Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Movie night just got shorter

A friend in the Charlotte Film Society alerted me that the Manor isn't showing movies in the last slot of the day any more on weekdays: The final screenings begin between 7 and 7:30 p.m. Sure enough, I happened to drive by the theater this morning, and the marquee confirmed it. In fact, all the Regal art houses in town -- Ballantyne and Park Terrace are the others -- have given up on that time slot.

Well, I can understand that. It's common sense to cut hours if you don't have foot traffic, and people who like to see late shows can pick them up on weekends. But it saddens me, nonetheless, because older people are the ones least likely to want to get home at midnight from a movie -- and they're the ones who tend to populate art-houses these days.

Where are the younger couples who want to see a movie at 9 and then grab beer or coffee and talk over what they've just seen? Where are the college students who can live on four hours of sleep a night and don't care when they watch what they want to watch?

I would guess neither "Trance" nor "The Place Beyond the Pines," both of which open at the Manor Friday, is a masterpiece. (I've seen the first; the second wasn't screened locally for critics, which is never a good sign, and reviews have been mixed.) But both are more interesting than typical Hollywood fare about drunken spring breakers and wizards and rogue cops.

I've never much liked "Decline of Western Civilization"-style raps, so I'll quit before I depress myself. This isn't a catastrophe, just another small indicator of Charlotte's addiction to mainstream culture. If only there weren't so many....


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

so true Larry. but then, the Observer is kinda the lead arbiter of charlotte's lame mainstream culture

Lawrence Toppman said...

Well, sure. When a movie such as "Oblivion" opens (as it will next Friday), and we know thousands of people will see it, we naturally review it. But we also regularly run reviews of smaller films; I try to cover two or three of those a month myself, though I'm now part-time on the movie beat. I'm not convinced lack of media awareness is the problem.