Sunday at the movies

What could be more fun on a rainy Sunday afternoon than to go to a movie theatre full of kids? The afternoon showing of Kung Fu Panda was well atended thanks in part to discount coupons provided by LCTV for the event. For a $3 ticket you could see the Pixar movie on the giant screen at the Palace Theatre; that’a a great deal! There’s something about the shared laughter that makes it more fun than a drive-in, and the crowd even applauded at the end! There were older folks with grandchildren and young families, as well as a few solo adults enjoying the animated story of an overweight panda named Po who accidentally becomes a Kung Fu warrior destined to save his people.

It reminded me of all the movies of my youth, lots of popcorn and soda and anticipation. The only difference seems to be our tendency to talk through everything. “In the old days…” a hush fell over the crowd as soon as the feature started, and except for laughter or gasps of fright, it stayed that way. Times change. We are all so used to talking non-stop everywhere that we don’t know how to handle silence. I could forgive the two five-year-olds with me for chattering along with the other young kids asking excited questions of mom or dad. They’re kids, after all and so we do a lot of SHHHing! I know I have to resist the urge to talk or comment the way you can in the privacy of your car at a drive-in or your living room at home. What I don’t understand are the adults who are seemingly oblivious of how to behave in a theatre. The acoustics at the Palace are great, so why would someone think a cell phone conversation couldn’t be heard two rows away? I didn’t really care that she needed to get her hair colored before the Karaoke night next week, but apparently someone else needed to know that during the movie, because she’s the one who made the call! Tsk, tsk.

While I’m airing mild gripes, how about the mess? The refreshments at the Palace are reasonable; where else could you get a soda or a bag of popcorn for a buck? I know that not everybody can afford to purchase snacks for a bunch of kids and so they bring their own. Either way, how tough is it to drop your trash in the big cans on the way out? There seemed to be more trash of the home-brought variety left on the floors, bottles, cans, cookies, etc. I wonder if these people know, or care, that the workers at the Palace are all volunteers? They are able to show affordable movies because there are folks of all ages willing to give up a Sunday afternoon to sell tickets, pop popcorn or anything else that needs doing. It’s a shame that some people just get up and leave their trash without a second thought.

Distractions aside, BRAVO to the Lockport Palace Theatre for giving families a great entertainment break. There are more movies on tap, so be sure to show your support. The regular price for movies is only $5, and readers of the US&J’s Chatterbox and Towpath Partyline have a shot at winning a pair of tickets every week. The new air-conditioning is refreshing and the candy case is full. What more could you ask for?

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