An Afternoon Off, With Popcorn and Accidents

Today was actually a happy accident, although I didn’t realize that at first.

After much hemming and hawing and complaining about the heat (summer finally arrived with a vengeance) I decided to go see Avengers: Age of Ultron. I was done marking exams and had finished all my final marks in the morning and needed to get out of the house. Because of the heat, She Who Must Be Obeyed offered to drive me but I pointed out I needed the exercise as I’d been inside for three days straight.

At the theater, which is only a couple train stops, a bit of a walk and quite a bit of sweat away, I was shocked to discover I was only being charged 1,100 yen (or $8.90 right now). The usual ticket price for a ticket is 1,800 yen ($14.58). When I glanced at the colorful board next to the register all I noticed was that there was a discount for people 55 years old and older.  At first I was surprised and a bit annoyed and then I was like, cool. My graying hair is coming in handy all of a sudden.

It turned out though, after careful inspection, that the theater has adopted a policy it calls “Happy Mondays” where all tickets are discounted. (There are already student discounts.) There are also discounts for having a store card and for coming early in the morning or late at night. I guess I’ll have to wait to exploit my graying hair.

These discounts are interesting because they mean, at long last, that the theaters are having to lower prices to sell tickets and concessions as streaming slowly becomes popular in Japan and most young people watch videos on their phones.  If these discounts last, it means I’ll probably go see more movies.

Today I did my part for the theater by ordering a couple hot dogs for lunch and then getting popcorn and an ice tea to enjoy during the movie. The popcorn was good (and fresh, which is not always true with that theater before noon). According to my scale, means the movie got an automatic three stars out of five.

The movie itself was good, although it was plagued by shaky camera nonsense and not enough Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. It was especially good to see Jeremy Renner get the chance to speak in more than grunts and knowing glares.

The next movies on the list don’t arrive until December (the new Star Wars and the new James Bond). I hope I can see them on a Monday or my gray hair fools the staff.



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