I couldn't find anyone able to join me so I went alone to the Eastgate theater. Rain was sprinkling when I left the house but by the time I reached McFarland it was coming down in sheets. I knew I should have left 15 minutes earlier. I left more than an hour before the show so I had plenty of time but I still pushed my speed just to get the trip over with. The rain was severe but I still made it there safe.
I grabbed my car umbrella since it was still pouring when I parked. I only managed to keep my upper half dry as I splashed my way across the lot to the front entrance. I could tell something was odd when I pulled in & as I neared the doors I saw that all the theater lights were off, inside & out. A quick inquiry to a gentleman just inside the vestibule revealed that there was a power outage seven minutes prior to my arrival (how precise!) As no one was selling tickets I wandered in to explore, watching people gathered in the comforting glow of the safety lights. I wasn't sure what to do at this point, whether I should I should try to buy a ticket or wait for someone to speak up & start giving instructions. I eventually made my way to the theater where the movie was supposed to premiere & found a seat. If they caught me I'd blame the confusion & try to buy a ticket. If not, I'd have more of a story to tell.
I was just starting to get comfortable when someone with an official voice entered to give some new information. If the power came back soon the movie would still show as planned, but they couldn't let people stay in the theater because the emergency floodlight batteries wouldn't last much longer. Until then they would be sectioning off part of the hallway for a line & checking tickets. My cue to leave.
Making my way back to the ticket booths I noticed more people had left through the downpour to their cars but many were still staying behind, probably to wait out the storm. Searching for someone with a name tag I could ask about tickets I overheard a manager in conversation with another. They were about to start handing out vouchers (with proof of prior ticket purchase, of course) so patrons could go across town to the other Marcus theater at Point & see the midnite show there where they still had open seats & electricity. My cue to leave again.
I booked it! I left at exactly eleven thirty & calculated my estimated journey across town. But trying to drive in the pelting rain was too distracting so I just drove as fast as I dared. The rain was just horrible, coming on so fast & hard I could barely see through the windshield & even then only at every other wiper beat. Fish hatchery was coming up & I suddenly changed plans, reckoning that Star Cinema was closer. It was still raining hard when I parked again & made it to my (paid for) seat with 10 minutes to spare. Even after amusing the ticket girl & concession dude with the tale of my recent adventure at Eastgate.
So what of the movie? I won't go in too deep since everyone I spoke with beforehand seemed interested & will probably see it eventually, but I did enjoy it. Simpsons Movie was exactly what I was hoping for. It was an hour & a half episode with more time for story development, a little more humour that you're not likely to see on TV (but not to the South Park extreme,) & without the feeling of being rushed like many of the recent episodes. I will probably see it again while it's still in theaters so feel free to drag me along. If you do see it, be sure to stay for the credits. All of them.
The rain had choked down to a drizzle when it was time to drive again. The CD player spit out what I wanted to listen to on the trip (it's been very fussy lately) but the default radio station yielded a wonderful surprise: Pictures at an Exhibition, original piano arrangement. It lasted the entire ride home.
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