Sunday, May 24, 2009

Do The Right Thing

I have to admit at times I'm an idiot.
The rest of the time I'm a blithering idiot.
As you may recall, dear reader, last Martin Luther King Jr. Day I participated in then President Elect Obama's call for a day of national service by giving blood (see the post, Blood). For engaging in this selfless act I received some nice apple juice, several cookies, and a free pass to the AMC theater chain. I was given a choice of that or a pass to some other theater chain, Pacific maybe. But I thought, AMC, I can use that for the mall theater in Pasadena.
When I go to the movies I basically go to one of two theaters. One at City Walk, on top of a hill in Universal Studios, or the one in Pasadena. Each is relatively easy for me to get to, via the MTA Red Line (a subway to North Hollywood), or the Gold Line (light rail to Pasadena).
Last Friday the latest film in the Terminator franchise opened, Terminator Salvation, starring the volatile actor, Christian Bale. This was the last of the May blockbuster releases for this year (the other two being, Star Trek, and Angels and Demons, both of which I'd already seen at home), so I decided to make use of my free AMC pass and go see a big movie in a real theater, with popcorn and everything.
I had gotten a goodly amount of work done by 10:00 AM, last Friday, and decided to take off for the first show in Pasadena, beginning at 11:30. I left my box and decided to walk north on Alameda to Union Station, where the trains are, just for the exercise. I'd already been down that way once earlier that morning on a trip to the VA clinic on Temple. I went there for a blood test, to see how my poor thyroid was doing, or not doing, and to give Dr. Kimberly, my lovely psychologist, Erin's business card, so she could contact my lovely case manager in order to contact Beth, my lovely yoga instructor, because Dr. Kimberly, my lovely psychologist, was interested in starting a lovely yoga class at the VA.
For my part I can't wait to see a whole bunch of cranky old veteran's stretching their spines.
Anyway, I made it to Union Station. It wasn't hard. I had 50 minutes to make it to the show. Fortunately a Gold Line train was waiting to take off, and I boarded. Soon we were on our way, me and my fellow passengers. We passed the infamous Twin Towers, the largest jail in the world, on our way to the Chinatown Station, then on to Pasadena. I got off at the Memorial Park Station, just north of Colorado Boulevard, and walked toward the large outdoor mall, where the Paseo Stadium Theaters where located. I arrived with fifteen minutes to spare, and presented my free pass to the lovely box office lady.
"This is not AMC," she told me.
"It isn't?"
I walked away, a little embarrassed, and looked at the marque, and sure enough the sign said, "Pacific Paseo Stadium Theater." I stood there for a good five minutes punching myself in the head aghast at my own stupidity, until others around me began to take notice. For some reason I had equated this Pasadena theater as being an AMC, and didn't bother to make sure. Well, there was only one thing to do, bound and determined to see the movie as I was, and that was to find a real AMC.
Now I used to live in Pasadena, and I knew there had been an AMC in Old Town, so I walked west on Colorado to where it had been. No luck, it had been taken over by the Laemmle chain.
Damn you Laemmle!
Okay, I walked south to the Gold Line Del Mar Station and headed back downtown.
From Union Station, I took the Red Line to the 7th & Metro station, and walked to the Central Library. The time was 12:10, and I was surprised I was able to reserve one of their computers, as they are usually all gone by ten after. But I got one, and looked up AMC theaters on the Internet. I discovered that the City Walk theater was an AMC. Great. But I also found one that was closer to downtown, a Magic Johnson AMC Theater, at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr, and Crenshaw. I looked up how to get there in time for the 1:15 show, and walked to Broadway, and caught a 740 Rapid.
I got there twenty minutes before the movie began. All I had to do was find the theater, as it was not in sight. I asked two people who gave me incomplete directions, walked around like a madman, finally locating the movie house on the opposite side of the mall. I had ten minutes left.
Gleefully, I presented my free pass to another lovely box office attendant.
"These are only good for movies that are more than two weeks old," she told me.
What the f- - k!
"What the..., it doesn't say that on the back of the ticket," I retorted.
"I'm sorry, that's our policy."
I walked outside, tore up the pass which had given me more trouble than it was worth, and returned home, defeated.
I wrote AMC corporate a strongly worded letter, asking if the two week rule was their official policy, which didn't make any sense to me. Even though I had a free admission pass, by turning me away they lost all the revenue from what I would have spent at their concession stand. As I had been particularly hungry and thirsty that day, I would have inevitably spent a hundred dollars or more. Maybe a hundred and fifty with the Juju beans.
Fortunately, my friend Ron came over and gave me half of a Dominoes pizza, with everything on it except anchovies, that one of his clients had given him at work. That helped to ease my mood. Then we went for a walk.
Well I tried to do the right thing and watch the movie in a conventual manor. Now I would be forced to resort to other more insidious methods. Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!
I'll be watching Terminator Salvation in my box, eating my own damn popcorn, by Memorial Day.

No comments:

Post a Comment