We went to see the movie Lord of the Rings last night at the Sony Metreon, a capitalist consumerist mall hell of a movie threatre. Anyway, the line to get into the movie stretched all the way across the length of the entire building, up a flight of stairs, around the entire fourth floor and was starting up towards the fifth, when I got into line one hour before the movie was scheduled to start. The people in Guest Services or whatever were being difficult. They were trying to tell Ian to wait in line, even though it traversed a staircase and he's in a wheelchair. And there's only so many wheelchair spots, so it's not like he's waiting for general admission seating. Anyway, all of this was moot because as the line was growing behind my towards the next staircase, somebody pulled a fire alarm.
Do they give the movie theatre staff any training on how to respond to an amergency? It seems like no. A bunch of guys came out and quietly told a few people that the building was being evacuated. People sort of milled around, thinking of this as an opportunity to get a better spot in line. Eventually, they cleared off the third floor, and only the third floor. A bunch of people went outside, but the hoardes started streaming back in. I stopped on of them, "What's going on? Did someone say it was a good idea to come back inside?"
"I dunno." the guy said, "I'm just following everyone else."
There was a possibility, however remote, that the building was actually on fire. People were like lemmings, following each other in every direction. It makes it kind of clear how all those people in the second tower all got killed in New York last year. Somebody with a bullhorn says, "Everything's ok." and they start being like lemmings. But nobody at the metreon had a bullorn. Nobody knew what was going on. So we went outside. The alarm was false. There were over a thousand people on the second floor, waiting to be readmitted to their movies. Giant, crushing crowds. By the time they got everything figured out, they skipped all the previews for our movie, because it was late. Anyway, it's a good thing it was a good movie.