Sunday, January 22, 2012

Behind the Velvet Ropes

It was a lot of fun going to the old movie theaters downtown. Some of them had rotated between being live theaters and cinema theaters. The marble and the gold leaf was a radical change from the plastered walls, stale popcorn smell and dated 70s carpet of the neighborhood haunt. While both theaters had velvet rope to signify the boundaries of a line, it was the difference between the velvet you imagined being cut from a princess' old dress and something fuzzy, flocked and bald. Even the stanchions were solid brass.

It's funny how I thought it was all so elegant, when it was really meant as a form of crowd control. If I really wanted, I could duck under the rope and go where I wanted, which my brother often did, but somehow there was comfort in being directed where to go.

I just wondered why events that were more prestigious had barricades to keep the "rabble" like us away from the stars or away from the nightclub door. All elegance was lost and we are relegated to being the "undesirables." But that just makes people want to go to the event even more, even though you may never see a star bigger than a size of an ant from your vantage point, rather than getting their own personal audience in a quiet theater where you can eat your popcorn in peace.

Buying velvet ropes sure makes guests at a small affair think they are getting the star treatment, and that is who usually appreciate it more.


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