Louisville Magazine

JAN 2017

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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kentuckycenter.org LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 12.16 27 THE BIT JUST SAYIN' It caught me by surprise, in early De- cember, when my wife and I walked into Baxter Avenue Theatres to see a matinee and found that all of the seats had been removed and replaced with a much smaller number of black vinyl power recliners — huge blocks big enough to fit one and a half normal-size adults. It was at that moment, scanning the puffy backs for two contiguous openings, that I came to realize how awkward, even queasy, I felt about sitting in a deluxe generic La-Z-Boy, propped up like Louis XIV weighing peti- tions from his subjects, to watch a movie. Except there were 90 or so other kings and queens around me. Obviously, I've not gotten fully accli- mated to motorized (or even manual) recliners. The dad of one of my friends got one when I was a kid back in the '60s, and I gave it a spin when the dad wasn't home. Wide-wale corduroy upholstery, dark gold. Quite the novelty, quite the thrill — I felt like John Glenn in his spaceship. But my family didn't have one then and I wouldn't own a recliner until my wife picked one out 15 or so years ago. Lightly used and then rarely with its footrest up and headrest back, it became the chosen (and mostly exclusive) roost of our Boston terrier. Even today, I feel a little goofy and disoriented with my feet up on a newer rocket recliner. Still, you ask, what's not to like about watching a movie in supreme comfort? Why not appreciate the extra room, the extra pampering? You know, lots of people have big recliners in their homes occupy- ing territory in front of a TV screen. If a living-room viewer tires of a program he's watching and has channel-surfed to no avail, he can doze off if he wants — legs up, head back. I get that. But there's something about bringing that personal luxury into the public realm of a movie theater that unsettles me. I don't want to be encouraged to fall asleep during a film. Regular seating forces you to maintain some semblance of an up-down posture. At the Baxter, you can't even tilt your back a touch without first raising the footrest, and how are you supposed to immerse yourself in the movie when you're seeing the screen image and your kneecaps. I've read online that some newer the- aters worldwide have sofa recliners, bean- bag loveseats and even front-row double beds. One provides patrons with cashmere blankets. Tell me again — why did we come to this theater? La-Z Daze By Jack Welch Illustration by Carrie Neumayer An invitation to nodding off at your favorite theater.

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