Withering Glance: Cineplex up-charges just like airlines

  • Article by: RICK NELSON and CLAUDE PECK , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 29, 2011 - 7:01 PM

Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.

CP: My friend John and I totally got up-charged yesterday at the Mall of America movie-plex. "The King's Speech" ended up costing a king's ransom.

RN: And this came as a surprise to you? The last time at the movies, I dropped the cost of a cashmere sweater just at Snack Canyon.

CP: We were told that it would be $11.50 to see the movie about His Royal Stammerer because it was screening only in the all-VIP theater. For starters, if the whole theater is VIP, are we really getting a chance to lord it over the commoners?

RN: Holy Botched Protocol, Batman. Someone's subscription to Royalty magazine has obviously lapsed.

CP: Indeed, Robin. So we thought we'd see "The Green Hornet" instead. That one was in 3-D -- and came with an even bigger price tag.

RN: Cineplexes are clearly taking their cues from the airline industry, revenue-stream wise.

CP: I'm sure AMC and the others soon will add Platinum Elite D-Box Superseats. For just $5 more, you are allowed to tell your seat-side valet, "Hurry, groundling, lest my cane find your backside."

RN: Um, "lest"? You saw "The King's Speech," not "Titus Andronicus."

CP: Anyway, by the time I ordered a beer and regular popcorn off the menu, and tipped my attendant the usual 8 percent ...

RN: And you wonder why service professionals everywhere run in the opposite direction when they see you coming?

CP: ... my movie came to almost $25.

RN: I have one word for you. "Netflix."

CP: What's next? An in-the-dark manicure? Doggie day care? Hookers?

RN: Good ideas, actually. But could we back up a sec? Because I believe you are complaining about drinking a beer in a movie theater. In Minnesota. Where hardworking taxpayers can't purchase beer and wine in most supermarkets.

CP: Not complaining. Just saying. I had a glass of Minnesota-made Summit. And leg-room galore, just like in my Buick LeSabre. Pricey, but nicey.

RN: If only we could watch Hollywood's latest while safely cocooned within a cone of silence, sealed from the nattering citizenry. That's a premium I would happily pay.

CP: For that, you will have to just stay home and watch on-demand in your Snuggie.

RN: I envision: Coming soon to a movie theater near you, a designer selection of "America's Favorite Blanket With Sleeves." Make mine camouflage.

E-mail: witheringglance@startribune.com. Become a friend of Withering Glance on Facebook.

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