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Grand Moviegoings

July 19, 1987

I have read the articles on the new Cineplex Odeon at Universal City in Calendar describing the 18-theater mega complex as a "return to the grandeur of the classic movie palaces."

I have also appreciated the quality of projection and sound at other Odeon theaters I have patronized. So, it was with an interest in experiencing the "return to classic grandeur" of the Cineplex, coupled with an interest in seeing Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket," that led me up to Universal City the night of July 10 to see the 10:30 screening.

What I "experienced" was a glitzy neo-deco pseudo-opulent marble ant farm where the patron-digits were herded into their respective polyester chambers to receive their entertainment-unit (the screening).

After suffering two chattering lunk-heads sitting behind me for 20 minutes, I and a friend politely requested that they stop talking. Their immediate response was to threaten us with violence.

We went to the lobby to tell an usher what had happened, whereupon we were treated like "trouble-makers" and told to return to our seats. I explained that we had been threatened and asked that the lunks be ejected. A single usher was dispatched to return us to our seats. After cooing a gentle "quiet" in our general vicinity, he quickly left the theater.

Upon leaving the theater my friend and I were followed into the "grand" concrete parking structure and physically attacked by the two thugs from the theater. Reeling from the attack, we returned from the parking structure to the theater to seek help from a security guard posted at the exit.

We asked her to summon the police, which she refused to do, advising me instead to return to the parking structure and phone them myself from a pay phone. We located another security guard who also refused to call the police. When we asked that he accompany us to our car, he agreed to that. This youthful and bubbly "guard" seemed incapable of handling a violent situation. Fortunately, we got to the car safely and went home.

I will never patronize this "grand theater" again.

JOHN CLARKE

Riverside

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