I got to the soft opening about 15 minutes early, which is a character flaw. I think of myself as a cool guy sometimes, and then I realize I’m always early and never late. And If I know I’m going to be late I usually don’t go at all. Very uncool.
So I’m standing inside the door of the gigantic new Cinemark Theater, not theatre, and I’m the only normal person in the room. The rest are what seem to be Cinemark corporate types running around trying to make everything look perfect and seem perfect for when the press and masses arrive. It’s funny to see how freaked out they are when no one’s looking. Made me feel a little cooler.
Finally, more and more people start showing up, and I’m not standing out as much. I’m not from the Boy Scouts, and I didn’t have a camera or a commemorative plaque. I definitely wasn’t from the Chamber of Commerce, because those people don’t get there way early and ignore everyone.
My reporter friend finally arrived and the tension left. She took over, and we wandered around the new theater, not theatre, walking in and out of the various rooms and checking the seating — even tested out the new seats.
In my head, I was thinking about how funny it would be to write a story on how conducive this new theater, not theatre, was to making out. I felt creepy suggesting it, but I stopped caring about that a long time ago. Making out in movie theaters, not theatres, is as American as the Boy Scouts who were getting ready for the ribbon cutting ceremony, which we were walking toward when we realized they were selling concessions. I got two hot dogs, a Cherry Coke and a small bag of popcorn. It ran a dollar per item. Too bad they won’t last past the grand opening; those dogs were Nathan’s dogs.
I love seeing corporate types putting on face. These guys at the theater, not theatre, were all smiles and handshakes and introductions, and I didn’t care a bit about it because I could see the dollar signs through the glare coming from their ultra-bright teeth.
After a few community leaders spoke, the corporates blew hot air into the crowd about community and all that crap, all while the empty old locally owned University Cinemas building across the street stood silent and dark.
I hope I wasn’t the only person in the crowd who thought about the irony of the corporates welcoming the community into their new family theater, not theatre. The pledge of allegiance was chanted, and for the occasion they decided to replace the traditional “ribbon-cutting” with a kitschy “film-cutting” while the boy scouts half paid attention, completely distracted by the gold fleck wallpaper in their community’s brand new theater.