Sunday, September 16, 2007

Saturday Night at the Movies

Last night we had an enjoyable night at the movies.

We are not frequent movie-goers for a number of reasons. One of the reasons is that I prefer small, independent films over Hollywood blockbusters and CGI "masterpieces". Documentaries are a favorite. Unfortunately, we live in the hinterland of white-bread blandness, so there are no "art houses" in our neighborhood. If we want to see something good, it usually entails a road trip to Los Angeles.
Some of the other things that make me down on the movie-going experience are the pre-show queuing-up and the baggy-pantsed gang-banger wannabees and their ilk hanging around the theater.

The movie we saw was InTheShadowOfTheMoon, a documentary on the Apollo astronauts that went to the moon. Through interviews and cool vintage NASA footage, we learn the thoughts and feelings of those men that were involved in the exploration of the moon. They shared insights on the way things worked (or didn't work) in those early days. Some of it was very fly-by-the-seat is an amazing testament to their skills that more didn't go wrong. Space exploration to those of us "of a certain age" was a big thing while growing up, so it was interesting to hear with "adult ears" the back story of the way things were.

The sad thing is that these guys are all getting up in years....pretty soon there will be none among us that have stepped on another world.

The Arclight Cinemas are a multiplex adjacent to the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. The facilities include a gift shop and a couple of restaurants and bars. We needed something to eat before the show, so we checked out the Balcony Bar. I had a french dip sandwich which came with a salad. Dale had a sweet corn tamale and chicken chili. Both were excellent and a great value I thought. The other restaurant is more full-service.
One huge plus of the place is reserved seating for the movies. No waiting in a line for 30 minutes and trying to get a good seat. You can get there right at show time and go to your seat. The seats themselves are almost like airplane seats...really nice and comfy. I was also pleased to see that there is none of that obnoxious on-screen advertising...trivia questions, etc. No crappy music played either. Before the lights went down a very nice young lady welcomed us, reminded us to turn off cell phones, etc and to BE QUIET during the film. The film was super clear and totally in focus. It is amazing how crappy all my previous experiences have been. I may never be able to go anywhere else!

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