Christmas is a big day for going to the movies, unless you’re like the King family of Clifton Park and you’re late for the show.
John King explained that he, his wife and son had planned on seeing the latest Sherlock Holmes movie at the new Regal Cinema theater in Clifton Park. Because they couldn’t make it in time, they decided to spend their down time between holiday meals with some bowling.
“We wanted to do something as a family,” said John, who ended up at the Spare Time bowling alley in Clifton Park.
After spending time with the family, including playing the dice game Farkle, John’s wife, Melody, said they just needed a change of pace before a big dinner. “We’re having prime rib and sauteed mushrooms,” she said of their plans for later. “Now we were just looking to get out of the house.”
Nick King, the couple’s 26-year-old son, said that the decision to go bowling was a relatively simple one. “It’s close to home.”
John added that you couldn’t beat the traffic either, as he remembered without any fondness the slow driving on Friday that was caused by last-minute Christmas shoppers.
It wasn’t just the roads that were wide open, though, as the bowling alley was mostly empty within an hour of opening at 5 p.m. Most shops and restaurants were closed in the Capital Region, with commercial storefronts looking like ghost towns once evening settled Sunday.
The Regal Cinema theater in Clifton Park was not nearly as empty, as many people arrived on time to take part in the only activity offered Sunday at Clifton Park Center. In between showings the area around the box office became eerily quiet. Once movies were scheduled to start, people streamed in as mostly families came to watch the onslaught of family oriented and Oscar-bait movies.
This was the first time Tim Segreto had been to the theater, but he has been seeing movies on Christmas for more than a decade with his family. He said it was usually his parents, younger brothers and “peripherals” — girlfriends and extended family — who made up the crowd.
“It means a lot to me,” said Segreto, who lives in North Carolina and was visiting his family in Clifton Park.
He added that the tradition also means a lot to his dad, who chooses the movies. One year, Segreto picked a fringe movie the family didn’t care for; they were back to the normal way of doing things this year. “I guess we’re seeing something about a horse,” he said, referring to the movie “War Horse.”
“It would suck if we didn’t go out,” Segreto said. “This is a tradition for sure.”
Earlier in the day the group celebrated Christmas with a family brunch.