I don’t go to the movies often because I have a baby, which is the perfect thing to do when you want to enter into a new phase of life, have your ego thoroughly thrashed, have your marriage thoroughly tested, find out exactly what crazy your brain makes when you haven’t slept for three weeks, and don’t want to see a movie in a theater for at least four years. You can, of course, still go to the movies with a baby, but only either if you have one of those babies who never makes any noise, like a fake doll baby you’re carrying around for home ec class, or you don’t mind everyone else in the theater noticing that you are a monster.
There are few movies in the world that are worth the cost of two tickets, plus drinks, plus popcorn, plus the $12/hour cost of the person sitting back at your house watching Netflix, eating frozen pizza, and promising to notice if the house catches on fire while your baby sleeps.
So, when I do overcome the obstacles of money and child-induced exhaustion and decide to go to a movie, I am picky. I do not want any of this thinly-upholstered seat, sticky floor bullshit. I want a movie-going experience akin to the “Let’s Go to the Movies” sequence in the 1982 movie version of Annie – two hundred ticket-takers in perfect suits performing a choreographed flashlight dance as I walk down the aisle, the Rockettes as pre-show entertainment, spinning and kicking in celebration of the fact that I am about to watch a movie, and zero lines at the concession stand.
This, of course, does not exist, so instead I do an internet search for “movie theater Cleveland full bar.” And the internet delivers to me the AMC Ridge Park in Brooklyn.
I’m instantly in love with this theater because not only does it feature plush reclining seats, it lets you pick out your seats on their website ahead of time, which is the kind of control us type-A personalities thrive on. I’ve assembled a group of people to see the movie and, even though most of them didn’t show up to the pre-movie flashlight choreography sessions, we are all excited to go out and recline together.
After we arrive at the theater, our first stop is MacGuffins, the in-house bar staffed by one harried yet incredibly patient woman. This is an 8 p.m. Friday night show and there are a number of people over the age of 21 who came here specifically for the bar. While we wait in line, we observe the hand drawn chalkboard sign advising us that “P. Diddy recommends Ciroc vodka!” My friend remarks that P. Diddy is probably what the manager calls himself.
Most of the drinks on the MacGuffins menu use Ciroc vodka and are also blue. I plan on just getting a beer, but when it’s my turn at the front of the line I shock myself and order a Long Island Iced Tea. This is the first time I have ordered this bad-decision-tipping-point of a beverage since 2004, but my reasoning is sound: this is a long movie, I only want to order one drink, and since I’m paying $11.50 for a 12 oz. beverage I am making damn sure that it includes all of the liquor.
The theater itself is lovely. Huge, plush, red chairs. Large armrests with deep cup holders. Each seat has its own electronic recliner button, and each set of seats can be turned into a couch if you raise the middle armrest. The seats are so, so comfortable that I fight the urge to take my shoes off. The movie begins and about halfway through my husband and I raise the armrest between us so he can put his arm around me and I can rest my head on his shoulder. And it’s really comfortable, but then we recline our seats back a little bit more. And then I am so, so, so comfortable that I feel my eyelids starting to droop and I close them, just for a second, just to see how it feels. And then I am jerked awake by a loud sound in the movie and I curse myself and vow not to fall asleep again. And then I completely fall asleep and drool on my husband’s shoulder. Damn you plush recliners!
The door to the women’s restroom is a bit creaky, to the point that, when you push it, it glides open and then suddenly stops with a “thud” that sounds like you just knocked out a toddler. It’s cool – you didn’t.
5 out of 5 “Wait – it’s over? Was it funny? God, that was a great nap.”