Yes, I know, The Avengers finally arrived.  The film that fan boys and girls have been geeking over for months had its American release on Friday May the 4th (having already had its UK release back on April 26th – I don’t think that while living in the UK I ever appreciated how many good films were released in our cinemas ahead of other countries) and excitement levels were high.

The Hublet and I resisted going on the Friday of the release as we knew the queues would be absolutely mental.  We looked into tickets for showing on Saturday 5th, but looked in vain as everything was sold out.  On a whim we decided to try and find an available screening on Sunday as one of our local cinema’s offers Economy Sunday where all tickets are $5 each and, By Odin’s Beard, we actually found tickets available for an afternoon showing.

We oh-so-cleverly brought them online to avoid arriving at the cinema to find that all popular Economy Sunday screenings had been sold out, and we thought we were so cunning when we arrived at the cinema over an hour before the film start, noticing a worryingly long line of people in front of the Customer Service Desk, however we were fully confident that we would be among the first ones in and have the luxury of leisurely selecting our seats.

Curses!  No such fortune.  We seriously underestimated the inhabitants of Jacksonville, with a major case of Geeks Assemble!  The queue was horrendous and, due to it being a screening with a capacity in excess of 450, it stretched around multiple corners and seemed to go on forever.  We dutifully took our place and waited, experiencing a brief moment of hope when the queue suddenly surged forward and we moved a few metres closer, however this turned out to be the result of everyone ahead of us (who had probably been camping out since 10am) being asked stand up in order to compact the queue.  Blast.

Time dragged on and, when there were less than 15-minutes to go until the official start of the film, we were still in the queue and not even in sight of the door in a corridor where the a/c was clearly not working, temperatures and tensions started to rise.

Eventually a wide-eyed, nervous usher appeared and walked down our stretch of the queue, clearly making a mental count of numbers, not allowing himself to be drawn into conversation by anyone, eventually disappearing into the distance as he followed the snaking line.

The Hublet got fed up of the lack of communication and went to get some answers, promptly returning to share the news that due to technical difficulties experienced during the previous screening, their showing had terminated before the final credits had rolled, resulting in the large queue we noticed outside Customer Service.  They had kept the next batch of cinema goers (us) waiting in the hope that they would be able to fix the problem and continue, but had not had any success.  As a result they were cancelling the showing and handing out replacement tickets.

We then proceeded to hold our place  in the queue, slightly morose, no longer looking forward to seeing the film but now grumpily waiting to be reimbursed.

Our queue began to slowly move forwards until we were eventually in sight of a serious-looking man with a serious-looking roll of printed tickets, clearly trying to maintain order while handing out replacement tickets.  The queue crept forwards until The Hublet and I were within metres of him, and therefore we were close enough to see him hand out his last few tickets and whisper frantically into his walkie-talkie that they were going to need more rolls.  He then promptly gave his apologies to those of us waiting nearby and disappeared.

More time passed, with no sign of any cinema staff returning with rolls of tickets, so The Hublet again went up ahead, this time to see if he could bypass the queue and get some resolution from Customer Service.

Suddenly our orderly queue broke apart and people began to merge together into one big sweaty, frustrated mass.  The reason for the madness?  Our serious-looking man with another serious-looking roll of tickets had returned, and almost immediately was consumed by a zombie-esque mob of questing hands and shouted requests.

I pressed forwards and in the midst of the din Mr Serious asked me how many tickets I needed.  I replied, “Just two,” and before I could present our ticket stubs as proof, I received two tickets from the now under-siege serious-looking man and his serious-looking roll and he, after handing me my tickets, immediately turned away to address someone else.

I then turned to face the hoard that was pressing towards Mr Serious and his tickets, and determinedly tried to squeeze through the  mob.  After a few minutes of making slow, steady progress a huge bear paw grabbed my hand and pulled me forwards, and The Hublet appeared at the end of it with a big smile of relief that his Wifelet had emerged unscathed.  He then guided me through the noisy mob and we eventually got to the exit, pushing out into the sunshine and fresh air.

Almost instantaneously we both turned and said to the other, “I’ve got our replacement tickets, ” and looking down we discovered that we had both managed to get hold of two replacement tickets, giving us a total of four tickets.

So, to summarise:
Step 1: buy 2 cheap tickets to a cinema for a showing that is ultimately cancelled.
Step 2: leave the cinema having received, in all the confusion, 4 replacement tickets valid for any film, any day, any showing.
Step 3: feel slightly less grumpy about waiting in a smelly, humid corridor for the best part of an hour + Profit!

We’re not planning on going back to the cinema for another couple of days as we want to let the boiling frenzy of fandom calm down to a steady simmer, and I have no intention of reattempting to see The Avengers only to wait in another ridiculous queue and end up sitting in the front row, however after what appeared to be a wasted afternoon with a cancelled film showing, we actually emerged better off with 4 tickets to see any film we want whenever we want, and not just on the horribly popular Economy Sunday.

My Avengers film review will follow as soon as I get to see the blasted thing, and at the very least I’ve got a good story from the weekend to share.

On a final note, I just had to share this amazing eye makeup from Jangsara, who is a much respected blogger and self-taught, self-confessed makeup lover with great natural talent, from Järvenpää, Finland.  She’s created this stunning homage to The Avengers, paying tribute to Iron Man, Black Widow, Captain America, Thor, Hawk Eye, The Hulk, Nick Fury and Loki.


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