Empty Theater

Phillip and I boarded a 49 bus this afternoon, and went to the U District. We had plans to meet up with Cristina to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, in 3D, at the AMC 10 Theater (formerly the Sundance Cinemas).

On our way there, Phillip realized that he forgotten our tickets at home. (He and Cristina had gone there during a lunch break last week and bought our reserved seats ahead of time. Phillip had paid cash at the box office, so the tickets weren’t on his phone, as usual. I’ve become so used to him flashing his phone at the ticket check, that it hadn’t occurred to me to ask about the tickets.)

Phillip explained the situation to the person at the box office, who called the manager over. The manager was sympathetic, but explained that since Phillip hadn’t paid with a credit card, there was no record of the transaction. The manager then asked if Phillip remembered which seats he’d reserved. Phillip told him we had seats 1 and 2, and our friend (who hadn’t arrived yet) had reserved seat 3. He couldn’t remember the row, but it was toward the back of the theater.

The manager looked up the seating for our showing and found that only three seats had been reserved: Seats 1, 2, and 3, in Row E (toward the back of the theater). So the manager let us go in, with the warning that if anyone showed up with tickets for our seats, we’d have to leave. That was nice and fair.

In fact, once the movie started, Cristina and Phillip and I were only three of about five or six people in the theater. I thought Seattle held some sort of record for its movie-going population. It was a hot Sunday in Seattle, perfect for an air-conditioned movie. Was it because the Sundance AMC 10 is still a 21+ establishment?

I liked the Sundance. I was a little worried about what it would become after AMC bought it. Sure, the Sundance was a theater chain, and AMC is a theater chain, but Sundance had style, and it had class. I can go into an AMC theater, and it looks like a Regal theater, or probably any other generic movie chain.

Today, AMC 10 still looked like the Sundance. They hadn’t changed a thing. It still had the wood sculptures, and the leather couches upstairs by the fireplace. It still had a food menu and a full bar. (I had a delicious pear martini.) They still showed some independent short films before the main show. But, after the movie, when we exited the theater, I noticed the sign outside still said “SUNDANCE”. I realized, sadly, that AMC hadn’t changed a thing – yet. There’s still time for them to take out the sculptures and couches – and maybe even the bar.

Anyway, it was a fun movie, and afterwards, the three of us had a late lunch at Rancho Bravo on The Ave.


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