Monday, January 17, 2011

A unique experience today

Today I took the girls to see Tangled at the movies.  For convenience we decided to go to the theatre in Sumner.  It is the only suburban cinema in Christchurch still operating after 70 years so this gives you some idea of content of this blog. 

It is very small for a start - approximately the width of a medium sized house and as you enter you are struck by how small it all is on the inside.  A narrow, short hall takes you to the single box office where Dot sits behind her perspex. She and her husband, Harold run the cinema and while she issues the tickets, Harold tries to talk you into a snack from the candy bar.  They are both in their 80's and love their theatre so are more than happy to provide a review of the movie you are planning to see without being asked.  They chatter away about the weather, what is showing and all the while asking us a million questions.  After politely declining the candy bar we head up the hall to the theatre and take our seats.  Mia is amazed by how small the theatre is once inside - no bigger than our lounge room.  The seats are massive and have a tendency to eat you by folding you back up once you have sat down - even worse for small children who don't have the weight to hold them down.  The kids are used to borrowing booster seats at the movies to help them see, so once settled I headed back to the candy bar to ask if they had them.  "Of course" says Harold and off he goes to the room behind the box office.  He returns with 2 purple, silk cushions 20cmx20cm and about 1cm thick and asks if I can kindly return them at the end as they came off their couch. Very sweet, even if they are useless.  The kids loved them.

We were surprised by the number of people who turned out to see the movie - all young kids from about 7-15 years with some older people mixed in.  As it got dark some kids got a bit silly and before I could do a shhh, an adult at the back called out "If that's you Bill Johnson, your mother will hear about it, now be quiet."  To be followed by someone else with "Is that you Wendy, what are you doing out today, I thought you had to work, fancy a cuppa after the movie?" and so the back and forth conversation went in the dark until the movie started.

As we left, and returned the pillows, Dot and Harold bid us farewell and made us promise to return soon.  It was a wonderful experience of stepping back in time to a simpler life in a village where everyone knows you.

The box office at the Hollywood 3 cinema in Sumner.

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