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Going to the movies is not what it used to be. But this isn’t new. For years we have been dealing with cellphones, chair kickers, multi-bathroom trippers and my personal favorite the teenage date. You know the ones, where it is the boy and his 6 friends and the girl and her 6 friends. At first they start off divided by the couple sitting in the middle. Throughout the movie the boys and girls start switching seats until they have all paired off. But do they do this quietly? No, they have to make us much noise as possible, because that is what teenagers do. I never understood why.

That is why in Calgary, when you are planning on going to a movie a certain amount of planning is required.

Living in the south west I have several choices for theatres made available to me near the downtown area. There is the monstrous always busy Paramount Theatres in Chinook Centre, there is the cinemas in Westhills with what I consider the most comfortable seats this side of my living room. Who could forget the Globe and the Uptown theatres downtown, located several blocks from Empire Theatres in Eau Claire.

With so many theatres, it only makes a movie goers decisions even harder.

Going to Paramount in the Chinook Centre requires patience, lots of it. Whether it is the one set of escalators that never work. The ridiculously long lines to buy tickets and your popcorn (thanks no doubt to the worker shortage) or the always empty popcorn flavor containers. And that’s before you’ve even gotten to your seat! That is why I save Chinook for the event pictures. Or anything that has a 50% or less rating on Rotten Tomatoes. (www.rottentomatoes.com) There is no doubt that the set up at Chinook is high tech. I loved watching V for Vandetta and Harry Potter on the Imax screens. But Chinook is infested with those creatures that have plagued the earth for years. Teenagers. They are everywhere. Playing video games, butting lines and making out in line. Ok, so maybe I’m a little jealous of the making out part, but I’ve come there to spend my hard earned money and these teenages often impede on this. That is why when I go, I don’t really care what I see, because I’m expecting to be distracted by a flurry of activity.

So where do you go when you actual want to watch the movie? Well I go to the Uptown or the Globe. Places like that are perfect for people who actually love movies! Let alone the fact that the movies that play there are usually destined for Oscar stardom. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad movie there. But my favorite part about movies at the Globe and Uptown? They are single moviegoer friendly.

Since moving to Calgary, I’ve become more and more accostumed to watchng movies alone. Sometimes on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon there is nothing more relaxing than seeing a really great movie….by yourself. Anytime I’ve ever gone to the downtown cinemas I’m never the only person there alone. Fellow film buffs like myself, enjoying the movie, the creaky chairs and the usually teenager free zone.

But I’m still relatively new to the city. Maybe there are secret theatres that I have yet to discover. So like a good movie mystery, I’ll keep looking, but until the summer movie season begins, don’t expect me to be any where near Chinook, or teenagers.

Mike Morrison