1. I complain too much about the Arclight, even though it remains my all time favorite movie theatre, and
2. After seeing the sneak preview “SiCKO” at the theatre last Saturday night, I walked away being even more pro-publicly funded healthcare than ever before.
Here’s my gripe:
I spent $14 bucks for my ticket at the Arclight, their usual cost of a first run film over the weekend. I didn’t think twice about this, because, as you know, the Arclight not only has reserved seating, but they also don’t show advertisements before the movie.
Unfortunately, before walking to my seat I was stopped by a group of people identifying themselves as from the Weinstein Company, who released the film. They let me know that there was a card in my seat they’d like me to fill out before and after the movie to let them know what I thought of the film.
I’m mildly annoyed. I don’t mind filling out these cards, but only when its one of those free screenings. Quid pro quo, y’know? Not when I’m spending $14.
Then, I walk to my seat. Before I’ve even had a chance to put my Coke into the cupholder, a woman walks up to me with a clipboard asking me if I’m interested in free public healthcare.
Thats right: the Arclight allowed lobbyists into its movie theatres.
I told the woman flat out “no, I wasn’t interested”, but she handed me some “literature” anyway, something about Senate Bill 840, “the California Universal Healthcare Act”, and a John Edwards for President flyer. A few minutes later, I overheard the same woman trying to give the same stuff to some other moviegoers, who started challenging her on the details of the bill – they were apparently also annoyed with the pitch.
I secretly hoped I hated the movie and that Michael Moore’s theatrics would backfire just so I could write a bitter blog post about the pre-show advertising… but, like I wrote at the beginning, walked out more convinced than ever of the need for public healthcare. I can’t cite exactly what part of the movie did it for me, but it had something to do with all the Conservatives who say public healthcare would be a mess, and point to the Canadian system as an example – to which my Patriotic side gets all pissed off and says, “You don’t think we can’t do better than the frackin’ Canadians if we wanted to? Since when?”
So, yay on public healthcare, but a big fat nay on the Arclight breaking their promise of no pre-show advertising.
(Oh, and on a L.A.-centric movie note, the downtown patient dumping controversy is featured in the film around the beginning of the third act.)