Peter M Howard ::

Broken Cinema

11Nov2007 [personal]

In which a rogue computer spoils the movie going experience

Saw Lions for Lambs at Greater Union's George St complex yesterday afternoon. They're in the middle of renovations — installing a fancy Gold Class cinema or two, and generally cleaning the place up — it was getting pretty bad, some of the chairs you wouldn't want to sit on.

But it's still very much a work in progress. Big sections of it are boarded up, and all the cinema numbering has changed, so people are walking around, aimless. The speakers in the cinema I was in weren't sync'ed up properly — there was an annoying half-second delay whenever people spoke, not unlike being yelled at in an auditorium (which quite suited Tom Cruise's charmingly fascistic congressman).

They've also redone the seating — nice wide, comfortable, clean chairs, which is a good thing. But they've implemented allocated seating (mostly so they can charge extra to people wanting to reserve particular seats in advance), and that system seems to have a few kinks in it. It was a massive cinema, and the few dozen people in it ended up cramped in a couple of rows. On top of that, some poor French couple were allocated the seat I was in — we pulled out tickets and they were identical. Fortunately the cinema was empty enough there was still plenty of space. But yeah, I don't know what a computer's doing giving away the same seat twice. Presumably it was the same machine playing tricks with the speakers.

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