The other evening, Lady Barton St Mary and I took a trip to the cinema to see the latest film with George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, called ‘Gravity’.
For once, the good reviews were justified. It’s an exciting, thrilling story with great scenery and amazing effects. A film that is actually enhanced in 3D, not trying too hard to make sure the viewer knows it’s being shown in 3D.
Anyhow, enough of the film review. I wanted to give you an idea of how a middle aged couple deal with seeing a film.
- We still visit “The Pictures”. This causes great hilarity when we say it in front of Miss Katherine and Master Johnny. I can only surmise that ‘pictures’ is a shortening of ‘moving pictures’ – a term so old I doubt my parents used it and they were brought up in the days before ‘talking pictures’. There would never be a chance that Lady Barton or I would call it ‘The Movies’. Which, when you think about it, originated at the same time as ‘The Pictures’. So there, kids.
- Always have a discussion about censor ratings. Whatever happened to the good old U, A, AA, X and XXX censors? Now A means 12, AA is 15, X is 18 and XXX is the internet.
- Under no circumstances do you buy more 3D glasses. Always bring the pairs stored in the kitchen drawer under the pound shop reading glasses and next to the tape measure and magnifying glass (known as ‘emergency reading glasses’).
- Never buy any confectionery, nuts, soft drinks or juices from the cinema; 200g of jelly sweets, a bucket of toffee popcorn and a large wheelie bin of cola costs the equivalent of a week’s flat rental when we were students. Ensure everybody is aware of the folly of buying such goods by complaining about the prices in a loud voice. Always do this whilst carrying a large carrier bag full of snacks bought at the local supermarket. This bag contains snacks that are low in carbohydrates and are gluten free. Drinks are either fizzy or still mineral water. Any sweet carbonated drinks consumed after 7pm could affect your sleep pattern.
- Buying a ticket:
A minefield for a middle aged person. For example, the ticket office no longer exists. Tickets are purchased in the same place where you buy (don’t buy) your over-priced snacks. Once upon a time, you were given a ticket by a lady with cat eye spectacles and a blue rinse, who always considered you suspiciously, especially in circumstances where age restrictions applied. Now, you are served by a very young person dressed in a red polyester tunic and whilst you are accompanied by a lady old enough to be the one who scrutinised you all those years ago.
Always try and get the ‘two for one’ deal, such as Orange Wednesday. Be aware that the prices displayed bear no relation to the actual price you have to pay. The young person in the red polyester tunic helpfully explains that, yes, the normal price is £9, but by using the Orange Wednesday 2 for 1 deal and consequent terms and conditions (referred to as ‘tees and sees’), factoring for the 3D element and the variation in the levels of the FT and Dow Jones Index, the actual price for one ticket is £11. With an extra charge of £2.80. Lady Barton St Mary, a chartered accountant, looks up from her smart phone and concurs with the young person, who smiles benignly at me as I stick in my credit card and try and remember my PIN.
- Upon entering the screening room (for that is what it is called), try and find a suitable place to sit. In the dark. Without an usher with a torch.
30 years ago, there would have been an attempt to sit in the back row, with the intention of not seeing all of the film. These days, sitting in the back row almost guarantees not seeing any of the film because your eyes aren’t good enough. Spend the time before the film starts rustling your non carb, gluten free snack packets, making comments about the trailers (All Hobbit style films are ‘far- fetched’, most Hollywood action films are ‘a load of crap’). Occasionally hum the Pearl and Dean theme that’s going round in your head. Wonder why they don’t play the national anthem at the end of the film. Discuss why Kia-Ora always made you feel thirstier.
- Going to the lavatory – upon entering the lavatory, try and be more observant. It appears that modern toilets have done away with latrines and only have toilet cubicles. Etiquette demands that, unlike urinating in football or rugby stadium toilets, you should close the door behind you before commencing. Wash your hands immediately after leaving the cubicle, unless you are met by a handful of females with bemused expressions. In these circumstances, exit the ladies’ toilet you mistakenly entered and wash your hands next door in the gents. Or maybe that’s just me.