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When I'm obliged to watch a terrible movie, I find it reassuring if at least two people in the room are enjoying themselves despite what's onscreen. They invest the theater with a certain goodwill. "We don't have to depend entirely on the movies for a good time," they imply, "and aren't these nice seats?"
And at the River East, you can kiss on the escalators too! Riding up to Hansel & Gretel on Saturday evening, I saw a couple of high-schoolers doing just that. It couldn't have been a first date; even when they weren't kissing, their heads were never more than inches apart. (Had they been more demure, they would have taken that most romantic of inventions, the elevator. Under a perfectly respectable pretense, it offers the amorous couple a few moments of blissful intimacy—and even alerts them when someone else is about to enter.) It didn't matter what movie they were seeing; they were ignoring it already.
It was a good thing they hadn't gone to the City North 14. Have you seen a movie there recently? Last month, in the block of advertisements they project before the features, the theater had allowed a spot for canker sore medication to enter the mix. Seeing a mouth sore blown up to cinematic proportions is the most unpleasant experience I've had in months at the movies. Not that I'd tell the good people at City North how to run their theater, but they might want to consider pulling that ad. It's bad enough to make a spectator gag at the thought of kissing another person—and in January, the city's kissers probably make up a good deal of ticket sales.