January 28, 2013 by benmblackman
If Shakespeare is alive and well (and I say he is, let the conspiracy start here: just 448 years old he’s in Stratford-Upon-Avon, why wouldn’t he be? It’s blooming lovely there), he’d be with me on this 3D, or not 3D, question.
Never mind slings and arrows, I spent an outrageous fortune on 2 cinema tickets yesterday.
The Calpol Kid and I were due to watch Madagascar at the Sunday morning Kids Club. Excited? Understatement. Which was odd because, these days, I usually approach a cinema with worry and dread in my heart. Not because I’m going to watch a scary film or because I fear they won’t let me into the 15 Certificate Terminator 2 (like that time we tried when I was 12 and looked about 10. Macaulay Culkin, eat my heart out).
No, it’s the cost. At 12 years old we could afford to contemplate getting into Terminator 2 because the ticket price and popcorn were within our means (just – so long as our paper-round weekly bonuses were in tact). But these days, how on earth could a child afford the prices? And that’s if they can actually get to a cinema (which will probably be out of town). Did you know popcorn is the most profitable commodity by weight in the world? That’s an actual fact. No wonder with the price they’re pushing it these days!
But none of this was a problem for us yesterday. We were going to Kids Club. Guess how much it is? Go on, guess, guess. I bet you can’t. £1.75. ONE POUND SEVENTY FIVE. Guess what else? Go on, guess, guess. The parent doesn’t even pay to get in! Amazing. Forget child benefit, it’s cinema concessions at Kids Club that’s really the way to dodge the system these days.
Except just before we stepped forward to buy our tickets this happened:
‘Anybody waiting for Madagascar Kids Club – sorry but all tickets are now SOLD OUT.’
No? No? (Cinema style) NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooOoOoooooo.
It seems we’re not the only ones who have realised the £1.75 deal is quite the bargain. So, there’s us, standing there, me and the Calpol Kid (3 years old), happily waiting for our big trip to the cinema to watch Madagascar. I’d only been building it up for about 36 hours by this stage. She’d even dressed for our ‘date’. Cute! In front of us, the 3 girls who had pushed ahead to gain the last 3 tickets looked delighted. Who says manners pay? Manners stink, I should have barged them out of the way and stood our ground.
I thought on my feet. Mainly, ‘oh shit, what am I going to do now?’ I thought some more, ‘for God sake, I can’t believe those girls got our tickets.’ Lastly, ‘I wonder what’s going to happen now then?’ Usually I rely on my wife to rectify such situations but she wasn’t here. She was working, hence our cinema visit. So:
Option 1: Tell my daughter the cinema treat we had planned and hyped up all yesterday and this morning was off.
Outcome 1: Certain disaster.
Option 2: Switch to a different film.
Outcome 2: Financial Disaster.
We took option 2, with the Calpol Kid accepting the fact that, ‘silly Daddy,’ got the wrong day for Madagascar. ‘Silly Daddy’ instead paid silly prices to get us into the 3D showing of Monsters Inc. It was the only other kids film to be shown within the next 24 hours so seemed the best option.
We’ve never seen 3D before. I was excited to see what the extra £3.75 on each ticket got you (I’m not willing to recount how much the standard ticket was to start with. It’s too soon. Too raw).
We donned our 3D glasses, her excitingly, me rather trickily (I already had some fairly sizeable glasses on (I use them for seeing, in 2D). I managed to engineer my 3D’s over the top to create, over the next 92 minutes, what I imagine a prolonged (and rather hallucinogenic) trip to the optician would feel like.
The Calpol Kid watched, at least, 85 of the minutes minus her glasses. It was good to know we had them there if she needed them though. £3.75! She ate popcorn, I ate winegums. Is it possible to get drunk on winegums? Perhaps the amount I ate. You’d want to for the price I paid for a packet.
For what it’s worth (about 4 years later than everyone else) I’d conclude that 2D is more than enough when it comes to cinema. Cinema is a wonderful medium. It inspires, delights, educates and opens up a world of make believe to all ages. If music is good, it’s good on vinyl, crackly radio, or cassette tape. It doesn’t need DAB digital or CD quality. The magic of cinema through the ages is not broke, so don’t try to fix it. If anything the 3D was a distraction from an otherwise amazing film. The animation, characters and script of Monsters Inc. is top drawer. 3D did nothing to change that for the better, perhaps made it worse actually.
My daughter’s opinion? ‘It was a bit blurry Daddy.’ Well put your bloody (£3.75) glasses on you scamp!
But don’t listen to me. What would my good friend Shakespeare have to say about it I wonder? Maybe he would liken 3D cinema to, ‘where every something, being blent together turns to a wild of nothing.’
And he wouldn’t say that via a pop up book would he?
If you love cinema, I urge you to support your local, independent screen. My favourite? The Plaza Community Cinema in Waterloo, Crosby, of course. Best job of my life. Use them or lose them people. Or we’ll only have multiplexes for our children’s future.