Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Regal Cinemas Hates Footie, Too

Or, not a review of Once in a Lifetime.

It's never been a better time to be a soccer fan in the US, but one is still often made to feel as though one is pursuing some vaguely illegal, unwholesome, definitely frowned-upon course of action by following a sport perceived to trample beneath its cleats good old American values like passing a ball with your hands. It can be tough to see that ESPN is broadcasting yet another round of paintball battles or jumprope championships (true story) while important matches go untelevised in this country. But then you get 8000 or so people turning up in Portland's Pioneer Square to watch the final of the World Cup and you start to fool yourself that soccer is making bigger inroads around here than it really is.

Now I know lots of people who hate Regal Cinemas, some for its being a big meanie corporate conglomerate that basically controls film distribution through the Portland metro area (but let's face it, if it wasn't them, it would be somebody else), others, less ideologically, merely for the existence of The Twenty, which is certainly enough to earn you a place in one of Dante's hells if you ask me. But, my friends, I give you a new reason to hate Regal Cinemas. Last Wednesday, a pretty move rearranged various plans and commitments and gathered downtown for a viewing of the New York Cosmos movie, Once in a Lifetime. Two-thirds of a pretty move may even have found themselves bolting their dim sum and leaving before sampling the beloved shrimp noodles in order to make it to the cinema on time. The film had only arrived in Portland on the previous Friday, and was showing on exactly one screen in the entire city. So we arrived there only to find--no listing for the afternoon matinee! Apparently, another film needed to be screened at that time and some braniac at Fox Tower made the decision to pull the only film which was showing on only one screen in the entire city. Yes, Once in a Lifetime. Meanwhile, Little Miss Sunshine was doing whatever the hell it is she does on no less than three screens--that's every half hour--as well as everywhere damn else in town, too.

a pretty move then made a dreadful tactical decision: we checked the listings to ensure the film would play again this week, and planned to try again this Wednesday. And the listings were wrong. Here it is next week and Once in a Lifetime has vanished back into the void from whence it came.

Watch us all fall to our knees to summon the spirit of Chuck Heston. Damn you, Regal Cinemas! Damn you all to hell!*

*We did get some free passes for our trouble, but it's cold comfort. I'd have much preferred to have the film--or the shrimp noodles.

No comments: