This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
I keep a running mental list called "Things That Are More Fun in Theory Than They Are in Real Life."
Like Disneyland, for example.
Don't get me wrong. I am not one of those pretentious, party-pooping, professional Disneyland-haters who are all, "Disneyland represents everything that is wrong with America!" In fact, whenever I go to Disneyland, my hopes are always high. I look forward to rides like Pirates of the Caribbean even though it broke down that once and my brother, after waiting an eternity, finally got out of the boat with his toddler tucked like a football beneath his arm and waded to shore because he (the toddler) had to go to the bathroom.
It's just that the reality of Disneyland sometimes gets in the way of the dream. Heat, crowds, lines and pricey corn dogs occasionally force a person to go, "Hey! Am I having some fun yet?"
Meanwhile, I recently added something new to my ongoing list.
You've heard about the remodeled theaters in Sugar House, haven't you? The ones with the reclining seats?
OK. There are few things I love more in this world than my La-Z-Boy recliner, and I am not even kidding. I often do nothing all day long except think about how much I love my La-Z-Boy recliner. I love it so much that sometimes I even write La-Z-Boy rap lyrics (I am pining to be reclining in a seat that lifts my feet, yo!) or perhaps a La-Z-Boy haiku (I want to hug you/ And whisper sweet words of love/ But that would be weird).
So when I learned that the new Cinemark Sugarhouse Movies 10 has recliners, I was all over it. What could be better than lounging in a recliner while eating popcorn and watching a movie on a huge screen?
And the first time I went, I had a great experience. My friend Jamie and I saw "Aloha" in a mostly empty theater. Why was it mostly empty? Maybe because the movie mostly got such bad reviews. I personally enjoyed it, though, because hello! Bradley Cooper!
Anyway, I was eager to go back, which I did a few weeks ago to see "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." Unlike the first time I went, the theater was full, as in P.A.C.K.E.D. which meant that I reclined right next to a complete stranger, who was also in reclining mode.
OK. I am here to bear witness that it is a disturbingly intimate experience to recline in a movie theater next to a complete stranger. It's like being on a blind date with somebody and wondering if that person will try to casually slip an arm around you but accidentally elbow you in the side of the head instead, thus causing you to spill your popcorn all over the floor. Oh no! Not the popcorn!
I felt like someone who'd mistakenly wandered into one of those cuddle parties you're always reading about these days.
Not that the stranger in the recliner and I did any cuddling.
But still. It felt awkward to me. And suddenly I started to worry that I would bother my reclining neighbor if I chewed my popcorn too loudly. So I ate my popcorn piece by piece. And instead of chewing those pieces, I just let them dissolve in my mouth.
Question: What did I learn from the experience?
Answer: It takes a long time for popcorn to dissolve in your mouth.
Will I go back? Of course. The remodeled theater is great.
I think, however, I'll go when I'm pretty sure no one else will be there.