PURSUITS, PASSIONS AND OPINIONS AFTER 55.
What does a Jumanji Gold Class cinema patron look like?
Last Sunday, I went to the cinema to watch the movie Jumanji. I chose to indulge myself with a Gold Class experience.
This was a new experience in the history of my visits to the pictures/movie theatre/cinemas across the decades.
GOLD CLASS DEFINED
For those of you unfamiliar with GOLD CLASS, I quote here from the Readings Cinema website:
Reading Cinemas Newmarket offers the discerning cinema goer a relaxed, elegant cinema experience at the Reading Gold Lounge. Two theatres each offer an exclusive environment, complete with stylish lounge chairs, the ultimate in viewing comfort.
Guests are invited to take advantage of the bar and in-cinema service and dining for absolute indulgence. Guests are assured of superior, specialised service on each visit to the Reading Gold Lounge at Newmarket.
Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Words like discerning, comfort, exclusive are just the things a boomer like me wants to hear.
I am not intending to keep score on the wins and losses of my experience that day. That is your mission, should you wish to accept it – at the end.
RELAXED ELEGANT EXPERIENCE
It may be interesting to note that the boomer who is writing for you now is large, arthritic and night blind. All of which can be called upon to add to the ‘elegance’ of every experience I have.
Jumanji was a conscious choice, I cherish my inner child and the simple fun I have in doing child-like stuff. I am a long-time fan of Star Wars, Transformers and just about any sci-fi shoot-em-up you could name. No shame here, no blame there for anyone’s choices for entertainment.
I used to legitimise my attendance at these events by dragging a child along, mine or anyone else’s for a ‘treat’. (That sounded creepy – I knew the parents of any child I bribed to enjoy the movie with me!)
Now, I go for my own enjoyment. I take tissues along in case anyone dies or is injured in the film. Yes I weep! Do you remember the scene where Bumblebee was critically wounded?
To balance this point, I was banned from wearing eye-makeup to any of the school events/awards nights where my children were on show. My proud Mama tears flowed and so it was agreed that whenever tears threatened no eye makeup. So my sympathy and capacity to feel emotion are not restricted to film characters. OK?
I am also very indebted to my daughter for explaining the basics of video games where you become a character who does stuff and has weaknesses and strengths BEFORE it was explained to Eddie and Milo.
I dutifully lined up to make my selection.
The chap in front of me ordered two glasses of wine. How wonderful to have a licenced venue so that grown-ups can indulge in the bar and in-cinema service.
Did I mention this was 10.00am? I offer no judgement – I am an experienced drinker myself.
My first thoughts were:
- is this movie so bad he has to drink to get through it?
The second and subsequents were:
- is he topping up from last night?
- is he there under sufferance and needs solace to get through the door?
- is there a more serious reason?
- is this his last chance of drinking by noon before a New Year’s Resolution kicks in?
I didn’t ask him but I would enjoy hearing any interpretations/justifications you might offer.
I ordered potato wedges with sour cream and sweet chilli sauce. It would be brought to me later along with mineral water and a LARGE cappuccino.
Very civilised and off I strolled to the ‘end of the red carpet’ as instructed by the charming staff.
I looked for wine man but I didn’t spot him.
Even with the little red lights on the floor and some lighting in the theatre, with night blindness it is like being plunged into a deep and very dark cave. My phone light was a help. No, the movie had not started yet.
Some boomers out there may remember the lovely staff/ushers who would show you to your seats using nifty torches and deft movements to avoid shining the lights in people’s eyes and spoiling their enjoyment of the film (and their vision with after images – but I digress).
I had this nailed on the smooooth, big comfy recliner. It took a bit of effort to find the adjustment gizmos – and with a gentle whirring sound moved the seat and back to maximum comfort. AAAAH!
With the aforementioned night blindness and the sad history of falling on the stairs in the dark in cinemas in the past, I automatically choose seats towards the front and aisle seats if possible.
Two birds with one stone:
- being large it is always uncomfortable squeezing past people with your bum in their faces or worse facing them with a strained grin while you shuffle across their field of view
- reducing the number of steps to take on the stairs IN THE DARK is always a bonus.
I found to my relief that it wasn’t necessary. The rows were wide apart and the seats were comfortably spaced. No bum/face etiquette for moving around was required!
Sitting in the rows closer to a VERY BIG SCREEN meant that I was very grateful to have a recliner to sit in. The backward angle at which I was watching the movie (say 35 back from vertical) allowed the correct range of my trifocal glasses to be in focus for the fabulous imagery etc.
I did take a quick look around at my fellow patrons (but it was too dark to recognise anything other than big buckets of popcorn and vague shapes). Not a problem, but I was still vaguely concerned about wine man.
So the highlight of this elegant experience was the arrival of my wedges, coffee and healthy water. I was very impressed with the smiling, whispering young person who was able to squat beside my seat and deliver the various elements without a drop spilled or wedge dislodged! The initial silent and sudden appearance startled me but I quickly recovered my elegance!
The wide serving table between the twin seats was perfect for one person. I was smugly pleased to use all the space for myself. Arthritic fingers and fiddly food is not an elegant combination, no matter how hard we try.
More of this in later BLOGS. Look under KITCHEN OLYMPICS for an introduction.
So to answer my original question: What does a Jumanji Gold Class cinema patron look like?
I say this.
We are Jumanji hunters.
We may drink wine at 10.00 in the morning.
We may see very well but not in a dark cinema.
We have been forever saved the embarrassment of landing on someone’s lap in the dark.
We miss the torch-led grand entrances into theatres.
We are made for Gold Class and Gold Class is made for us!
I would still like to know how wine man is getting on.
Feel free to comment down below.
I am particularly interested in your thoughts and advice for wine man.