MONSTERS UNIVERSITY Aww! This was my favorite child at the movie! He was not real.
  • MONSTERS UNIVERSITY Aww! This was my favorite child at the movie! He was not real.

I made the mistake of going to see Monsters University at Century Eastport last weekend. I say "mistake" not because of the particular film (as Denis pointed out, Monsters University is charming), but because UGH, CHILDREN. The half-formed creatures were everywhere, dribbling with snot and slick with feces, clumsily clambering all over everyone's seats like fat blind little spiders, loudly asking inane questions every two seconds ("WHAT'S HAPPENING, WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW, WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW, IS THAT A MONSTER, THEY ARE AT SCHOOL"), and generally serving as powerful reminders that the world's horrifying population crisis is a very real, very serious threat that should be dealt with as soon as possible, possibly with flame throwers.

But anyway: I am not a complete idiot; despite this particular film clearly being about the college experience, I knew I should expect some children in attendance. But the fetid, endless, screeching onslaught of them came as a surprise... until I realized that SE Portland's parents had all decided—perhaps using the same sort of soul-deadening hive mind that allows them to collectively block out the tympanum-piercing shrieks of their slack-jawed offspring—to take all of their horrid miniaturized versions of themselves and dump them in a movie theater because air conditioning. Thanks for nothing, Willis Carrier, creator of the 1902 invention "Apparatus for Treating Air"! Said device debuted in movie theaters in Times Square in 1925, with Paramount Pictures founder Adolph Zukor in attendance, who I picture as looking like Mr. Peanut! (I am wrong.)

After a stalled start and much grumbling among the skeptical crowd, the world's first movie air conditioning system at last kicked in. Hand fans ceased to flutter as the heat and mugginess gradually vanished from the room. "Yes," Zukor later declared in the lobby [while tightening his monocle and spinning his cane. —Ed]. "The people are going to like it." And they did: Over the next five years, Carrier installed his technology in 300 movie theaters around the country, transforming the summer months—previously a box-office wasteland—into Hollywood's most profitable season. (Via.)

There's more info about how movie theaters became sanctuaries from the heat in the Hollywood Reporter's story "Forever 74 Degrees: How Movie Theaters Keep Cool During Summer's Scorching Months," and it's legit interesting! Also interesting: The number of results BarFly gives you when your only search criteria are "strippers" and "air conditioned."