Kansas City is a city of movie theaters.  I have been to every first-run theater in a 40-minute radius.  Out of all of them, AMC Theatres has the best facilities.  They are the largest theater company here and they have a habit of renovation.

Hand dryers.

For something so mundane, AMC 30 in Olathe KS sure set the bar high.  These hand dryers in the ladies restroom—I don’t have any experience in the men’s, let me know if you guys got jipped—are formed for your hands to descend straight down.  They power on when they sense you and BAM, blast your fingers with warm air like an angry hurricane.  Drying hands is now a 15 second workout.

Okay, so they have cool hand dryers in their bathrooms.  What else?

They have Fork & Screen© and CinemaSuites©, two dine-in options.  They re-did their concessions, their lights and whole theaters at a time.  Independence, Ward Parkway, and now the selling of Mainstreet to Alamo Drafthouse are proof of their renovation-mindedness.

But there’s one more thing that sets this Kansas City based company apart:  It was just purchased by the Chinese company Wanda.  For more than 2 billion dollars.  According to the articles I found, this would make it the largest theater group in the world.

Talk about an upgrade.

Now I don’t know how you feel about the Chinese owning another American company or their sudden increased power in our media distribution, but isn’t it great that they are quoted saying they will continue the renovations?  Maybe they’ll put in couches.  Ooo, and movies with smells.  I’m never going to a farm or zoo movie again.

It’s the renovation that counts, right?


My Idea

Does anyone remember those commercials with average people talking about how Windows 7 was their idea?  I remember thinking at the time that they had finally gotten over the “I’m a Mac,” “I’m a PC” commercial wars.  It was clever advertising to bring Windows 7 into the homes of normal people doing normal things and claiming to have imagined something as brilliant as a new OS.

I’m that clever too.

Long ago, okay, maybe 12 years ago, I imagined a notebook that was digital.  You could draw on it and write on it and the device would save the images and translate the writing into typing.  It was a sleek, spacey way to store and manipulate art.

I waited eleven years for this idea to become something I owned and carried around in a messenger bag.  The iPad 2.  With Internet access, Sketchbook Pro and Pages, I have everything I imagined and much more.

The iPad 2 was my idea.

I know Microsoft wouldn’t exactly be happy that I’m using their commercial to describe my iPad.  But hey, they didn’t have a tablet out at the time.  Their revolutionary mini computer to rival the iPad wasn’t even within months of release.

Now it is.  Due out this fall, the Microsoft Surface is about the same size and weight as the iPad.  It has a cool cover that doubles as a keyboard with a mouse (Although, one of the joys of the iPad is the ability to actually touch the screen.  Who needs a mouse?).  The biggest difference I could see from the specs was that the Pro version of the Surface is designed to operate like a laptop, functioning with Windows 8.

Wanna know my favorite thing about it?  The ports.  The Surface has a microSD, USB 2.0, and micro HD video.  It never made sense to me that Apple makes you buy all kinds of converters to do what other companies sell built in.

But maybe that’s the joy of the iPad.  It’s not a replacement for a laptop or desktop.  It’s an on-the-go notebook.  It’s a spacey, futuristic device.

I should know.  It was my idea.