The offer was somewhat enticing: A brand new Cineplex, the Santikos Palladium AVX, opening May 16, was offering a sneak peek into their wonderful world of entertainment. The theater was not only letting folks immerse themselves into free bowling and snacks, but this new theater would be one of the first in the area to offer D-Box Motion Seats. These motion-activated chairs are the newest way for movie theaters to milk more money out of moviegoers, promising a more interactive experience with seats that "jerk, vibrate and sway" alongside the action of the film.
Looks easy enough... or does it?
While the rewards seemed great, the costs were equally aligned. Well, actually there was really only one cost and that was that this theater's public "ribbon-cutting" was in Richmond, TX and that is really, really far away. But alas, I fell for the idea of sitting in a seat that could potentially massage my back while I watched trailers for Iron Man 3 and The Great Gatsby while eating free Twizzlers.
But more than that, I felt a need to go outside the beltway. As someone who reports on culture in Houston, I know that I am all too loop-centric, and that needed to change. This week.
But I made a huge mistake.
The first telltale sign that the universe did not want me to exit its protective barrier that is the Beltway 8 was something that can only be described as a shit-ton of traffic. I should have you know that I work off hours, and on my favorite days of the week my morning commute involves putting on slippers and walking to my desk. So 610 to 59 to the Westpark Tollway at 5:30 p.m. was something I have never experienced before. It was psychotic to say the least, and I feel deeply for anyone that must do this everyday. I am sorry for you.
Right as traffic started moving, my gaslight turned on. For fear that I would run out of gas in the middle of nowhere, I pulled off at the first gas station I could. This particular Mobil station falls easily into the category of "where the hell am I and please don't die." As I quietly pumped gas, I noticed two gentlemen, out of the corner of my eye, whom I'm quite sure just stepped out of the backwoods of Kentucky; they also shared a 40 out of a plastic bag.
"Siri, where am I?" "I wish I knew, Awesome." (Siri calls me Awesome)More »