More reasons to avoid the movie theater

My family and I went to see the new Narnia movie this weekend. With less than 10 minutes to go before the ending, this older couple walks into the crowded theater and decides to find a seat. First they stand directly in front of us debating the merits of the two seats on the end. Then they decide they don’t like those seats (too close) so they move back to the row behind us.

The group behind us has their coats on the empty seats so the man loudly asks “Are these seats taken?” The woman behind us looks at him like he’s crazy, but tells him no, and so she has to gather up her entire family’s coats. Meanwhile the movie is approaching the ending resolution, which we’re all missing.

Finally the idiot couple sits down, and proceeds to start talking to each other! Several people around them “shh” them and they finally shut up. Then the credits roll. Then the guy says to his wife, “What, it’s over?!” As everyone files out, the couple relocates their seats again and settles down for the next showing, which they evidently were there to see. It’s now 9:00 pm. The next showing is at 9:30 pm. WTF?! How can anyone walk into a theater that early with a movie on the screen and not realize that they’ve walked into the previous showing? And where the hell are the theater staff who let these people in in the first place?

Oh, and BTW, the whole film was just slightly out of focus. :rolleyes: Not to mention that with just one box of candy and one drink for the three of us, this movie still cost me $35, and we missed most of the ending.

And Hollywood wonders why movie attendance continues to shrink.

Thanks for reminding me why I don’t go to the movies any more.

I’ll never understand why American movie theaters don’t have reserved seats.

Sorry to mention this… but after reading the OP I coudn’t avoid having the feeling that way too many americans are “anti-social”. You go to the movies to meet friends or get the family out of the house a bit. If you only want to watch a movie with no hassles… stay at home with your DvD and couch potato food ? Not criticizing… but that wa the impression I had from reading the OP.

As for the old couple coming in late to the movie… I agree its a bitch. Yet hardly something that happens with any frequency I hope. I agree it spoiled the experience somewhat… but hardly something to blame on Cinemas in general.

You’re not the only one to notice tha particular development.

Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam.

Disconnectedness appears to be a part of american culture at the moment.

Very sad. No wonder there are so many more Brazilians than Americans in social networks like Orkut. We hear a lot about nice americans… but we hear few stories about making friendship with Americans that are not latino. Seems they care little for friends … or less than we do.

Still how is this compatible with a high church attendance ? I would guess going to church is a “social” thing.

Ya’ know that’s intresting. Just the other day I was at Taco Bell. The place was crowded. I had already sat down, but a guy who had just got his order from the counter was wondering around with his trey for a place to sit. He then turned to me and says"Do you mind?" indicating he would like to sit at my table. I of course politely told him “Sure no problem.”

The whole time we were sitting there I felt so incredibly awekward. I couldn’t help but think for the remainder of that day how stupid that was of me.

Agreed. I’ve had experiences with strangers abroad that just amazed me, because no one in America would ever that. I don’t know why we are different.

OTOH, talking in a movie theater? Rude.

I went to an old cinema, on the other side of Sydney, a couple of weeks ago. I guess the place was built in the 1940s-50s. As we walked out I noticed that the back right hand corner of the cinema was closed off to make a 6 seat room with it’s own speakers for late arrivals or parents with noisy kids. We need more of this.

(Former projectionist speaking)
The projectionist isn’t on the ball. No big deal – a quick word to an usher and the picture will be in focus in moments. Should you have to do this? No – but it isn’t the end of the world or anything. I did this work for years, carefully checking the framing and focus of each film immediately after starting it. Some times it slipped out of focus as the equipment heated up or the film stock changed in the transition from trailers to feature. Someone would complain, I’d get a phone call, and I’d fix it. Now, if there’s a green vertical line on the screen, that’s a whole different matter. I find it very difficult to sit through a scratched film, and there is nothing the projectionist can do once the damage has been done. I never scratched a film – scratches come from either dirty equipment or improperly threaded film.

That’s a bad attitude.

I could list 10 great experiences I’ve had at the movies this year alone without even trying.

Anyway, to the OP: I blame the theater for that. When that couple bought their tickets, or got them torn by the ticket taker, they should have been told when seating began for the next show. That’s inexcusable to allow people to come in and find their seats during the showing.

Some of the theaters I don’t go to anymore were just so poorly run. They had projection problems, too few windows open, too few employees at concession, poorly trained employees at concession, didn’t hit their start time, didn’t enforce their policies. All of those things are correlated. A well-run theater doesn’t have any of those problems.

Those folks coming in late is just indicative of bad management and poorly trained employees.

Usher? What’s an usher? :slight_smile:

It’s been years since I’ve seen an usher in a movie theater. Once you get past the concessions stand, it’s an employee-free zone.

Oh, that’s far from the only reason. Most of what’s available doesn’t appeal to me. The sound is usually way too loud, to the point of hurting my ears at times. I don’t have large blocks of free time very often, and besides the movie’s running time there’s also a half-hour or more drive time to get to a theater. When I do go to a movie I wait till the first wave of popularity has waned, go to a midweek matinee, and see something both the reviews and word of mouth suggest will be enjoyable.

All of that cuts the movie-going way down. Enduring idjits in the theater is more negative reinforcement.

That’s pretty much my style too. I, however, find that well-worth the cost and hassle and so I go somewhat frequently. My drive time is short, too. I can get to about 9 screens within 10-15 minutes, none of which are owned by theater chains.

Oh, that would have so not helped in this situation…

Old Man: What row are we in?
audience: SHHH
Old Woman: 14!
audience: SHHH
Old Man: Seats 14 and 15…
audience: SHHH
Old Man: Hey, there’s somebody in our seats…
audience: SHHH
Robby: No, I’ve got tickets here for these seats…
Old Man: WHAT? SPEAK UP! I’ve got tickets right here…
audience: SHHH

Another place where a good projectionist would help. Just mention it to any theater employee (of course, you run the risk of the message never being passed along or the projectionist not caring)
Whenever somebody complained about the sound, I would first pop open the little window to listen (it’s soundproof) and see if it’s outrageously loud. If not, I would walk down into the theater to see what it really sounds like. Even if it sounds like all other movies do, I might nudge the volume down a bit anyway.

Of course, when the very last film of the night had 20 minutes of credits and I wanted to urge folks out of the building so I could go home, I would turn on the house lights and then start cranking up the volume to earsplitting levels. I remember doing this with the third Indiana Jones movie – the credits went on forever :cool:.

It’s not just movie theaters where I find the sound too loud. At an ice show at the Boston Garden years ago the sound system was so overpowering that I to put my hands over my ears quite often.

I’m in my middle fifties and have always been careful to protect my hearing against excessive noise – no headphones blasting megadecibels, car and home stereo kept in the low-to-mid single digits, clapping hands over ears in the subway when screeching around curves, and so forth. The prevalence in public entertainment venues of what to me is overly loud audio makes me wonder whether it’s being pitched to the comfort level of a majority who haven’t protected their hearing against all the assaults – chosen and involuntary – of modern life?

Yeah, but we hear from your dates that the old “popcorn surprise” trick is getting really old.

You mean the whole audience yelling “FOCUS!!!” doesn’t actually help?

I try to see a movie as soon as I can after it opens, especially if the visual effects are part of the attraction, because those scratches drive me nuts as well. So, I went to see the Narnia movie at a multiplex the Saturday after it opened. One damn day later. And sure enough, there was a green streak down the film. I’m used to this happening a few weeks into a run, but one day? The larger multiplexes are shooting themselves in the foot by doing this sort of thing; they are making it clear that they are only providing a time filler for their real customers, the ones who buy food at the snack bar. :rolleyes: