Driving through downtown Barre’s recently reconstructed main street, I passed by the Paramount Theater, and noticed that they were selling tickets for The Hobbit‘s Midnight opening later this week. I didn’t think anything of it until I noticed that that’s the only place in Central Vermont (Okay, Waitsfield’s Big Picture Theater is screening it too, but the Mad River Valley is really a hike – If you’re going that far, you might as well go up to Burlington) where you can see The Hobbit in theaters. WTF?
This brings me back to High School, when a friend of mine and I lined up to see Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in Barre when that was released in 2002. The theater quickly filled, and the line was literally cut off in front of me. I foresee the exact same thing happening Thursday and Friday night for anyone who’s keen on seeing The Hobbit. Why they are screening one of the largest films of the year at the Paramount, with it’s tiny theater, screen and limited parking? It boggles the mind.
Mind you, FGB Theaters, either in Montpelier or Barre, are likely the last places that I’ll ever recommend to someone. The theater staff in Montpelier are terrible at customer service, to the point where I’ve seen the guy at the door yell at elderly customers, or their refusal to sell tickets until minutes before the movie opens. Generally, I’ve gone only because of convenience but lately, I’ve questioned whether it’s worth even that. I’ve generally found that it’s far enjoyable to head up to Williston or Essex to catch a movie. The screens, seats and staff are much better, and I’ll have a higher chance of actually seeing the film.