Alyssa really wanted to see The Emoji Movie. I was a little meh about it but figured it was worth the price of popcorn just to get out of the house on a Sunday afternoon. The laundry would wait.
I went in with very low expectations of this movie and was pleasantly surprised. It was cute and clever and I laughed out loud a few times.
But that’s not actually what this is about. It’s about the cinema we chose to visit to see the movie. We live in the middle of nowhere. We have to drive a minimum of twenty minutes to see any movie in the theater. And the closest theater is tiny, and old and doesn’t have Icees.
So instead of going to the Bryan theatre (the closest) we usually toss a coin and choose between Auburn, Indiana and Coldwater, Michigan. Coldwater might be five minutes farther away than Auburn.
On this glorious day, I checked the website for the Auburn theater, saw that they had a 3:20 showing of The Emoji Movie and the girls and I headed out at 2:15. It is maybe a forty minute drive but I’m nothing if not early for everything (right, Julie?) and I hate, HATE feeling like we might be on time because on time to me is late.
We arrived at the Auburn NCG Cinema at about 2:52. Perfect. That gave us time to buy tickets, popcorn, Icees (two blue, one Coke) and use the restroom.
I glanced at the ticket stubs I’d received from the attendant and saw that we were in Auditorium 1. I babysat that popcorn and Icees while Lyss and Liv went to the bathroom.
When they came back, we gathered our snacks and headed for auditorium 1. The door was closed. Huh. We could hear the sounds of a movie in there so we headed back to the counter where I asked the young woman from whom I’d purchased our tickets if the tickets were correct.
She confirmed that they were and then I saw it. She’d sold me tickets for the 4:15 showing of The Emoji Movie. I told her we’d wanted the 3:20 showing. She glanced at her screen and informed me that there was no 3:20 showing at that cinema.
Huh. Weird. I told her it showed that time on the website.
She said, “Well, you have to go to our actual website. Sometimes, if you just google movie times, it will pull times from surrounding theaters.”
Oh. “I actually did go to your website,” I told her.
“Weird,” she said dismissively. “Well, the popcorn is free refills so you can sit at the tables and eat your popcorn while you wait.”
Okay. Except…I don’t wanna sit in the stupid lobby of the cinema for over an hour due to a mistake on their website.
I told Lyss and Liv what was going on and Lyss said, “Wait, so their sign is wrong too then?”
I glanced up at where she was looking and right there, on the sign above the popcorn maker was the times listed for each movie. And get this, there was a 3:20 listing for The Emoji Movie. I made my way back to the counter, this time avoid Miss Weird and asked the first dude I came across if there was a 3:20 showing of The Emoji Movie. He looked (rather than just glanced) at his screen and said, “Oh yeah, it’s in auditorium 5.”
I asked, “So, even though we bought tickets for the 4:15 showing, can we just go into theater 5 and see the 3:20 showing?”
“Sure,” he said.
And away we went.
It was 3:10. We were the first ones in auditorium 5. We were followed rather quickly, though, but another family. And then another.
Then, before we knew it, it was 3:25 and…nothing. The screen was blank. The lights were still bright in there in auditorium 5.
And I decided that enough was enough. I did something I NEVER do. I got up out of my seat, went BACK to the snack counter and asked, “Uh, is there supposed to be a showing of The Emoji Movie at 3:20 in auditorium 5?”
The lady behind the counter said, “There sure is.”
I declared, “Well, it’s 3:25 and the screen is blank.”
She told me she’d inform a manager.
I returned to auditorium 5 and less than a minute after I sat back down in my seat, the movie started. No previews, though. I guess they lost their time for that when they didn’t start the movie on time.
I considered standing up, bowing and blowing kisses to those behind me in the theater, telling them all, “You’re welcome.”
But I decided I’d made enough of a spectacle of myself at the stupid snack counter that day.
For the record, we’re going to be heading north to Coldwater for our future movie excursions. In all the times we’ve seen movies up there, we’ve never had to work quite as hard just to see a movie as we had to work yesterday in Auburn to see The Emoji Movie.