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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

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

June 4, 2009 at 9:12 AM

Too hot? Go to the movies

All right, dear readers, I’m cranky. It’s just too hot. I expect no sympathy whatsoever, as everyone I know is bouncing around these days saying “isn’t the weather just BEAUTIFUL?” and smiling like they just won an Oscar. These are dark days for hot-weather curmudgeons like myself (and my cat, who wanders around the house sprawling in random hot places and yowling irritably; sort of the feline equivalent of what I’m doing). I’ve been thinking about appropriate cold-weather movies to watch, like “Frozen River” or “Dr. Zhivago” or that long snow-travel sequence in “Reds,” to try to cool down. Luckily I can escape to the movie theaters, where I’ll be all day today watching SIFF screenings. (“Tetro,” “Amreeka, and “OSS117: Lost in Rio.” Nary a snow scene among them, I’ll bet.) And there, of course, it’ll be too cold. So I have a sweater.
While I’m in this cranky mood, let’s rant a bit about movie theaters, no? Like that air conditioning: It’s a glorious thing, to be sure, but rarely does it take into consideration that people are dressed for the heat. Or the sightlines, which in some Seattle theaters make it virtually impossible to see the screen if someone tall plops down in front of you. (The worst offender? The Meridian downtown, in which I swear some of the rows slope down, away from the screen.) Or the way the theaters are kept so dark pre-screening that you can’t see to read. Or the insane prices charged for an ice-filled cup of Diet Coke. Or the weirdly tilted cup holders mounted on the seat in front of you, which require you to tilt the cup at a dangerous angle, and probably spill some of that expensive liquid. (An interesting sidenote to the movie-critic profession: You become an expert on such unexpected topics as cup holders. Me, I’m all about the armrest ones.)
Anyway, all will be cheerier soon enough, and soon I’ll blog on what I love about movie theaters. (Starting with the nice kid who sold me popcorn at the Harvard Exit last weekend; and the mural at the Seven Gables; and the seats at Cinerama; and the way the staff at Pacific Place, if you ask nicely, will let you carry in food from any of the mall restaurants, so you can have the weirdly pleasurable if challenging experience of consuming soup during a movie.) If you’re one of those who enjoy the sunshine, I hope you’re having a great week. Meanwhile, I’ll be sitting in the dark. See you later.

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