Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse
This week I was fortunate enough to get to see a stand-up comedian at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse. Now although I found the act entertaining, I can't exactly speak highly of the establishment. Now I preface this by saying I really like the concept behind the place. Basically it looks to have been an old theater which they renovated for movies, live music and comedy along with a decent selection of beers on tap. The place definitely has a lot of character and not as cookie cutter some of comedy club franchises can be.
However, the organization behind the place is really terrible. I bought my tickets ahead of time online and then arrived almost an hour ahead of time to get some good seats and maybe a drink. The last time I did this for a show, the club was smart enough to start assigning people seats while they had a drink in the main lobby. Instead at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse they decided to make you wait in line outside in the cold to pick up your ticket. To make matters worse, plenty of people seemed resigned to this fate so the line was actually starting to build up. My friend and I decided that good vs. okay seats and a comedy show wasn't quite worth an hour in the cold--myself especially as I hadn't foreseen the necessity of a winter jacket. When we asked if we could just go inside for a drink at the DRAFTHOUSE before waiting in the line outside we were told this was impossible?!
After going for a drink elsewhere we got in line and to add insult to injury, the people behind us who hadn't bought tickets ahead of time actually moved through the queue faster than us as the person scrolled through the will call list looking for our names. When we got inside, I realized why so many had been willing to wait in line for so long--there were some pretty bad seats inside. The seating is a bit like stadium-style seating however some 'levels' are 10-15 feet deep with multiple rows of seats which can put people directly in your line of view which would be manageable if you weren't above the act which really messes up your view.
Well to take some solace from the experience, at least I learned a bit of a lesson about the Arlington Drafthouse if I am ever forced to go there again--bring warm clothes!