An upgrade at Reading Cinemas

Posted: February 24th, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Gen-X in a Millennial World | No Comments

By Genevieve A. Suzuki | Gen-X in a Millennial World

Who wouldn’t like to have real food and beverages while taking in a film at the local movie theater? The idea of sipping a good beer while eating something other than a hot dog, nachos or pizza is extremely attractive.

A couple of weeks ago, I took advantage of my 8-year-old’s desire to see the latest Lego production to see how Grossmont’s Reading Cinemas measures up to a place like THE LOT, which has theaters in La Jolla and Point Loma. Last year, I saw the new “Ghostbusters” flick at THE LOT, which offers wait service and cushy seats. And oh, yeah, THE LOT is all that, a bag of popcorn and whatever delightful cookies they have on their decently sized menu.

So when I first spotted the alcohol freezer behind the counter at Grossmont, my interest was piqued. Their selection was decent and the food flashing on the screens above the concession looked delicious.

My husband, Derek, wasn’t as fascinated as me. While I tried to decide what kind of alcoholic beverage to order he ordered a large soda and popcorn to match. “Uh, make that a beer-and-cheddar popcorn,” I added, wanting to try the gourmet flavors. Derek sighed. He really just wanted a regular bag of popcorn.

Meanwhile, Quinn deftly located some cookie dough abomination in a box and asked for a small drink. “But you could have freshly baked cookies,” I told her, pointing to the chocolate chip cookies above.

“Nope! Just want these,” she said, happily shaking the box in my face.

I thought I was on my own until Derek acquiesced to fried green beans, which sounded perfect next to my gourmet nachos. (OK, it’s obvious my usual movie fare merely received an upgrade; in the end, I really still had popcorn, nachos and a drink.)

As we waited on the side for our food, a concession stand worker came over with my hard cider and a glass – glass! – for my drink. “Wow, fancy!” I said, which earned me a sidelong glance from the worker, who seemed to wonder if this was my annual night out.

Balancing the food and drinks wasn’t too hard as we made our way to the theater, although I wondered how I was going to put the drink down. Did they renovate the seats? Did they add drink holders better equipped to hold these glasses?

Nope. It was all the same. Except now I had alcohol to drink while watching Lego Batman fight Lego Joker in a Lego Gotham City.

Surprisingly, the drink holders held the glass of cider just fine. Whoever designed these things must have had the forethought to know someday parents may want some booze while watching their kids’ animated moves. Sipping my cider, I relaxed as Quinn attempted to finish the entire box of cookie dough whatever to Lego Batman’s peppy music. I wasn’t going to scold her for enjoying herself. Good for her!

For his part, Derek, the remaining adult in our party, removed the box from her possession. That’s a true partnership: When one of you is drinking hard cider in the theater, the other is ensuring your child isn’t going to vomit from eating too much sugar.

In the end, it wasn’t a bad time. The fried green beans were good and the cider went well with my gourmet nachos. It would be nice to have our movie theater turn into THE LOT, but until then, I’m grateful for the upgrade, no matter how slight it may be.

—Genevieve A. Suzuki is a La Mesa resident who practices family law. Visit her website at

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