At least, that’s how it seems at SilverCity Riverport Cinemas. Once Richmond was home to other movie theatre chains. Now that SRC is the only game in town, its parent company, Cineplex Inc., having swallowed its biggest competitor, Famous Players, plus a handful of minor theatres, you’d think that the public would be pounding a path to these massive multi-plex monstrosities, with their bold exteriors, and redesigned interiors which sport cushy lounges and oversized interactive arcades.
But alternatives like Netflix, CinemaNow, and Zip.ca (not to mention gaming consoles from the Big Three makers); the insanely huge size of big screen TVs (75 inches is not unusual at Costco); the availability of great stereo sound systems; and really cheap popcorn when you buy it at the grocery store has really put the kibosh on the movie-going experience. I choked when I saw how much a family of four paid, just for their refreshments (pop and popcorn) a few months ago — $75! Add the cost of movie tickets at $11 per head, and you’re spending more than $100 to share the experience of seeing the latest sequel/prequel/midquel with 50-100 strangers whom you hope will be on their best behaviour.
The best seats are really at home. It’s relatively safe, there are several comfy chairs to choose from, there’s no popcorn to crunch underfoot (unless you’re really messy and don’t pick up after yourself), and there are no untoward noises like screaming from the audience members (unless it’s a horror movie you’re watching). Volume control, bladder control, the ability to grab a blanket and not be stared at, pause/play capability, and no admission charges help, too. Having no one kick the back of my seat is also a big plus for me.