Jim Furlong: Maybe I’m Old

There are little signposts along the way to remind you of where you are on  “the great path of life.“ Look at your own preferences and attitudes and you get a little glimpse into the idea  that you aren’t getting any younger.  

Recently St. John’s City Council wrestled with the idea of allowing beer and wine to be sold in a local cinema. Council has given its okay to an application to sell alcohol at the Scotiabank Theatre at the Avalon Mall. 

You would think a nice progressive liberal like myself would be for that but something about it grates in my soul. It might be age and a romantic notion about movies. It might be generational.  

I’m an early baby boomer from just after the war. Our crowd are old enough to remember theatres like The Nickle and The York  and even The Majestic; although I wasn’t allowed to go there.   

That world of going to the movies  was  a magical one of pretend and escape. Hopalong Cassidy, The Cisco Kid  and movies like A Night to Remember held sway. That was then. 

To the matter at hand now and the idea of selling beer and wine in movie theatres. To cut to the chase, it is fraught with problems and I’m against it. It is a fundamental change in something, and it isn’t a change for the better. 

Consider this. Who maintains order in the theatre now? Trust me; where booze is sold, you need order. There will be regulations about the selling of beer and wine at the movies. Two beers per person, etc. The movie theatres used to employ young men and women who were ushers; not bouncers. They don’t have ushers on George Street. I have a question. Who says to the person seeking a third or fourth beer; “I’m sorry we are not serving you anymore?” You can talk all night about a two beer limit, but if you go to a movie with two other people and everyone is entitled to two… who says I can’t drink five of the six?

‘raucous’ drinkers 

Related to that is the behavior of people who are drinking. Have you noticed all the people who, after a couple of drinks, think they are as funny as  Robin Williams? They also have an unbelievable urge to talk. Drinkers can’t shut up. They have observations and thoughts about everything in the universe and that  collides with the general tone of a movie theatre.  Who wants to sit next to wine or beer drinkers… unless you are drinking?  “Raucous” is a word that comes to mind. 

Now when the recent vote came in from City Council I noticed with interest the two dissenting votes were councillors younger than myself but closer to my age. I suspect some sort of generational kinship. There seemed to be an emotional factor in those votes. They are more like me philosophically. It might be the wisdom of experience or I might just be getting old. I noticed I worked Hopalong Cassidy into my argument. That is old.

NTV’s Jim Furlong can be reached by emailing: [email protected]

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