Thursday, November 20, 2003

How Steven Seagal ruined Return of the King

The best movie theater in the L.A. area is arguably the Arclight (the old Cinerama Dome). Not only do they have state-of-the-art sound and projection, but when you order tickets you get an assigned seat. You can show up to a movie 5 minutes before it starts and not worry about where you're going to sit.

A Guy I Work With is a big Lord of the Rings fan needed to order tickets for opening night (Dec. 17) which went on sale today. Unfortunately he was going on vacation and would be on a plane all day and could not get them. He recruited me, and it was a mission I was proud to accept. If you need someone to obsess over something, I'm your man. He needed two tickets; one for him and one for his girlfriend, possibly a third ticket for a friend of his.

Getting tickets isn't as easy as it sounds. There are rules. Because you get a choice of seats when ordering, I had to make sure I got the right section in the right theater at the right time. For example, it would be better to get a good seat on Thursday than a bad seat on Wednesday. The target was a 7:00 showing, seat N22 in the non-dome theater.

We tried to do a run-through yesterday on how to order seats, but the entire ticketing system was down. We didn't even know what time tickets would go on sale. I was going to be on my own. Around 9:00 last night, A Guy I Work With called me to make sure I was good-to-go, and to tell me that he couldn't reach his friend so I should just get the two seats.

I tried logging into the theater website shortly after midnight, thinking maybe tickets went on sale at 12:01. Couldn't get them yet. I put my wireless laptop next to my bed so I could check for tickets as soon as I got up, and went to bed. I woke up at 6:00, went online, and bought tickets:

December 17th
8:20 PM
Seats P17-P18

Not bad. I sent a confirmation text message to A Guy I Work With's phone, then went back to bed.

Around 7:40, the phone woke me up. It was A Guy I Work With. He was in Vegas transferring planes, and got my message. He asked "um... did you check your email?" "No." "Oh. We sent you an email around 12:30 last night. We actually needed 3 tickets." His friend is a writer and was hanging out at Steven Seagal's house all day and didn't get back to him regarding the movie until late. Oh well. Tough noogies for him I guess.

Even I was a little disappointed that I didn't get the coveted N22 seat (if only I got up at 5:00 instead of 6!) but I still thought P17 was pretty good. A Guy I Work With told me "well they're certainly not bad seats."

Gee thanks. And you look good for your age, too.

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