Last Sunday we had plain old cruddy Maine weather.  You know what I mean – the kind that’s just part of a typical New England February. it was snowy, then rainy, then slushy. In other words, it was the perfect day to stay inside, watch a good flick and hang out.

There we were, Spouse, Second Born and me, spending a typical Sunday afternoon stretched out on our individual recliners. Now… considering that we can barely fit a sofa, love seat, and television stand in our current living room, you would have to assume either the Prize Patrol stopped by and dropped off a new house or I was dreaming. Neither is the case. Instead, Second Born introduced us to an amazing place complete with spacious recliners, snacks, and entertainment. The cinema.

This seems to be the new thing now, making the theater atmosphere as comfortable as possible in order to lure you out of the house and into a movie. Sure, we can watch on our own time (once the DVD comes out) and even take bathroom breaks if we’re viewing at home. But this – oh, this was something special. Not only could you recline in a big, wide, leathery chair – you could sip on a beverage that’s sitting right next to you in your own cup holder while you munch on snacks that you purchased at the theater (ahem).

My own experience in movie houses has been that, any time I have to get past other patrons for any reason, I’m always whispering “Sorry” or “Excuse me” going out and begging my way back in. Tight theater space means that everyone in your row has to either stand up or curl their legs into the fetal position to let someone through.

Not so with this new setting. We had so much room to pass through our row that we could have walked two deep. We could have danced. We could have somersaulted down the aisle, all while being casually observed by viewers already comfy and reclined in their seats – which, by the way, are tiered so nobody has a bad view.

Once I got situated in my recliner, I spent ten minutes playing with the settings on my chair before the movie started. Legs up, head back… legs down – wait, what? My chair seemed to have a mind of its own. It turns out my cell phone was doing the bump with the control button, causing minor couch-like contortions until I moved the phone to my other pants pocket.

The only problem with being so comfortable is the danger of falling asleep. Isn’t there some kind of rule that you’re supposed to slip into dreamland within five minutes of reclining? It just so happened that we were there to see a high action movie that was also wonderfully entertaining, so there was no danger of anyone dozing off during those 120-plus minutes.

It’s going to be hard to go back to just any old cinema – or the ones with the car seats that make me feel like I’m stuck and I can’t get up – after this magical experience. It will also depend on the show itself. Do I really want to drive 20 minutes to watch a disappointing feature in sumptuous seating? I could stay home and snooze halfway through a bad movie for free, but still…. the cup holders.

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