BEING able to “borrow” other people’s children has huge advantages.
For one it gets me into the Huddersfield’s Odeon cinema to see films I wouldn’t dare be seen in daylight queuing for.
My latest adventure was just that. A potentially neck-breaking journey to the very back of a blacked-out cinema with the stop watch running to film time.
Yes, we might have cut it fine. There are always decisions to be made about whether everyone has a drink, are we all sure we don’t need the toilet and, yes, I will hang on to that revolting piece of enamel that has just dropped out of your mouth so that the tooth fairy will visit.
First mistake was lingering to gawp at the queues. Last time I saw so many people wanting to get into a cinema was when I was one of hundreds of teenagers trying to get into a Kinks concert way back when.
And, no, I didn’t go to the ABC Minors, the Saturday morning kids cinema club, when I was a youngster.
They were deemed to be too rowdy and the films boring according to my older friends. But I did know the tune.
Back in next generation filmland we discovered our second mistake. Attempting to reach the summit of the theatre, weaving higher and higher trying to find four seats together. A bit like climbing blindfold.
I began to fear they were about to show Airplane I, II or some other disaster spoof because following the red lights at floor level was leading us nowhere.
The enterprising 10-year-old who was acting as the forward scout in our party had clearly been cleaning up on the carrots. She spotted seats where we couldn’t even see steps and finally taxied us all in to land safely.
By now, I’d realised that we weren’t the only ones who had got out of bed, looked out of the window and decided that the day’s outing was destined to be an indoor one.
And with clever mum having discovered a cinema deal where for every child an adult gets to go free, there was only one place we were heading.
If we’d had a bigger car and could have grabbed more children, we could have taken the whole street to the movies. It seemed like that’s what everyone else had done.
As it was, Arthur’s Big Adventure was a hit with the children, less so with the adults.
It’s a B-movie about giant flying insects buzzing a sleepy American town and while I quite liked the 60s picture book style, I thought it all droned on a bit.
Still, if the answer to a wet weekend is a good old style story then count me in.
And if it costs just pocket money prices like this did instead of the walloping fistful of cash we had to shell out to see the latest 3D film, then cinemas will get more packed houses like this one. And, yes, note to self, get there earlier and you won’t risk your neck in the dark.