Many follow dinner with movies, slots

Not everyone stayed on the couch Thanksgiving evening and watched television after the big turkey di

Not everyone stayed on the couch Thanksgiving evening and watched television after the big turkey dinner.

Some people tried their luck at Saratoga Gaming and Raceway, others went bowling at the Saratoga Strike Zone while many hundreds went to the Wilton Mall’s Regal Cinemas to see one of the newly released movies.

“We do it every Thanksgiving,” said Midge Darrow of Melrose, about playing the slot machines and dining at Saratoga Gaming and Raceway at Crescent and Nelson avenues in Saratoga Springs.

“We got here at 3 p.m.,” Darrow said about herself and her husband, Ken. The Darrows had wrapped it up 31⁄2 hours later and were near the entrance of the gaming casino waiting for their car to be driven to them.

Darrow said they had dinner at the Garden Buffet, which serves Italian, Asian, American and Southwestern cuisines, and played the electronic slot machines.

“I lost as usual. We made our donation,” Darrow said. “But we had a wonderful time.”

The parking lots at Saratoga Gaming and Raceway were not full, by any means, but there were dozens of cars in them.

The carpeted gaming rooms had a surprising level of activity for a holiday, with the video lottery terminals buzzing and ringing.

A supervisor at the Garden Buffet said that between 300 and 350 meals had been served as of 6 p.m. Thursday in the large restaurant that is part of the casino and harness track. About the same number of meals were served last Thanksgiving, he said.

The harness track was dark Thursday but live racing resumes at 7:05 tonight and will continue four days a week through Dec. 13.

The Vapor Night Club that is also part of the casino was not open most of Thursday but did open at 7 p.m. in time for the New York Giants-Denver Broncos football game. The game, which was shown on the nightclub’s 16-foot screen, was only carried on the NFL Network, which is not part of most cable television packages.

The line at Regal Cinemas in the Wilton Mall went all the way to the entrance doors for the 7 p.m. showing of some of the movies.

“We do the movies after Thanksgiving dinner,” said Patty Howard of Saratoga Springs. She was with her 15-year-old daughter, Dierdre, and niece, Erin Wigzell.

She said they have their holiday dinner at 4:30 p.m., clean up, and head for the movies.

Howard said she and her husband planned to see “Blind Side,” a movie about a homeless teenager who is taken in by a couple played by Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw.

The two girls were going to see “Twilight Saga: New Moon,” a romance between a mortal and a vampire and the second part of the popular Twilight vampire series.

Krista Lawrence and her mother, June, from Cambridge were also going to see “Twilight Saga: New Moon.”

“It’s my second time,” Krista Lawrence said.

Rich Carman of Ballston Spa along with his wife, MaryBeth, and daughter, Kara, were planning to see the just-released movie, “Old Dogs” about best friends and business partners (a divorcee played by Robin Williams and a bachelor played by John Travolta) who are charged with caring for 6-year-old twins.

Carman said they don’t always go to the movies on Thanksgiving but have done so once or twice in the past.

At Saratoga Strike Zone, the bowling alley formerly called Hi-Roc Lanes at 32 Ballston Ave., shift manager Ronnie Gardner of Saratoga Springs was waiting for her first groups to come in.

The bowling alley opens at 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving and stays open until midnight.

Gardner said two groups of about a dozen people each had made reservations for 10 p.m. for Galactic Bowling, which is bowling with the lights out, the pins glowing in the dark, with some flashing lights and loud music.

She said others had called and also made reservations for open bowling later in the evening.

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