Raving about Gateway

March 20, 2005 at 3:48 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

On a Sunday afternoon when my best chums were with their boyfriends and Nina was off doing overtime at work, there was just nobody to be had and I decided I wasn’t going to bore myself at home.

So off I went to Gateway, with its spanking brand-new floors and wide-open spaces and one-of-a-kind, 5-storey high atrium. The place is very accessible, and is no more than 20 minutes away from my house. It is neither too high-class, like Rockwell, nor is it low-brow and cheap like SM. It’s a mall where you can be penniless, but for as long as you do not look the part, Gateway can be a fun place to hang around in. It’s not too crowded, but neither is it intimidating.

It’s right in the heart of the revived Araneta Center, adjacent to the historic Coliseum, and accessible to both MRT 3 and LRT 2, which is good news for snobs who can’t be bothered with buses and jeepneys.

My first enterprise was the clean carpeted cinemas at the 5th level where I take up a ticket for Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. The crowd was for the most part civilized — meaning they didn’t bug me, were surprisingly quiet and courteous, so unlike the balahura crowd that usually packs the SM malls at any given time. And since the screening times are strictly observed, nobody walks in and out of the cinema while the movie is ongoing.

Which allowed me to really enjoy the movie. And I agree with what Vives says about it. Left hand dipped in a tub of popcorn, right hand pawing my iced tea tumbler once in a while, and seats at both sides empty beside me, I could relish the moviegoing experience without the hassle of jologs with their feet on the back of my seat, dilapidated leather seats and sticky floors.

Last week, mom and I went in to see Birhen ng Manaoag, and let me just state that as a fact and let it go at that, since I intend to elaborate on that experience later on.

Reeling from that horrible movie, I was off to see Million Dollar Baby the following day and I was haunted by its ending. (I loved Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry and I definitely loved her again in this one.)

This time though, I was seated next to an old lady who was making comments about every scene in the movie. She bugged me, but since the seats are amply spaced, built so as to be taller than anyone’s head and elevated AT shoulder-height of the person in front of you, I could put some distance between me and the old lady who it seemed belonged more at SM than at Gateway. (I realize I sound elitist, but damn it, good manners and ethical behavior are not class-bound virtues!)

Yesterday, I took a trip to Gateway again and watched Robots. This time, the theater was naturally jam-packed with kids, being a family day and all. Seating all alone in the dark, I felt the kid behind me kicking on my seat. But I only had to look up behind me once, and throw the parent seated next to the kid the most menacing glance I could give out and that was it. Nobody bugged me for the rest of the movie, which was really bland and less exciting than Pixar works, and anyway I also agree with what Vives says about it anyway, so why else should I comment on it further.

In SM I would even have to pound on my seat (and once, tell off some high school kids) before those annoying knees would lay off the back of my seat. And I hate that SM’s cinemas have no cup holders in their seats. In Gateway they do, and they’re big enough to hold even the biggest popcorn tubs. And the armrests can be reclined, conducive for lovey-doveys who want to hug (and smooch) on date flicks. And the sound is efficiently amped, so as not to be too loud. In SM my ears sometimes hurt from the loud audio, THX Dolby Surround shit and all.

Watching Robots yesterday was the first time in a long time that I saw a kid-movie without leaving the cinema feeling pissed at all the noise and junk on the floor. And to think it was Saturday, a day when even month-old babies in strollers are in malls. (Something I still do not accept, by the way).

Moviegoing at Gateway is such a relaxing activity, that while this sounds like a PR piece for Gateway and a possible endorsement to make the Aranetas even richer, I couldn’t care less. Moviegoing had become such a dreadful activity for me; I refused to watch movies on the silver screen. But now, I’m not only going, I’m going by myself.

Now if the same level of comfort and privacy can be had at internet cafes…(image: me stabbing to death the jolog using PC to my right…)

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