Aug 14, 2012, 06:22AM

I Will Not Go Unsatisfied

Getting one over on the Chelsea Clearview cinema.

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“Oh, no. Really? Alright, well, what’s that “Southerland” one?” The octogenarian shook his finger at the digitized board behind the woman’s head. It read, Beasts of the Southern... “Yeah, okay, I’ll take one for ‘Southerland.’ 7:15.” He shelled out the dough, and turned on his heels, back out into the street. I took his stead, requesting the same of the woman in the transparent box. Shed of $13.25, I proceeded through the theater doors, precisely an hour ahead of the film’s start time.

Both the man and I had gone to the movies with the same intention of viewing Woody Allen’s latest Euro-pandering romp, To Rome With Love, only to be met with the gleam of a “sold out” sign. Instead of conceding like the man, however, I was going to fool the Chelsea Clearview employees. Or so I thought. I strode up to the man who was droning, “Tickets,” like a faltering foghorn. My friend, who saved me a seat inside, was now loitering over his shoulder, at the ready to ensure my entrance.

“Nuh uh,” he said, when I handed him the $13.25 little rectangle. “It’s too early to go into the theater. Your movie doesn’t start for another hour.” “What?” I said incredulously. I locked eyes with my friend, then with my ticket. “She gave me the wrong one! I bought a ticket for To Rome With Love.”  “Go over there,” the man gestured to the help desk, visibly unmoved. I walked two feet—may or may not have cut the entire line—and straddled the register with outstretched hands. “Hi. I’ve got a ticket for To Rome With Love, and the woman accidentally gave me one for Beasts of the Southern Wild.”

“But To Rome With Love is sold out.”

“I know. I bought this earlier. Today.”

“Okay, but it would be impossible for me to transfer it because it’s sold out. The computer won’t let me do it.” I turned across the barrier to my friend for assistance. “He has a seat for me inside. He says it’s only half-full.” “I’m sorry, ma’am.” The other employees behind the desk were now inching towards our conversation, bashfully at the ready for back up. “This is ridiculous. I’ve already seen this!” I glared at “BEASTS OF SOU” in my fist. “Can I at least get a refund?” “Sure,” she said flatly.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d think Mr. Clearview pumps his employees’ faces with botox, so they may remain forever un-phased.

She pressed a button and the tray of cash shot out into her gut. As she began counting the bills, a wave of relief washed over me. I noticed my friend conspiring with another employee but thought nothing of it. The film didn’t get great reviews, anyway. I was angling the 13 dollar bills into my wallet when my friend gave me a shout.

“Come in! She says you can come in!”

“I just got a refund.”

The lines in the cashier’s face finally moved as she released a sigh. “I just gave her money back,” she affirmed. “Here you go.” I reached across the register. “Thanks!” I ran back around to the entrance, and the genial employee gestured me past the foghorn.

“What you tell her?” My friend and I were two-stepping towards the theater. “I just convinced her that everyone who bought tickets for To Rome With Love was theater-hopping to the Dark Knight. That’s why everything at this time is sold out. The theater is half full.” Anyway, To Rome With Love was a lot more entertaining than three hours of aural assault.


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