The Shining: The odd waiter in the lobby

In Stanley’s Kubrick’s The Shining,
we take a suspicious look at an inconsequential character, the waiter.  What does he mean?  What purpose does he serve in a film full of riddles and subliminal messages?

The waiter walks in from our right.  He is dressed in a burgundy jacket, black slacks,  and a white collared shirt.   His timing is synchronized with Jack coming in from the left.  The waiter obfuscates The Gold Room poster before the mysterious couple chatting behind the glass, double doors.  He is hiding pairs until Kubrick is ready to reveal them.

What makes him odd, more than Kubrick’s deliberate timing, he is carrying a tray full of dishes to the corner of the lobby where there isn’t a table large enough.  From a distance, we can make out a pair of tall cups.  Even a distant tray holds symbols of pairs.  Furthermore, he appears to be an older man whereas the Overlook non-managerial staff are younger.

Where else will we see a middle-aged waiter cause so much commotion?  When Jack takes another stroll before Grady bumps him carrying a tray holding a pair of glasses.  Even the least important souls of the hotel play their roles in a loop.  But what about the burgundy top and black slacks?  Who would that represent?  Lloyd.

Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining


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