A Movie Among Friends

A Comfortable Night at the Enzian
Winfield Pearson
Facade of Enzian

Movie theatres, as they’ve come to be known, are generally thought of as massive, multi-screen, shopping mall-like complexes. Visitors to the factory sized buildings make decisions from a dozen films which jockey for their attention. Posters with leading stars, whose heads are twice as big as their real ones, or campaigns that struggle to squeeze as many superheroes into a rectangle as possible, are the lead producers. A winding production line halts their entrance. Guests must wait for a ticket, then wait to get the ticket they just paid for torn in half, then stopped once again by the traffic light counter whose red Coke cups and yellow popcorn bags shout "Stop!" Confusing signs lead travelers down one of four lanes with a half-dozen exits at every junction and more cardboard cutout billboards to halt their attention. Eventually, they find their entrance as the lights go down, so they scurry up the lines in pitch darkness over tennis shoes and bulky purse bags. All the while, advertisements for the things they just bought blind them causing them to spill those snacks all over their fiancee’s lap, sending them next to wait in the bathroom line.

A refreshing contrast to this expected experience is the Enzian theatre in Maitland. Trailing quietly off from the paved roads is a winding garden path, which offers a bubbling fountain and twinkling lights to lead the way. Candles flicker on small tables around the quiet Eden Bar, where cocktails stir conversations. Large lines are only formed for sold out movies, which the loyal fanbase had been anticipating for days. Your name is on the guest list for will call, so the staff anticipates your entrance.

There is one screen to draw, not compete for, your attention. Sit down on a comfy couch perfect for lounging with your date or at a small table to sit across from your friends. There is no snack counter, instead order a nice meal with a glass of wine from their unique menu and it will be brought right to your personal table. All the advertisements cater to local companies and broadcast special messages and trailers of films showing at the theatre that month.

While you lounge with a full belly and a loved one in close reach, the enjoyment of your films is that much nicer. The movie goers have respect for the film, and never utter a peep during the show. Everyone you have a drink with afterwards has seen the same movie, and conversation about its thought provoking material is encouraged. Sit at the Eden Bar for a bit and let the experience of the movie linger, while the pace of comfort lets you sit back for a while in the night air.