You’re walking down Broadway and gazing at the bright neon lights like a tourist at Disneyland strung out on LSD. You leisurely stroll down the avenue eyeing the sundry panhandlers bumming for change and the overbearing environmentalists putting flyers in your face and trying to trip you by throwing free t-shirts at your feet. You then observe the various stores that dot the street: Origins, Cutlers, Campus Customs, a gaping void snuggled between the Yale Bookstore and Broadway Hair, Broadway Hair … wait, what? What happened to York Square Cinema? Is there no longer a place to take that cute girl/boy on an easy 2-hour date where you don’t even have to talk? Damn it! That place was perfect, whether you’re boring, or mute, or have a rare skin condition that mandates complete darkness and Sundance Film Festival entries. In fact, one time I took a girl there to see “Bad Education,” or its original title in Spanish, “Yo Quiero Bad Education,” and it was great. I managed to go the whole date without revealing my unfortunate digestive illness that causes me to involuntarily expel trace amounts of bile whenever I pronounce the letter “P”. Let’s just say it was pretty perfect. Although I won’t say it out loud.
But if there’s no movie theater, then it seems we’re morally obligated to fill the space with something of equal worth. But what could possibly fill the gaping void in our emotional lives that was once York Square Cinema? The first obvious answer is to grease up the walls, cover the floor with a tarp and convert it into Yale’s sumo wrestling training arena. This would solve two of Yale’s most pressing problems. 1) The lack of comically obese people waddling around campus who make me seem svelte by comparison, and 2) The lack of no wait that’s pretty much our only problem.
Another reasonable use for the hollow building is for fire safety. We’re all familiar what do in a fire drill, but no one actually knows how to act in the case of an actual “save my flaming baby” fire. Therefore, I propose that we routinely take students and place them in the building. Then we set the building on fire and let them practice a real fire drill. Can’t you just see the grateful smiles of those who finally manage to claw their charred way out of the burning wreckage? And the gleam in their eye that says, “Thank you. Thank you for teaching me something about life, and about myself. And also about third-degree burns and smoke inhalation.” Who says colleges don’t prepare you for the real world?
Finally, if that wouldn’t work, we could crack open the floors and dig a large 8-foot-deep ditch. Afterwards we would fulfill the lifelong fantasy of every Yale undergrad, by creating a ball pit for adults. Just imagine: It would be an enormous hole filled with 5,000 or so brightly colored plastic balls to swim in. It’s the perfect social setting to break the ice, meet new people and touch others while still remaining undetected. Hey Joanna we’re going to Toad’s, you want to join us?” “No thanks guys, I’m gonna go hang out at the ball pit for a while.” “Hey, that sounds awesome; I think I’ll come with you and indulge myself in the joy of submerging myself in plastic balls.” Also, if we rally the Admissions Office to admit more fat people, we could use the sumo wrestlers as ball pit lifeguards to prevent customers from drowning in their own bliss. Moreover, like going to a movie, this would be the perfect date for those who prefer to grope rather than talk.
I believe Muhammad Ali said it best: “Yale is a society of friends and a league of Super-Friends™.” Since our university is a land of diversity, we should use our luscious endowment to improve upon the former York Square Cinema Building. Whether you want to grease up the walls, repeatedly set it on fire or make an adults-only ball pit, the most important thing is that we one-up Chuck-E-Cheese’s. Then, and only then, will I stop writing articles about it.
Doug Lieblich is mildly aroused by the scent of movie theater popcorn that lingers in the air of the delapilated and abandoned York Square Theater. He also thinks that Jujubees are totally hot.