kabuki.jpgAs far as San Franciscans are concerned, there is no place like the Sundance Kabuki Theater. It’s comfy, has an awesome balcony, serves food, and costs an arm and a leg to go to. I mean, movies are already sort of expensive, but a good way to make them more expensive is to make them more expensive, and the people at Sundance Kabuki totally get that!

As far as I can tell, and that is pretty freaking far because I have great eyesight, the main purpose of the “amenities fee” they tack onto the ticket price is so you can choose your seat when you buy your ticket as opposed to 30 seconds later when you actually walk into the theater. $3? That’s worth $300,000!

But perhaps the service fee is for the privilege of sitting in the balcony where there are little tables between the seats. The guys I go with always want to get seats next to one of these tables, and I always want to sit in their laps, so everyone is usually happy except for them and me.

One time, a friend and I tried to sit in some seats that we had not reserved 30 seconds before, and the people who had reserved them came in and got confused because they were almost sure we were sitting in their seats, but they couldn’t be sure because we were covering the numbers with our knees.

They actually had to leave the theater to confirm their suspicions that we were assholes, and by the time they came back with a manager they had almost used up their entire amenities fee on us.

Apparently, part of the reason for the amenities fee is because the people behind Sundance Kabuki only present the finest “art, independent and world cinema” and yet I don’t see Tangled anywhere on the lineup! What is that all about? That’s all about crazy as far as I can tell, which is pretty goddamn far, and getting farther by the minute thanks to yesterday’s completely cosmetic Lasik surgery.

Of course, one of the reasons for the fee is because they don’t show long and embarrassing Coca-Cola commercials before the movie, which is a huge relief if you drink Pepsi.

Actually, after all this talk of amenities fees I’m starting to come around on the Sundance Kabuki. All of that and the chance to see Robert Redford for just $3 + the cost of admission sounds like a steal. I guess I am sort of a San Franciscan after all.

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  • Greg Dewar

    I’m more than happy to pay the fee if it means I don’t have to watch an endless array of the dumbest ads ever invented aka movie ads. Whenever I go to an AMC or Century theater and they do that whole lineup of ads for bad basic cable shows and then do that “you just saw an ad for Some Show That Will Be Canceled blah blah blah” and about 4000 previews for bad movies, cell phones and sodas it kills the moment.

    Plus the Sundance is the closest I can get to going to the Arclight Cinemas in LA, which is even better…all the amenities of Sundance and if you’re a member (cost = nada) on their anniversary they give you a present. Last one I got was a martini glass! woo hoo!

  • Karl

    Got to agree, picking seats online is the way to go. Also ensures a seat at sold-out shows (the screening of Howl with the subsequent trotting out film makers and Beat descendants comes to mind).

    One big letdown at this place though are the concession stands. Thankfully that can be avoided in many most cases but when I sat through 6 hours of Carlos yeah I had to go deal with these kids. The kind that like to give you the impression they like do you a favor because they are so much better than this.

  • sfbird

    The author seems to be missing the point that the advantage of picking your seat isn’t that you do it “30 seconds earlier” in the lobby, but that you can do it days or weeks earlier at home. Thus, you can walk into the 8pm show of a sold-out movie on opening night at 7:59 and know that you’ll have a great seat.

    Also, I can’t really figure out what she’s getting at. Does she hate the Kabuki? Is she just making fun of it to try to be funny? She obviously made a choice to write in the voice of a glib moron, but to what end?

    It just comes across like an annoying Yelp review.

  • Belgand

    All of these “Things San Franciscans Like” columns read like annoying Yelp reviews. I guess it’s the Appeal’s show that they can compete with the Chronicle in the cutthroat business of unpleasant puff pieces and misinformed editorials.

  • Brock Keeling

    Yes, someone is missing the point.

  • hannah

    @everyone: Is sarcasm dead or do people just not appreciate it anymore?

  • sfbird

    No, sarcasm is still alive, but it has to be funny (like comedian funny, not conversation-with-your-friend-in-a-bar funny). Otherwise, it just falls completely flat and comes across as sort of annoying.