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Cineplex Satire

September 27, 1987

Melville Shavelson's article " Parlez-vous Cineplex?" could have been the long awaited satire of those abominable Cineplexes which are an unfortunate sign of our times (Sept. 20).

But what was an easy target for a humorous satire backfired, and Shavelson comes across as being part of the problem rather than the solution.

The main problems with these theaters is that each room is too small, has paper-thin walls, too small of a screen, teen-agers and old ladies converse loudly in front of the theater doors waiting for their movie to start--that is, when they don't walk in late and let in with them light, noise and interruption.

The usher Shavelson attacked should be congratulated for not letting in Mr. S after the film started. As a Cineplex customer fed up with being disturbed by people who can't arrive on time for a film, I cannot sympathize with him.

Furthermore, it is just precisely to accommodate people like Mr. S that the Cineplexes have each film playing three different times all afternoon and evening.

And what Mr. S does not acknowledge is that the Cineplexes allow certain foreign or "art" films to be seen which would never be booked by the huge Westwood theaters. For this advantage, we must suffer the disadvantages of the system, sometimes quite Catch 22-ish, as Mr. S discovered.

But the customer has to cooperate to some degree, and he shouldn't be so self-centered.


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