In theatres everywhere ... except here

Alex Harrold
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We did something a couple of weeks ago we don't do very often. We took two of the grandchildren to the movies. Great fun. Very expensive. The price of a movie for four people and food is on a par with a day pass at Disney World. I'm no Grinch, and I don't even mind paying the kind of money we did for that activity once in a while, but it would be nice to know that if I had to use the bathroom while I was there, one would be available. Oh the inhumanity!

Let's deal with the cost first. The kids already had their tickets so that was two children's passes we didn't have to pay for. The price for two grandparents? $21. I saw a recent report on the news about how the movie theatre industry was having trouble attracting moviegoers. Call me crazy, but it just might have something to do with the cost of a ticket for one movie being more than paying for Netflix for an entire month. As usual, it's probably just me.

What's a movie without popcorn? Naturally, if you have popcorn, you're going to need something to drink too. A couple of bags of skittles might go a long way as well. Perhaps the Mrs. and I can share an order of nachos. The rule of thumb, when buying food to enjoy during a movie at a theatre, is to not buy more than you can carry. You don't want to learn that the hard way.

Being fairly wise old owls, we met that thumb rule easily. Having not gone to the movies very often with grandchildren in tow did not prepare us for the $38 that two drinks, two bags of popcorn, two packages of skittles and an order of nachos cost. So far, we're out $59. For a movie. Ah, but the children are worth it, eh?

We took our seats 30 minutes early, thereby avoiding the situation we saw unfold with so many young mothers coming in at the last minute and not finding seats to accommodate her brood all in one place. I might have considered giving my seat up, except for the fact that I was in my scooter and very few people want to watch a two-hour children's movie sitting in an electric scooter whose seat design was something borrowed from Attila the Hun's saddle maker.

I might have been okay if the movie hadn't included 20 more minutes of previews, resulting in me having to hit the washroom at the same time the movie was about to begin. That's when we encountered the second challenge.

The cinema was completely renovated about a year ago. Beautiful job. Someone forgot to include a family washroom.

We had just returned from about four months down south over the winter. There was hardly any place we went to, especially movie theatres, that doesn't have a family washroom. They come in handy quite well when having to deal with young children or, as in my case, a nearly full-functioning, disabled adult who requires assistance when using a washroom.

On a side note, seniors are offered a discount on tickets and popcorn where we were. We paid $5.50 each for tickets, and popcorn was two dollars a bag. I'm just saying.....

I asked a staff member at the cinema why a family washroom wasn't considered when they did the recent renovations. Apparently, the issue was talked about during the planning stages and it was decided not to include a family washroom in the theatre area, seeing as there was a family washroom in the mall. Of course, the mall family washroom is halfway across the mall from the theatre.

The only conclusion I can come to about the exclusion of a family washroom is that those at the table making the decision have never gone to a movie with a young child or someone with a disability. Considering that these renovations were just recently done without the inclusion of a family washroom, my guess is we probably won't see one there for another 15 or so years.

I won't be going back to the cinema. The prices are high, but that wouldn't keep me from going back entirely. The lack of a proper washroom facility is another matter. If I have to leave the movie to go halfway across the mall to do my business, they apparently don't want my business. In any form.

Organizations: Netflix

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