There have been many memorable firsts in my life. My first kiss. My first fighting fish fight. My first durian (and my last). Last week, I experienced another first.
My first beer in a cinema.
And like they sing in Sweeney Todd, “God, that’s good!
How’d I end up with a beer at the movies? Well, my wife (bless her soul), gave me a surprise on my birthday. She bought me tickets to a Golden Village Gold Class movie theatre. They cost 30 bucks apiece but boy was it worth the moola.
Now, we’ve all heard about the reclining chairs and the concierge service but have you heard about the blanket?
Yup, that’s what I said. B-L-A-N-K-E-T. Blanket.
As I walked to my seat, lo and behold, there it was. A nice, comfy blanket that covered you from head to toe as you luxuriated in the plush recliners. For some reason, cinemas in Singapore are always too cold and this one was no exception. But it had the blanket – and that made all the difference (my toes are curling just thinking of it.)
Now, I’m a big fan of the movies and going to the cinema but this was ridiculous. We ordered chips, sticky date pudding, ice cream and beer – oh god, the beer. Ostentatious? You bet your ass it was. Check out our table at the end of the evening:
I thought that I could never go back to the common seats ever again
However, midway through the movie, I had what alcoholics call, a moment of clarity (strange though, seeing as how I was inebriated.) I was thinking that this experience was kick-ass but somehow, it didn’t feel like a true movie going experience. The movie was great (Iron Man – wonderful) and everything was peachy but I found myself having a strange memory in my head that I couldn’t get rid of.
When I was eight, my uncle brought me to some of the dingiest movie theatres in Singapore and that’s where I got my cinema education. One particularly dingy one was in Hougang. It’s not longer there and a condo stands in it’s place now but back in the day, it was one of the dodgiest cinemas I’ve ever been to. The seats were made of stretched PVC and they creaked like hell. One time, I put my feet on the floor and stepped right into a puddle of piss. Occasionally during the film, the speakers on one side would crackle and the sound would disappear from them.
The strange thing was, there I was, in my recliner, in what might possibly be the most comfortable movie going experience of my life, and I was thinking about that stinky, sticky cinema in Hougang. Even stranger was that I was thinking how great it was.
I must’ve been drunker than I thought
In any case, regardless of my sobriety, my conclusion is this:
Gold Class is brilliant but nothing beats the feeling of being in a real cinema in joined-row seating, where you can literally hear how the person next to you is breathing. At the end of the day, I think cinema is a living, breathing entity and what infuses the experience with life are the people who go there. With Gold Class, although you get your arm space and leg room, the whole deal is not as communal an experience as cinema should be in my head.
And I’ve always believed that movies are communication from people to people and more importantly, shared by the people.
But of course …
… a little beer at the movies never hurt anyone either, right?
This is my first Gold Class experience but I assure you, it won’t be my last 🙂
Thanks, baby! You da bomb!