For those of you who don’t live in Orlando or who live here but have never been there, Pointe Orlando is a touristy entertainment mall thing. But, really, there’s no reason to go there ever unless you 1. Work there 2. Are eating at one of the collection of restaurants (Taverna Opa, The Capitol Grille, Hooters, etc—I’ve only been to two of the three. Guess which ones and you get a prize!) or 3. Watching a movie (they were the first ones to get IMAX around here. I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure. I think Disney waited to see if it was successful before undergoing the expense). Mostly, the mall portion is a complete wasteland. They have high-end boutique shops that have no business being next to a movie theater, much less a Hooters. They used to have an arcade, but that went under a while back. I just looked at their website and I guess they count Wonderworks as a part of it. Wonderworks is pretty damn cool so I guess you have four legitimate reasons for going there (Well, five, if you include getting lost on International Drive).
Now they have a Performing Arts Center and The Improv. I have no idea how long they’ve been there, but they sound interesting so I hope they stick around. I saw them for the first time yesterday, which may not mean they’re new. I’m not observant like that.
Anyway, I have three awesome memories from Pointe (which is what we call it).
The first was in 2009. This was back when we had the awesome Polo Warehouse crew (I’m the only one left…) It was Eric, Emil (Lime), Ryne (Ryno), Derek and me. We would talk all through the day about movies and disgusting things, be gluttons on break together and play Rock Band when we were done. The guys were all agog over my singing voice, but when I’d play the drums scream, “Jackie, why do you have no rhythm!!” They were all rock stars. We were a fun and stupid group. Anyway, a few of us had read the graphic novel “Watchmen” (by Alan Moore) so when the movie came out we had to see it. I don’t even remember if we saw it at midnight or just on opening night, because that’s not the important part. We saw it at Pointe (again, I don’t even remember if we IMAXed it. That’s not the point. And shut up, IMAX can be a verb!)
What I really remember is Eric, Lime and I going in my old car Sylvia to get the tickets after work one day, because we were afraid it would sell out for whatever time we were seeing it at. I had a yellow legal pad in the backseat for some reason, so Lime (who is an artist) drew a picture of what he imagined to be a “Chancletasaurus” and he also drew a really fantastic picture of Rorschach (from Watchmen), which I still have. We bought our tickets and looked around the dead mall for about 15 minutes, mostly just passing through a couple of shops on our way to the parking garage. We climbed the stairs to the second floor and Lime said something that I took a little mock offense to, probably something insulting to women and I threatened him with my usual violence and he said it again and ran away so I took off my shoe and threw it at him. It hit him in the back (near the kidneys) and he didn’t go down or anything. He just sort of yelped and stumbled over his own feet. I thought it was freakin’ hilarious. And I really miss our old group. Lime is in Pensacola now, working for the government or something. Derek and Eric are both nurses. And Ryno is in the Navy (and will be sent to Afghanistan in June).
The second memory is from 2009, probably. I have Unabomber tendencies, where I write down everything I do on my calendar. I could easily get to these calendars and find out the exact dates, but even I think it’s kind of not worth it. Right, so some friends and I went Mini-Golfing. I don’t exactly remember why we were forced to park in the Pointe parking garage (which costs a year off your life unless you get it validated by the movie theater or a restaurant; not really a year off your life, but it is an absurd amount for parking for just a few hours.) But we weren’t going to Pointe, we could not get validated and we had no cash to pay the stupid fee. Hello, broke college kids! Or just kids who don’t carry actual money, I’m not completely sure which it was.
I broke down and checked my calendar; it was January 1, 2009.
Jessica, Josh, Josh’s brother Andrew and I went in Jessica’s car. And looking back I think we did have the money but I’m an indignant nut so I was like, “No, we’ll just ask somebody at the movie theater to have them validate our ticket.” The worst thing they could say was, “No, crazy! Get away from me!” I think I remembered it the other way because that was the story I told the couple, you know, “We don’t have any cash. Broke college kids…yada yada yada.” So we stood around the entrance to the theater (outside of the Hooters) and waited for someone who seemed like they might not run in terror from me. Jessica, Josh and Andrew kind of hung back when I approached them (partly out of embarrassment and partly so we didn’t seem like a rag-tag gang about to rob you). I explained that we had no money or whatever and then asked if they came in one car (one car=one parking ticket to be validated) because they had two movie tickets and it was therefore perfectly acceptable for them to validate two parking tickets. I explained this to them and they kind of shrugged their acquiescence. The guy went up the stairs and inside with my parking ticket and his movie ticket to get it validated and at this point I noticed that he had a limp that looked extremely painful. The lady half of the couple stayed with me as I awkwardly apologized and thanked her much more than necessary. I think I may have asked what movie they were seeing. When the man appeared in the doorway I ran up the stairs and thanked him even more than his other half. The woman followed me a little less briskly up the stairs. I thanked them again and wished them a happy evening and enjoyable movie. And in they went. And off to a frustrating game of mini-golf we went. All this to say, I am incredibly cheap about the weirdest stuff.
And my final recollection is from 2008. And not to play favorites, but it is my favorite… I loved “The Dark Knight.” I had seen it in theaters two times already, but I decided that my father, quite plainly, must see this movie. It was imperative to his role as fellow movie-lover. I truly believed that it was the best performance I’d ever seen, and I think you probably know whose performance I’m speaking of. It was my first time going IMAX, but I thought such a film was deserving of the price (and we wouldn’t have to pay for parking so, yeah. Worth it.) We got the tickets and popcorn and got our seats (good ones, in the middle of the theater like we prefer). The movie was still fantastic the third time. We left the theater in veneration of what we’d just seen, though we agreed that we didn’t quite understand the point of IMAX (calm down, it was the beginning of IMAX. At that point, it was really not that great. I’m sorry if you disagree.) We got in my car and exited the parking space and sat. Apparently everyone at Pointe Orlando was leaving in some mass exodus so we were at a standstill. I’m lucky to have even reversed out of my space, but nonetheless we were stuck.
My dad’s going to hate this, but whatever. He’s not on the internet to complain about this story. He’ll never know (I will throw my shoe at you if you tell him!) We had drinks. Huge Movie Theater sized, 64 oz. drinks. My dad had to pee. We were stuck in this unmoving line to get out of the parking garage; my dad asked where the nearest bathroom was (no big deal, the bathroom was located four stories below us) and got out. Bolted, really. But the line didn’t stay still. I don’t know how it was possible with all these people leaving, but there were no empty parking spaces for me to comfortably wait in. So I was forced to turn in my parking ticket and leave the garage. I didn’t leave him! I circled to the drop-off area near the bathroom I told him to use. We were stupid to not have formulated a “meet up” plan, but the man had urgent needs. I waited and circled. I didn’t want to go back into the parking garage. Hello, the fee! You’re probably thinking, Just call him. My gosh, you’re brilliant. Except my dad didn’t have a cell phone back then. But my phone did ring and it was my mom. “Hey, honey. Your dad’s in a taxi on the way home. What happened?” When he couldn’t find me in the garage he went downstairs and got in a taxi. He asked the driver if he could borrow his cell phone, he called my mom and told her to call me. He made it home. And I made it home. And we did enjoy the movie. Success.
Now, whenever we leave a movie theater I ask him facetiously if he needs to use the restroom before we leave. He hates it.
Hmmm…all these stories had more to do with the Pointe Orlando Parking Garage. I guess it’s the more happening place for me.
Goodness, I really did enjoy parentheses today.