Back in the 80’s and early 90’s I had some really bad experiences while going to movie theaters here in the Philippines so I just stopped going altogether. I had taken my wife and daughters to a Movie in Manila at a mall in 1994 and was hit straight in the head with culture shock. The bathroom smelled better than the theater, the place was pitch black without a courtesy light to aid in getting to your seat. Cella Phones were just catching on and were in full use during the entire movie. Those whom could not afford the phones talked during the movie from beginning to end.
But the clincher for me was; albeit I laughed for days over it, the pop corn machine was full and the odor was inviting, I stepped up and ordered 4 bags of Pop Corn, and was promptly told that they had no bags to put it in, the bags were not in stock, I then foolishly asked why then did they bother to make the Pop Corn, was that just to tease the customers? Why do I do silly things like that? I think I just like to see the “Head Scratch” when I do.
Thus began my 17 year hiatus from going to the movies here in the Philippines. Until last Monday, My wife and two daughters plus their husbands, my granddaughter my niece and a friend of the girls named Bebe, wanted to go to the movies at the Brand New SM Mall in Olongapo. I handed them the keys to my car and the money and bid them a fond farewell.
My granddaughter looked at me with those pretty brown eyes and said; “Lolo I want to go with you.” My niece Shay-shay joined in and I melted, so with dread I climbed into the car and we went to town. I know my wife and daughters put the girls up to it.
Cecil (My son-in-law) likes to drive and he had the keys anyway so off we went, at the SM Mall the parking in on the fifth and sixed floor, which is steeply uphill with a never ending left turn until you get to the parking area and they charge a fee and no validation of the parking ticket.
The parking space was located and Cecil (My new Son-in-law) proceeded to back in to it, when loud bang is heard and the car shuddered! Hmmm…I wonder what that could be? A very large drain pipe painted white to match the white wall behind it was what we hit. A gasp is heard throughout the car. I lightened the mood by saying, I think we bung-bunged the car, smiling the whole time. The security guard was there, 8 to 9 spectators, plus everyone from my car.
It broke a bolt that held the rear bumper in place and there was no real damage to the car. Cecil was looking at me with big eyes waiting for my anger and I smiled and said; Guess who’s taking the car into the shop tomorrow?”
Then his wife Ymir Thea explained to him about the one time she had driven my Lancer straight into a wall and I gave her and her sister money to go to town while I explained it to their mother. I was laughing the whole time. Cecil felt better, when I said I’ve done worse, and the damage was not more than that little ding. Off to the movies.
Buy the tickets and then fall in line for snacks, Pop Corn, both buttered and with cheese was available; plus more importantly, packaging to carry that tasty treat. Things were looking up. Entering the theater the young man inspected each and every person to insure their cella phones were set on vibrates. Wow I liked that! So into the theater we went and I notice it was very clean and air/conditioned was to the point that you could hang beef there. Courtesy lights were a twinkling, and they took you to your comfortable seat in safety. The only fault I found was that the first three rows of seats were way to close to the humongous screen. Sit up high in the back was the way to go; the movie was “The Avengers” fast action and surround sound with the volume set so that it would turn your brain to Jello, but who cares I’m half deaf anyway. Then I get the shock of my life, my niece Shay is beside me and told me at 12 years old that this was her first trip to the movies. Would that have occurred to any of you? That someone had never been to a movie before? She loved it!
The movie ends and here is my observation of my fellow viewers, no cell phones went off, no one was talking and every single person was polite, even when we were filing out. Five young boys were in a cluster re-hashing the movie minute by minute, but I knew I would see the same thing at any theater in the world. I’m going out on a limb and saying; “They enjoyed the Flick!”
On the first floor there is a Pizza Hut, so we stopped there to eat, all nine of us. Copious quantities of food and ice tea were consumed, and then the eight hundred pound elephant in the room raised its head. Cecil asked his brother-in-law Chrisanto about the dent in the car, Chrisanto explained to Cecil, that I was not angry, as he has known me for over 12 years and had never saw me angry. The following morning they would get the bumper fixed and all would be right with the world again. (So it came to pass)
On the way home, the young ladies were yacking on and all about the movie, when I turned and asked if we could go next week to see “Battleship?” You’ll never guess what their response was…