4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Passing the digital baton

Out with the Spielberg, in with the DreamWorks at Reading Cinemas Grossmont Center 10

It was a day like any other. I wanted to go to the movies. Go ahead and snicker. You don't want to be around me on the rare occasion where I have to go a week without seeing something projected on a theatre screen.

I was desperate for a fix. Mr. Lickona's 9-year-old son, Elijah, had been on me for some time to take him to see Rise of the Guardians.

"But you have a DVD screener," I pleaded. "Yes," Elijah countered, "but I want to see it on the screen."

Any child smart enough to beat me at my own game must be rewarded.

We arrived at Reading Cinemas Grossmont Center 10 with time to spare, only to be told that it was conversion day and the 4:45 pm showing had been cancelled. The digital projector in the #7 auditorium was still being tweaked. With no other options to choose from, Elijah and I picked up our long faces and headed towards the exit.

One door opens, another closes. What were the chances we'd run into Jennifer Deering, manager emeritus of Reading Cinemas Town Square, while on our way out? Ms. Deering, as her adoring staff calls her, was at Grossmont to help ensure a smooth transition.

Ms. Deering is more than just a manager. She is THE manager in this town! Ms. D not only puts on a great show, she spends a good deal of her off hours watching movies and knows firsthand what it feels like to be unexpectedly turned away.

Looking at her watch, Ms. Deering asked that we give her 15 minutes to see if she couldn't speed things up. Seizing the opportunity, I whisked Elijah into auditorium 10 to watch a few minutes of the last film the theatre will ever project in 35mm.

"Why do we want to see five minutes of Lincoln?" the lad asked.

"Exactly," I replied. "Another second of it could conceivably kill you."

How could I have possibly explained to the kid that the reason I wanted to watch it was to lay claim to having seen the last 35mm and first digital images projected in the complex?

It wasn't the first time a Spielberg film marked a passing in my life. And I don't mean when I passed lunch halfway through Hook. Oskar Schindler and the Temple of Doom was the last film I watched in my beloved Edens Theatre. Imagine the Cinema 21 located in a Chicago suburb and you'll begin to understand the wave of loss I felt when the Edens hit the wrecking ball.

The elevator door opened and out came Ms. Deering with news that we would be the test audience for the first digital screening in #7.

Elijah was dumbstruck. "A private screening," he yelped. "Really?"

Don't you know who I am, kid? I'M CHARLES FOSTER MARKS!

He bounced around auditorium 7 like a tennis ball in a blender, occupying at least 10 different seats throughout the course of the show. For the rest of the day I was King Poo-Poo.

In addition to witnessing history in the making, the afternoon was not without a darker moment. Not wanting to worry the Lickonas, I stayed inside the holy confines and placed a call in the middle of the movie to let them know that Elijah would be late for supper. Forgive me Marty, for I have sinned.

For what it's worth, the #7 Grossmont was one of the banes of my cinematic existence. There is a center-aisle on the main floor where my seat should be! An out of focus, faulty-shutter plagued screening of The Box temporarily stamped a skull and crossbones on the screen.

The center aisle remains, but the new digital image was crisp and not so bright where you could count the pixels.

The days of perks for a film critic have gone the way of the 8-track player. I am forever grateful for the cup of fresh coffee Branden Parish brews on the rare occasion of a morning screening at Hillcrest. Thanks for royal treatment (and eternal memory), Ms. Jennifer.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Reasons the line has slowed at San Ysidro gate

Migrants rushing, gaviotas cutting – not to mention the Baja 1000

It was a day like any other. I wanted to go to the movies. Go ahead and snicker. You don't want to be around me on the rare occasion where I have to go a week without seeing something projected on a theatre screen.

I was desperate for a fix. Mr. Lickona's 9-year-old son, Elijah, had been on me for some time to take him to see Rise of the Guardians.

"But you have a DVD screener," I pleaded. "Yes," Elijah countered, "but I want to see it on the screen."

Any child smart enough to beat me at my own game must be rewarded.

We arrived at Reading Cinemas Grossmont Center 10 with time to spare, only to be told that it was conversion day and the 4:45 pm showing had been cancelled. The digital projector in the #7 auditorium was still being tweaked. With no other options to choose from, Elijah and I picked up our long faces and headed towards the exit.

One door opens, another closes. What were the chances we'd run into Jennifer Deering, manager emeritus of Reading Cinemas Town Square, while on our way out? Ms. Deering, as her adoring staff calls her, was at Grossmont to help ensure a smooth transition.

Ms. Deering is more than just a manager. She is THE manager in this town! Ms. D not only puts on a great show, she spends a good deal of her off hours watching movies and knows firsthand what it feels like to be unexpectedly turned away.

Looking at her watch, Ms. Deering asked that we give her 15 minutes to see if she couldn't speed things up. Seizing the opportunity, I whisked Elijah into auditorium 10 to watch a few minutes of the last film the theatre will ever project in 35mm.

"Why do we want to see five minutes of Lincoln?" the lad asked.

"Exactly," I replied. "Another second of it could conceivably kill you."

How could I have possibly explained to the kid that the reason I wanted to watch it was to lay claim to having seen the last 35mm and first digital images projected in the complex?

It wasn't the first time a Spielberg film marked a passing in my life. And I don't mean when I passed lunch halfway through Hook. Oskar Schindler and the Temple of Doom was the last film I watched in my beloved Edens Theatre. Imagine the Cinema 21 located in a Chicago suburb and you'll begin to understand the wave of loss I felt when the Edens hit the wrecking ball.

The elevator door opened and out came Ms. Deering with news that we would be the test audience for the first digital screening in #7.

Elijah was dumbstruck. "A private screening," he yelped. "Really?"

Don't you know who I am, kid? I'M CHARLES FOSTER MARKS!

He bounced around auditorium 7 like a tennis ball in a blender, occupying at least 10 different seats throughout the course of the show. For the rest of the day I was King Poo-Poo.

In addition to witnessing history in the making, the afternoon was not without a darker moment. Not wanting to worry the Lickonas, I stayed inside the holy confines and placed a call in the middle of the movie to let them know that Elijah would be late for supper. Forgive me Marty, for I have sinned.

For what it's worth, the #7 Grossmont was one of the banes of my cinematic existence. There is a center-aisle on the main floor where my seat should be! An out of focus, faulty-shutter plagued screening of The Box temporarily stamped a skull and crossbones on the screen.

The center aisle remains, but the new digital image was crisp and not so bright where you could count the pixels.

The days of perks for a film critic have gone the way of the 8-track player. I am forever grateful for the cup of fresh coffee Branden Parish brews on the rare occasion of a morning screening at Hillcrest. Thanks for royal treatment (and eternal memory), Ms. Jennifer.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Comments
4

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new coolest man on earth.

Dec. 13, 2012

Whatever you are feeding your kids, I suggest you bottle it. And when it comes to cool, I'm the Mojave compared to you and your family.

Dec. 13, 2012

Its always best through a child's eyes. i still shed a tear thinking of the 3 Millenials I took to Hugo last year. Totally transfixed.

Dec. 14, 2012

Man, I thought that picture was for a new "Dennis The Menace" direct-to-DVD movie...

Dec. 14, 2012

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close