Thursday, January 10, 2002
UA: PUMP UP THE VOLUME
It doesn''t happen often, but last Thursday night Squid''s desire to see the new film, Ali, outweighed the desire to avoid enduring another movie at Monterey''s decaying State Theater. Squid slinked in quickly to get good seats while Squid''s cute little Calamari got the popcorn. Squid was about to hold two perfect seats smack in the center, slightly to the rear, when a nice woman said she was holding two entire rows for a special group. No problem. Squid took a couple of seats in the row behind the group, hoping it wasn''t an association of basketball players.
Soon the special group arrived and Squid recognized none other than Ali''s big-shot producer-local boy Lee Caplin-with his wife, son, and a group of heads which thankfully fell far short of any hoopster''s.
How sad, Squid sighed. The producer of a major motion picture, watching his new film opening in his home townforced to share the result of years of hard work in a theater with numerous broken seats that can''t support a medium-sized squid, let alone a homo sapien, with air that smells like leftover salmon, and with sound reminiscent of Squid''s first stereo, a 1972 Magnavox with three-inch speakers.
In fact, the sound was so bad, Squid could only catch half the dialogue. After 20 minutes, and after shaking the water out of the old ears, Squid asked a manager to turn up the volume, only to find the change was imperceptible. Squid blames United Artists for being too cheap to upgrade from mono to stereo, let alone Dolby Surround Sound or any of the other 21st-century sound features basic to the rights of all moviegoers paying premium prices.
The city of Monterey also deserves a squirt of ink in the eye for allowing a historical and architectural gem like the State Theater to wither away. The City ought to have stepped forward, joined forces with the Monterey Jazz Festival, which has an option to buy the place, and ensure that locals and visitors have a decent, 1,000-seat performing arts venue/movie house. That would help vitalize local cultural life, and would help to attract conventions and visitors, as well. And make Squid''s weekends more pleasant.
Oh, to be rich, bored, and misunderstood, with nothing better do with one''s money than blast big holes through sides of cliffs and tunnel to the beach. Squid understands the sentiment well, and often laments Squid''s own sorry life of leisure.
So imagine Squid''s disgust when a colleague at the Weekly wrote a story about a Carmel Highlands couple''s plans for a tunnel from their boiler room to the beach ["Underground Warfare," 8/30/01]. Silly, jealous writer, a private beach-tunnel is practically a must-have for any historic mansion with an ocean view.
The James House sits at 105 Highway One, practically begging for a tunnel to the rocky beach below. Kirk and Susan diCicco, who manage the property for owners Joseph and Sharon Ritchie, desiring to follow the sea''s mournful call directly from the cellar to the sand, won unanimous approval from the County Planning Commission, until the California Coastal Commission stepped in and halted the tunneling.
On Jan. 9, (as this paper goes to press) the diCicco''s appealed the Coastal Commission''s decision. While the outcome is yet uncertain, Squid''s legs and tentacles are crossed. Those enviros on the commission are such sticklers when it comes to upholding the Carmel Area Land Use Policy and the laws governing the California Sea Otter State Game Refuge.
Send Squid a shovel: firstname.lastname@example.org