Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Friday, October 17, 2014

You know you should go to the Big Mo

Friday, October 17, 2014 By

AUGUSTA, GA. - The photo above is the main screen at The Big Mo in Monetta, S.C. It's about 45 minutes from Augusta, and about 30 minutes from Aiken, S.C. Doesn't look like much, does it?

You shut your mouth! The Big Mo is my new obsession.

As a movie lover, I'm always looking for a great experience. IMAX was an exciting development, but I am priced out of that market. Plus, most screens that claim to be IMAX (Augusta Regal Cinemas, I'm talking to your very disappointing selves) aren't what you imagine when you think of IMAX, which is this:

Stadium seating is nice, but how much you can enjoy it depends on the behavior of the other 200 people stuck in a black box with you. Let's face it, the theater experience is not always great. It's so claustrophobic. I never know what to do with my arms and legs. Who gets the arm rest? How much reclining can I do? When can I get up and go to the bathroom without irritating the people around me? Why is that baby crying? Wait a minute - are we on a plane

Plus, I don't want stupid day-old popcorn. I want real food. 

Essentially, all the modern trappings of movie-going have done nothing but make me want to go to the movies even less.

Well, here come our grandparents to save the day. Because The Big Mo, a drive-in that originally opened in 1951, deals with all of these quandaries, and more.

First of all, the people around you are there to chill. No one is going to get on your nerves. If they do, you are probably being a little grumpy, do dial it back, Gramps. Kids can run around and play before the movie - see the playground in the top photo above? Adults can get up and stretch their legs whenever they want.

Second, you can design your seating in whatever way makes you comfortable. Some people park their car and watch the movie from their regular seats. We bring camp chairs, like a lot of folks. But I've seen kids chilling on inflatable couches, teenagers lounging in the back of mini vans with stadium blankets, and even a family snuggling together on an air mattress on the grass, complete with a quilt and pillows. I'll admit it: I was kind of jealous of them. But Emerson and I watched part of "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" from the top of the playground set. That was pretty awesome, too.

Third, the Big Mo's concession stand serves everything from cotton candy to mozzerella sticks. And it's all reasonably priced and pretty darn good. We got a half-pizza for $7. Hot dogs are $1.75. Cheeseburgers are $3.50. Plus Emerson wanted boiled peanuts, because she's crazy for them, so that was $4, but not a customary expenditure. Still, other families brought in their own food in picnic baskets. Some folks in a pick-up truck behind us were enjoying plates of pulled pork barbecue. Heck, yeah.

Finally, at $8 per adult and $4 per child, for a double-feature, the price of admission is more competitive than big box theaters. We last went Oct. 10. "Alexander" was in its first week of release, and the second film was "Guardians of the Galaxy." The Big Mo really knows how to pair movies for families.

Bonuses: The theater was recently given a grant from Honda to digitize their projection system, making them able to bring newer movies to their three screens. And they even have a loyalty card, called the Frequent Star Gazer Card.

Because when you're not looking at the screen, you'll be gazing at the sky.


Post a Comment