experiences.” It’s almost a heresy, too – “How can you not like movies???”

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