Took the young'uns to see Shark Tale last night. Pleasant enough experience, cute touch having Michael Imperioli and Vincent Pastore amongst the "mob" voices. Beautiful visuals in the film, the soundtrack was a touch too urban contemporary for my taste (the best moment was when "Sugar Pie Honey Bunch" kicked in; you could see fathers and mothers all over the theater going "Thank you" to whatever deity for some decent music. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the evening though was the pre-show trip to the candy counter. Same as our previous visit, the chimpanzee behind the counter was taking somewhere around five to seven minutes to fill each order (and of course there were several teenagers in the line ahead of us who purchased enough junk to keep their dentists and dermatologists in BMWs for the next couple of years), and by the time we actually made it to the counter, it was about 12 or 13 minutes past the published showtime. Needless to say Zippy The Chimp took about five minutes to fill my simple order to a large popcorn, three sodas and a bag of candy (one of the learned behaviors he was exhibiting was shuffling the ice in the bin for some inane reason unbeknownst to any sentient being) and by the time I handed my tickets to the lower form of life taking them, it was about 18 minutes past the published showtime. Imagine my chagrin at opening the door to the closet they refer to as a theater and finding the coming attractions still going full force, with two more forthcoming until the feature started. I thought back to the days when I was a kid, where you'd get two trailers. tops, and if you were lucky even a Pink Panther cartoon (at one now defunct local chain).
For some reason this brings up my favorite story related to the eponymous founder of the theater chain (yeah, I know a major Japanese conglomerate owns 'em now) I attended. It seemed that Arthur Loew married the ex-wife of noted wit Oscar Levant. Levant, in a display of chutzpah that I regard as a gold standard example, placed a person-to-person call to the happy couple on their wedding night well after what would be considered a decent hour, and upon, ahem, arousing (or detumescing as some versions of the story have it) them from their bed inquired, "What's playing at Loew's State tonight and when does the feature go on?" .
By the way, it was only eighteen dollars for the three sodas, popcorn and bag of candy. Value pricing strikes again!