Dine-in disappointment

AMC must have been kidding when it thought moviegoers would enjoy a dine-in experience in the theater. Having been an entertainment journalist and graduate film student at USC, I had my doubts that any dine-in movie experience would be a positive one.
After a recent afternoon at the AMC Dine-in Theatres near Marina del Rey, my misgivings were confirmed.
I don’t think I’m being particular when I admit I was extremely distracted when waiters “crouched” – or tried to – while they were delivering food, picked up used trays and brought more food during the course of the film. This continually blocked my view of the screen.
My senses were further bombarded with a mélange of smells wafting by: French fries, fish, popcorn, nachos, to name just an identifiable few. It finally was impossible to concentrate with patrons talking to the waiters about their order and fumbling for payment.
The concept of eating and viewing was introduced at this AMC on Dec. 3, after closing in May 2012 for reconstruction. I decided to treat myself to a Sunday afternoon movie, Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained.” The audience hooted and hollered throughout, talking to the inanimate screen.
“You go get ‘em, woo hoo!” yelled the woman seated next to me. I asked her if she was going to talk the entire film. She didn’t respond and continued with a running commentary while chomping loudly on carrots and celery. She might have been dissuaded from talking had the theater offered a “silence please” reminder before the movie – common practice today in most other venues.
Upon leaving, I informed theater personnel of my displeasure and was assured I’d be sent some passes to “try the theater again.” I left frustrated and decided – passes or not – never to return. Two weeks have gone by; the passes haven’t arrived. So much for customer service.
A friendly warning to anyone who appreciates cinema and wants to watch a movie in peace: at all costs, avoid theaters offering dine-in experiences.
Jane Lieberman
Marina del Rey

The odds for LAX light rail

USC will win the national championship in men’s hoops, the Clippers will go undefeated throughout the playoffs and win their first NBA title, the Kings will win the Stanley Cup, the Dodgers the World Series and UCLA will capture the BCS Football Championship — all in the same year — before the first shovel of dirt is turned to extend either the Metro Crenshaw or Green Line to Los Angeles International Airport.
Janice Hahn has a better shot at serving two terms as mayor of Los Angeles.
Bill Bell
Mar Vista

Residents owed consideration in runway plan

I am a resident of Marina del Rey, where more and more flights go over the beach and the 8,000 adjacent residences.
We were not surveyed either about moving the northernmost runway at Los Angeles International Airport closer to Westchester. If not necessary for safety, it should not be done. It brings noise, pollution and reduced property values to Westchester.
Los Angeles World Airports should concentrate on having a rail line to and from the airport and more moving conveyors and wheelchairs for its passengers.
In ease of passenger movement, it can’t compare to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Paying today’s property taxes entitles residents and business owners to some consideration.
Lynne Shapiro
Marina del Rey

Chain Reaction recreated

The frivolous debate over preserving Paul Conrad’s Chain Reaction sculpture in Santa Monica is just another example of how our City Council wastes money on needless studies that no doubt line the pockets of special interests who contribute to incumbents’ campaigns for re-election.
The late Conrad intended his cartoon as a symbol of peace and an anti-nuke protest, although local reactionary elements who vociferously object to that message can regard it as a symbol of America’s military might. Unfortunately, it looks more like a seal balancing a beach ball on his nose. It should be rebuilt so it looks like Conrad’s original political cartoon, and requires a minimum of maintenance.
Such monuments, like the Statue of Liberty, are found in capital cities all over the world. Chain Reaction symbolizes the now defunct progressive agenda of the old “People’s Republic of Santa Monica.”
It should be centrally located in the new park at The Village (across the street from where it is now). To restrict children and others it should be raised on a pedestal (like the Statue of Liberty) and surrounded by a moat or water fountain, rather than the present chain-link fence.
To raise money, the old sculpture should be scrapped and each chain link sold to raise money to erect a larger, more realistic and sturdier sculpture (for higher donations, color some of the links bronze, silver, gold or platinum).
Jonathan Mann
Santa Monica

Transportation ballot measure redo

The “30 in 10” Measure J failed by 1 percent Nov. 6 because the marketing of the measure was terrible. No one knew about it.
Also, the other bond issues were on the same ballot. Simply do it again. Market it better. All of the politicians – city, county, and mainly the mayor – need to get behind it. It could maybe be done in March.
We desperately need a better transportation system ASAP.
Harlan Lee
Marina del Rey