by Nancy Bestor
I grew up in the “big city”. I’ve lived there, I’ve worked there, and I’ve traveled there. And although I feel like I am experienced, there are times when I’m away from little Ashland, Oregon, and I feel like a country mouse with its mouth agape in astonishment. Last weekend in Los Angeles was one such occasion.
I was in L.A. to spend a couple days with my daughters, but their plane was due to arrive several hours later than mine. So after picking up a rental car, I headed out to explore the City of Angels. My plan was to go to one of the 17 hottest Los Angeles cheap eats restaurants, then head to a nearby movie at the Landmark Theater. I figured I had plenty of time to accomplish both before I would need to return to LAX. That was the first mistake of this country mouse. I left room in my schedule for traffic, but not the kind of traffic that requires 65 minutes to go just 10 miles—thanks Google Maps for the heads up. Once I realized I couldn’t make it to dinner and a movie in time, I dropped the dinner plan and just went for a movie.
Nixing dinner worked out perfectly however, as the Landmark theater in West Los Angeles has a beautiful bar where I got a salad and beer before my movie, and then took the rest of my beer into the theater. The gleaming concession counter at the Landmark looked like a place you might buy diamonds, not Nestle Crunch Nuggets (one of my weaknesses).
And in addition to the lovely bar and fancy concession stand, the Landmark also boasts a lobby concierge, assigned theater seating, parking validation, and, similar to an airport departures board, a screen in the bar displaying the times when each movie will begin seating, so you’re sure not to be late. An employee even came into the theater to introduce the movie, and point out a few features of the theater. My movie did cost $14, but honestly, it was worth it. I do love my sweet little Varsity Theater here in Ashland, but every once in a while it’s nice to pretend I’m not a country mouse, and enjoy the benefits of the “big city.”