If we thought things were bad at the Cineplex Odeon at Universal City, now come the new auditoriums at the Cineplex Odeon in Century City.
In Theaters 3 and 4 they've placed the single entrance not in the back, but right beside the screen in the form of a heavy swinging door.
Throughout the showing of "Glass Menagerie" Sunday evening, people wandered in and out of the theater like so many lost souls in search of the Correct Cubicle, forever doomed to a maze of stairways and doors. And each time someone roamed in or out ("Oops, not here"), the audience would swing its collective head back and forth to watch, like we were part of some uneven tennis match between Tennessee's characters and the wandering Lilliputians.
The fabled door has a handy window into which hallway nomads can intermittently peek, giving us contrasting close-ups of Joanne Woodward's face on the big screen, and those desperate 8x10 faces in the window, eyes pleading for our help. Interesting, but I don't think director Paul Newman would be pleased.
One could point out that the projected picture rides slowly up and down like we're watching from a boat becalmed at sea; or that instead of slices of purple pizza hanging on the auditorium walls, a la Universal City, here we have the pizza boxes, big green ones; and that, sadly, all this has occurred at the former Plitt Theater which was one of the finest showcases anywhere.
But, of course, the main thing is the concession stand, which is very nice. Real butter, no pizza.