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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

March 16, 2009 at 10:35 AM

Popcorn and pillars: The dangers of moviegoing

At the Oak Tree last week, I walked right into a pillar. The theater was ridiculously dark (particularly considering that there was nothing on screen and that the movie wasn’t due to start for half an hour), and the pillar was dark, too. Granted, I’m mildly accident-prone (I once walked directly into a tree, while waving at a friend passing in a car), but I can’t possibly be the first person to have done this, because that pillar had carpeting on it. Now, wouldn’t it be easier to raise the lights a bit than to carpet a pillar? Or to put a little reflective strip on it or something? I’ve never understood why theaters have to be so dark before the movie starts; after all, some of us like to read before the show. If any theater manager is reading this: please, go sit in your pre-show-lit theater with a magazine and you’ll see what I mean.
This is probably as close as I’m come to actual physical injury at a movie theater, though I’ve irrevocably harmed a few nice purses (alas, mine) due to spilled sodas. And I once came very close to physically injuring a fellow moviegoer, who was texting during a very moving moment at a Seattle Film Festival screening. (“Oh, I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to spill my extra-large Diet Coke all over you! What a shame!”) I didn’t go through with it, mainly because it occurred me that I might have to pay to replace his cell phone if I drowned it, but it was a nice fantasy.

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