GUBA Seat Hogs at Borat Screening

Picked up fellow SF Metroblogger Richard Ault at his house, downed a shot of Glenlivet while there, and drove down to AMC Van Ness for the 5:40 screening of the hilarious, sure to be controversial comedy Borat on its opening day. We walked into a quickly crowding theater fifteen minutes before showtime and find that placed upon about 40-50 seats is a sheet of paper with the word . . .

CUBA and wondered what the hell a large group of Cubans would be doing at this Kazakhastani flick. Upon closer inspection, the word was GUBA. What the hell does that stand for? Who the hell are they? And why are they taking up the best seats in the house?

As showtime approached, there weren’t a whole lot of Gubans filling their reserved seats. Non-Gubans entering the theater were getting pissed that they couldn’t find two seats together to sit with their movie-going mate, some harsh words were exchanged. Most of the Gubans started arriving just before and during the trailers. A very annoying people, these Gubans.

No one around us knew what GUBA was, or who their chosen filmgoers could be. Even Richard, savvy technocrat webhound that he is, was at a loss. The best I could come up with was Gay Urban Basketball Association, but most of them weren’t very tall. Hmmm . . .

Today I googled GUBA. Seems to me to be the guilty party hogging all of the good seats and leaving as the credits rolled, still showing film action, and blocking the screen for the rest of us with their big Guban heads. GUBArs.

7 Comments so far

  1. Poormojo (unregistered) on November 4th, 2006 @ 8:16 pm

    That’s really awful. Did anyone just knock aside the paper and sit down?


  2. Bradley Allen (unregistered) on November 4th, 2006 @ 8:52 pm

    I’ve seen this happen in movie theaters in Silicon Valley. Google or Yahoo or AOL or whatever wants to send their people to a movie… but are not willing to cough up the $$$ to rent out the theatre out-right. So they just print up their own signs and hog up the best seats in the hope that people will not use their company sanctioned mirth time to go home and maybe watch a movie with their own family.


  3. Mattymatt (unregistered) on November 6th, 2006 @ 10:43 am

    I had exactly the same problem at the Borak screening that I went to! A bunch of people got to the theater before me, and bought as many tickets as they wanted, and then took up one seat per ticket wherever they pleased!


  4. T.J. (unregistered) on November 6th, 2006 @ 11:04 am

    Weird, Mattymatt. People bought tickets and then USED ths seats? Insanity. (And it looks like Borak has been changed — d’oh.)

    But seriously, I’m from GUBA and we’re super sorry for annoying anyone. Our company generously offered to take 18 of us (not 40 to 50, but 18 — nine seats each in two rows) to the movie. A colleague printed out signs — kind of cheesy, but she *did* get there 45 minutes before the scheduled showtime, after all, to claim said seats, and there were always at least one or two people there to keep the signs company.

    BTW, we wound up giving away four seats *just* before our people came in, so a few Gubans (I like that, actually) had to leave their significant others to search for random front-row seats. That taught them to be late! Niii-iiice!


  5. Borat (unregistered) on November 6th, 2006 @ 11:22 am

    In Kazakhstan, is killing offense!!


  6. Matt R. (unregistered) on November 6th, 2006 @ 12:00 pm

    MattyMatt: To clarify, if it wasn’t evident from the blog: This was a large group that bought tickets beforehand and commandeered a large number of PRIMO seats, and apparently done so without theater management knowledge (or else I would have expected some roping off of the seats, which I would still find annoying, but more acceptable). It’s one thing to place your coat to save one or two seats for the folks accompanying you to a movie, but it’s another thing for a large number of seats to be “reserved” with lots of other folks coming in well before showtime and not able to access those still-untaken seats.

    T..J: Thanks for the explanation and the understanding of the annoyance. Very Guban of you. Maybe it was the scotch, but it did look like more than 20 seats–my bad if I am in single-malt error. I feel bad for the few poor Gubans bravely defending the staked-out territory as the hordes arrived–never a comfortable situation, even when just saving a couple of seats. Again,thanks for your good humor about the post!

    Borat: You should open a chain of theaters here in the US–your laws and offenses resulting in capital punishment would be most welcome. Would love to see what you’d do with the cell phone talkers! Congrats on the box office success this past weekend. Don’t forget your supporters at “election” time.


  7. Matt R. (unregistered) on November 6th, 2006 @ 12:49 pm

    Further research on Guba has presented the possibility that the Gubans, being geopolitically connected to Kazakhstan, may be involved in an alliance with Borat.

    The mystery, the hidden agendas, deepen.



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