Fun and Games at the Movies


Few things make me as happy as going out to the movies. It’s been that way for only about 55 years. Maybe it’s the memory of popcorn on arrival and ice cream bar in departure at the Regina Capitol, with my father, that helps the warm feeling.

I miss not seeing Mr. Magoo or another quality cartoon up front, and am grudgingly getting used the pre-show advertisements.

But not all changes are unwelcome. What does everyone in the theatre have with them now they didn’t when I was a kid? No, not a handgun. Yes, a smartphone.

I was in the Calgary Crowfoot theatre a few months ago, and after the ads but before the previews (another highlight for me), they invite us to pull out our phones to play a contest – with the winner receiving Scene points.

Feeling like I can do this, I whip out my phone, and await instructions. Download TimePlay. By the time I get that sorted out, the contest winds up. I am not phased because I will be ready next time.

A few weeks later, at the next movie, I am ready with TimePlay loaded. But it doesn’t connect. The contest starts. TimePlay suggests that if I am not getting a connection, I need to turn off my Smart Switch. As I work on that, the contest winds up – again.

At the next movie, I still haven’t quite figured out how to turn off Smart Switch. A google search points me in the right direction. This time, I actually get registered for the game, but when it ends a few seconds later, my user name, Donovan, is listed on the big screen, zero points, at the bottom.

Undeterred, at the next movie, this time at Westhills, I am full of enthusiasm to play and to crush the competition. But TimePlay is having trouble connecting. I do some googling and learn that this theatre doesn’t have the wi-fi for TimePlay so there will be no game.

I will one day compete, so beware of Donovan you Crowfoot movie goers.

On the other hand, life was a lot more predictable when it was popcorn, cartoons, movie, and an ice cream bar.