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Y2K + 6 Hits the ArcLight?

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Not to be creepy, but we know where you were today, only because we, and what seemed like half of LA, were there too. That's right, we went to see a movie at the ArcLight--the movie theatre we just proclaimed our favorite in all of Los Angeles.

Today, however, the ArcLight wavered on our personal "it" list, and we mean the "it" that follows a short "Shhhhh...." (which, incidentally, is something that chatty older couple in the row behind us needed to be told several times throughout the 4:55 showing of Match Point). So why the almost fall from grace? Well...

First we tried to usual buy our tickets online routine. But, what? "Performance Data Not Available" for all their shows? Whaaat? Huh? Okay, so we get on the phone. Ring after ring after ring, and no answer. We give up for a spell, and then try again. This time we're successful, we score three tickets to the show and heave a sigh of relief that we won't have a thing to worry about once we get there. After braving the rainy streets we pull into the parking structure, and enter a colossal nightmare of epic proportions. People are honking, edging other cars out, blocking people...the guys waving people on are shouting at each other. The clock is ticking, and we finally park, way up top on the roof. So we head down to pick up our pre-paid tickets from the kiosk machines. The lines are daunting, but seem manageable. Behind us is an unfortunate soul whose movie plans kept getting dashed one after the other. Match Point is sold out, reports his movie companion via cellphone. Oops, so is the Geisha one. "I guess it's just the gay cowboy movie," he laments, and we can't help but laugh. He tells us that he couldn't even get through on the phone. Then rumblings up ahead in line seem to indicate the machine we're lined up for isn't actually working. Before even wasting precious time to check for ourselves, we turn around to the unsuspecting folks behind us: "The machine is broken," we tell them, and skirt over to another line. But they don't move. They just have to see for themselves. Oh well... We're almost there...

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...we get our tickets out no problem, and scurry inside. Do we have time for popcorn? The restroom? We split up, strategizing. We ask the usher in front of Theatre 10 if we have time, and he says yes, there are 8 minutes worth of previews. "But don't be late, or they won't let you in!" Funny how what was supposed to be an easier moviegoing experience had all of a sudden reached a new stress high. We secured our treats, and settled in our seats as the preview for Mel "Too-Big-For-His-Britches" Gibson's latest horror show was ending, and our movie began. Sweet relief.

But the technological breakdown wasn't quite complete. There was still parking to contend with. We tried one pre-pay machine, but as soon as we discovered it wasn't working, we did the same thing. "It's not working," we turn to tell the line of people behind us. "It isn't taking bills or cards, and you have to cancel out." We move to the other line, and again, not a soul follows us. We watch from the new line as one by one they try fruitlessly to shove dollar bills in the unyielding slot. They press buttons, they consult their companions, they push harder. One by one they move to the other line. And of course, this machine isn't working either! We give up! So it's up, up, up to the 7th level, where we find the car, and then wait in another line to be let out. Our reward is at the bottom: All the gates are up, and it seems parking was free today! Guess they decided to just not fight a losing battle against machinery and cut their losses.

So does anyone know what happened at the ArcLight today? Why was it impossible to pre-purchase online, and near-impossible to get through on the phone? Why were the kiosks mostly duds, and how did the parking get so screwy? We're wondering if Y2K+6 hit the ArcLight. And we're also damn sure we won't head down there to see a movie on New Year's Day in 2007, or any other year.

P.S. We liked Match Point. Not loved, but liked. We're going to make ourselves a drink and give it a good long think.