Saturday, November 12, 2005

jane austen interrupted

Today was a big day for Allie and her Jane Austen buddy, one they'd been looking forward to for weeks. The new Pride and Prejudice opened this weekend in KC. They went to the matinee at the Cinemark on the Plaza. The place was packed with Jane Austen fans, some of whom had driven more than two hours to see the film.

Then, after a half hour of previews, 15 minutes into the movie, the screen went blank, and there was nothing but sound. It was a pivotal moment. "When she first meets Mr. Darcy," Allie tells me. "Elizabeth first meets him. At the ball!"

It took the theater people forever to even do anything about it. This throng of Jane Austen fanatics were left to just sit there seething with neo-Victorian rage. "You could people in the theater shifting around," Allie says, "and maybe like cursing under their breath."

Finally, the lights went on, and they could hear the sounds of people trying to fix things up in the projection booth. But all they could get was pictures and no sound. "So this key, key scene was going by, and you couldn't tell what was going on," Allie says.

After some banging around upstairs, the theater hacks got the sound fixed, but now the pre-movie slides of Coke and popcorn were being projected on top of the film, which was "supremely annoying."

As if that weren't bad enough, the screen then started going blank intermittantly until it ultimately succumbed to complete darkness.

At last, a man came in and said, "I'm not with Cinemark, but I'll tell you what's happening because they're not going to come in to tell you."

Allie and her pal got up to leave. They were pretty steamed. Allie's friend said, "If this had been any other movie, I would've been ok with it."

In the lobby, they encountered an angry mob of Jane Austen fans, shouting stuff like, "This is a big theater! You should have someone working the projector!!"

The manager, I'm told, was being quite pissy about the whole thing.

One woman appeared to be about nine and a half months pregnant. She was especially furious, because she knew this would be the last movie she'd be able to go to for a long time. The woman she was with said to her, "You could go into labor right here!"

"If I do, I hope that manager has to clean it up! Anything to make his day worse!!"

Allie got her money back, and free passes.

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