DEREK GENTILE | Take note, Milk Dud sneakers


PITTSFIELD -- I've been reading about this litany of "brutal" customer service at the Beacon Cinema and have decided to wade into the debate.

I know, I know. What am I thinking? Why go out on a limb? I have so much more to give to the world. Well, I guess I'm just a different breed of cat.

I have to admit, when someone complains about "brutal" treatment, the picture I get is of a person who is whipped or beaten or knocked down and kicked. I've never experienced that at the Beacon.

In fact, I've never had any trouble at all at the Beacon Cinema. Well, at least not the staff. A few years ago, a woman in front of me kept texting someone. Unfortunately, without my reading glasses, I would have had to lean way over her shoulder to see what she was writing. I'm a busybody, but I'm not a buffoon.

On the other hand, when I was in the very early stages of trying to balance on my fake leg a few years ago, I had a little trouble on the escalator. One of the staffers asked if I needed help. I was too proud to accept, but it was a nice gesture anyway.

I understand that people want to be able to bring snacks into the theater. But I also understand that theaters have to make money. So if they say they don't want people to bring stuff in, my suggestion is to not bring stuff in.

There is this segment of folks who enjoy trying to win these little battles. You know, sneak popcorn into the movies, or a soda, or some candy.

My take on it is that if you succeed, that's great. But if you don't, then don't whine about crappy customer service. Dude, you got caught fair and square. You're the one breaking the house rules. Give the guy your Kit Kat bars and watch the flick, right?

This is my advice for the evening. I would recommend stopping at the concession area to buy a box of Milk Duds. I agree with Dr. Sheldon Cooper in the television series, "The Big Bang Theory:" With its unremarkable shape and bland name, Milk Duds are the most unthreatening of the boxed candies.

You just can't go wrong with Milk Duds. And when you offer someone a Milk Dud, you are rarely turned down. You can do a lot worse in a movie theater than sharing a box of Milk Duds.

Anyway, I like the Beacon. The theater is always clean, and the seats are always comfortable. I don't watch opera, but I do watch fanboy movies like " Spider- Man," " Iron Man," " Thor" and " The Avengers." And I beg to differ with our esteemed editorial page editor. I never have any problems with people in those audiences. They tend to talk during the previews and shut up when the movie starts. That's sort of what one should expect.

My most recent trip to the Beacon was, in fact, pretty bland. I paid for my ticket, bought some bottled water and made my way into the theater. When they took my money, the girl at the counter thanked me. When I handed over my ticket, the guy at the ticket kiosk urged me to enjoy the show.

And that was that. And, to be honest, that's the only expectation I have of a theater. That, and maybe to have some Milk Duds available for purchase.

Derek Gentile is an Eagle staffer. He can be reached at


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