In the Heights & in the theaters – along with reserved seats

Saturday night, my wife and I went to the Cerrito Theater to see In the Heights. It was more than just a really good movie on the big screen. It was the first time in 16 months I sat in a good-sized theater with a good-sized audience.

That meant a lot. No more masking tape to keep people from sitting next to each other. At least a third of the chairs were full. The last time I had bought a ticket to watch a new movie, I was the only person in the theater.

What’s more, only three or four patrons wore masks. The rest let their mouths and noses show.

But not everything was to my liking. The trailer for F9: The Fast Saga made me glad that I’m a film blogger rather than a professional film reviewer. As a blogger, I get to choose which movies I’ll watch and review.

And how do I feel about In the Heights?

What makes this movie worth watching is the music, the singing, and the spectacular dancing! There’s a big production number in a swimming pool that outdoes Busby Berkeley, and a duet on the side of building. The thin story shows us life in NYC’s Washington Heights neighborhood…or at least a musical version of it. People struggle on thin incomes. A couple don’t realize they love each other. A father’s hopes for his daughter doesn’t match with the daughter’s hopes. You should watch the complete closing credits; there’s a special treat at the end.

I give In the Heights an A.

Right now, if you subscribe to HBO Max, you can see In the Heights without leaving your home. But you’ll be losing a lot if you watch it that way. This movie belongs on the big screen, surrounded with strangers experiencing the film with you.

The pandemic gave us one change in moviegoing that I really like: reserved seats. Theaters that never used them have now put plates on their chairs so you can find your preferred seat – already waiting for you. Now I don’t have to come early to get the best seats in the house.