A few weeks ago The Bee and I saw Tangled at the United Artists 69th Street Theater. Sadly the 69th Street Theater had gone from a convenient neighborhood theater to having a reputation of a place to avoid at all costs. My last few experiences there left me to seek movie entertainment as far away from a bus route as possible. And don’t let it be a, pardon the phrase, “Black Movie.” Whew! Either try to make a midday, mid week matinee, hope and pray it would stay out longer than a week and try and catch it then or wait until it appeared on the shelves in my library ’cause chances are you’d only hear about two thirds of the movie. Yes, yes’ this theater has become an Eddie Murphy skit or (see below) akin to that scene from Scary Movie. Just about every stereotype about movies, black viewers, kid viewers and anything in between would take place*.
Movies cost too damn much money to be fooling around with loud kids, rude people, smokers, cell phones and the like. It’s bad enough to have to pay that usury admission fee. Throw popcorn and snacks, and it’s a turns from night out to rigoshdangdiculous! So you know know I was already feeling some type of way (pissy) when we paid 25 bucks to experience Disney 3D for Tangled. The Bee was excited about seeing a movie at night** and I didn’t want to be THAT WOMAN. We sat back, adjusted our glasses and then all heck broke loose! As the trailers*** were rolling a huge family entered the theater. There were about three adults and at least ten kids plus they all had snacks. This kids proceeded to complain, whine, yell, and talk through the rest of the trailers. One became hysterical and screeched and yelped until an adult loudly admonished her and then left the theater. After a few scenes of silence they started back up again with everything from “So and So was sitting next to me” to “Where is my coat” to just general f*ckery!
A few people around The Bee and I grumbled but we all sat through the movie and finally it was over. As we left I declared I was never returning and The Bee stated that was why she never wanted to go to that theater with her friends. Driving home I thought more about what The Bee said as well as my own declaration. It seemed once again I was settling, being inconvenienced and at that moment I decided that I was going to do something about it.
Later in the week after I had time to be indignant, grumpy, and reflective
and due to my forgetting and awful time management skills I called and spoke with the general manager, a friendly guy named Steve. I explained to Steve that I went to the theater and spoke about my experience. I let him know that I was NOT expecting anything and that I just wanted to voice that it’s ridiculous to spend so much at a theater and the experience be so rowdy. he listened, let me rant and agreed! He thought the same thing! And invited me to return to the theater for complimentary tickets.
Not at all what I was expecting!
Effin Guy and I did return last Saturday to see For Colored Girls (POWERFUL, a post about this later) and my experience was good. I met Steve in person, thanked him again and he was very accommodating, offering further assistance if I needed it. What a pleasant change! He wasn’t defensive, listened and was willing to address my needs.
I am proud of myself. I spoke up, and
requested, demanded, insisted on better service and am pleased with the results. The future may see me back to 69th Street. It’s close by, accessible by car and I can get some pizza from Leandro’s after.
Hats off to Steve!
*These things may happen at ‘White’ theaters but right now I’m talking about my experience at this particular theater.
** The Bee always says we go see movies during the day. I want to go at night like a grown up
*** I love movie trailers! They are sometimes the best part of the theater experience!