Saturday, September 02, 2006

Either That or There's Mind Control Drugs In The Popcorn...

Yesterday, Sunny and I went to see a movie. (Talladega Nights : The Ballad of Ricky Bobby...It was a laugh a minute, I suggest you go and see it.)

We arrived at the movie theatre a little later than I usually like to arrive. I like to get there at least 20 minutes before the movie starts, so I can practice the arcane art of Movie Theatre Seat Choosing…Not too near the screen, not to far away, and placed in the sweet-spot for all the surround-sound goodness.

It’s an art, I tells ya.

Anyway, we arrived with about 5 minutes to spare, bought our tickets, and as we headed to the screen, Sunny stops and says:

“You wanna get a drink before we sit down?”

I thought about it for a second. There was no line so I thought ‘What the hell? Why not?”

It was only when I actually sat down in front of the screen that I remembered why not.

The following thoughts arrived in quick succession:

1) I’m not actually thirsty

2) Movie coke is always either way to strong or way too weak.

3) It guarantees you’re going to be missing a chunk of the movie when you’re forced to go pee.

4) You’re paying enough money for a half liter of coke to pay for eight liters of bottled (Non-screwy mixed fountain) coke at the local supermarket.

It’s a conspiracy!!!

You see, I noticed something.

Despite the fact that we sat down in the theatre at pretty much the exact time the movie was meant to start, we sat through nearly half an hour of adverts, before even the previews started.

Popcorn. Fountain Drinks. Hotdogs…What do all these things have in common?

They’re cheap. You can buy about 5 bags of microwave popcorn for less than 2 dollars, fountain drinks at your local McDonalds are free-refills once you’ve paid about a dollar. Hotdogs only cost a couple dollars for a packet of eight!

So here’s where the movie theatre druids make their money. Here’s the evidence:

Exhibit One:

Movies are primarily a dating hot-zone. They charge whatever they want, because no guy on a first date is going to say to his new girlfriend: “$4.50 for a frigging coke! I don’t think so! Wait until after the movie, and I’ll buy you four two-liters for that price!”

Exhibit Two

Notice how whenever you arrive at the movie theatre the line for the snacks is always a mile and a half long? This is done on purpose! They could put an extra couple of staff up there (It’s not like they can’t afford it), but they don’t! Why? Because it over-rides our rational thinking. If all these people are making themselves late for their movie by waiting so long…what they’re selling must be great!

Exhibit Three

Movies never start on time. If they say a movie starts at 7, you’re still going to be watching ads until at least 7:15. Then, you get at least 15-20 minutes of previews.

Why is this?

Perceived lateness. If you’re a married couple going to see a movie, neither one of you is going to be embarrassed about refusing to buy an eight-dollar coke and a six dollar bucket of popcorn. Hell, it’s practically a hobby! So, they make you think you’re later than you are to give you less time to think.

That’s what happened to me yesterday. We arrived just as the movie was meant to be starting. Instead of thinking:

Well, I’m not really thirsty, but I like Coke and I might get thirsty…nope, wait a minute, movie coke is eight-dollar syrupy piss-water…I’ll leave it.

I thought:

Damn! Why does the phone always have to ring just as we’re heading out of the door? Dammit! Look at the time! The movie starts in less than two minutes! What screen is it showing on? Where did I put those tickets? Drink? Look, there’s no line!...

It’s a conspiracy!

Let’s just say the movies is the only place you get buyer’s remorse for buying a coke.

1 comment:

Reel Fanatic said...

A conspiracy indeed .. you're dead right about movie concessions, but the one thing that would improve my moviegoing experience would be to bring back USHERS to control these damn kids today!