I have always wanted to be an “advance man” or in my case an “advance woman.” An advance man is a person who travels ahead to arrange the details of scheduling, publicity, security and other matters connected with a trip or public appearance, especially one to be made by a politician or dignitary or a person that visits a location before the arrival of an important visitor to make the appropriate arrangements. I often feel that this column serves as your advance woman. I love going out and checking out things so I can come back and give you the skinny.

Thanks to this very column and Google Alerts I was invited as a VIP guest to the opening of the new Cinemark Theatre in Monroeville Mall. On the VIP night we received unlimited sodas and popcorn and were able to select from 11 movies that included Carrie, Dawn of the Dead (1979), Bad Grandpa and Last Vegas. They had to show Dawn of the Dead because portions of the movie were filmed right in Monroeville Mall.

I selected Last Vegas, a great movie that I highly recommend for all of my baby boomer friends. The film is PG-13 and features aging pals Billy (Michael Douglas), Paddy (Robert DeNiro), Archie (Morgan Freeman), and Sam (Kevin Kline) who have been friends since childhood. When Billy finally proposes to his girlfriend all four go to Las Vegas to celebrate and relive their glory days. However the four quickly realize that the years have changed Sin City and tested their friendship. It was a great movie and it seems like it was one of the best being shown that night. I highly recommend this film.

You can enter the theater either from inside the mall, right at the same spot that you would enter the old J.C. Penney location or you can enter from multiple entrances from the back parking lot. On the VIP night we were surrounded by “stars” Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Charlie Chaplin, Joan Rivers and Santa Claus. If you happened to look down to the floor you found stars that displayed the names of movies made in Pittsburgh, nice touch Cinemark. The seats were comfortable and this is a great addition to the mall that I grew up in.

I go back to the days when there was an ice skating rink where you now have a food court. The only fast food item you could get then was a delicious beef hotdog. If you live in the east please pay a visit to the new theatre.

On Dec. 14, there will be a free morning movie showing with Santa of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” It begins at 9:30 a.m. While I love the new let’s not forget the old. There is a four-screen theater in the Penn Hills Shopping Center that is reasonable and very close to some of us. I’m always sad when something new opens and the old has to be tossed aside, so let’s patronize both. See you at the movies.

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