Pitting Movie Theatres

I’ve decided to pit movie theatres after reading some other related threads. How long has it been since you’ve been to the movies? For me its been at least a year. It breaks down like this:

  1. Screaming kids - seriously, WTF? For the longest time I was not a parent and absolutely despised the parents who defended having their noisy kids in the theatre. Now I’m a dad and guess what? I STILL despise it. I would never, ever subject other people to my kids bad behavior (not that she behaves badly by the way, she’s a perfect angel!)

  2. Cell phones - Ok, I’m going to restrain myself and try not to start a whole thread war by lingering on this (we’ve done that already for sure) but I think the arguments here are self-evident. No cell phones should EVER be allowed in any “quiet places” like the theatre, plays, and the library etc. We need cell phone blocking tech to enforce this since people can not be trusted to do it on their own. If you can’t miss that call don’t go in to the movie theatre.

  3. Overcrowding - It seems the trend since the early 90s is towards bigger and bigger theaters to show movies. That’s great for AMC but bad for the rest of us. People show up late, talk too loud, and generally tend to ignore the fact that they are in a movie theatre and different rules apply. Add some extra capacity and stadium style seating to cram more people in and these problems multiply like crazy.

  4. Commercials - It never fails to amaze me how much people can be like docile sheep. How is it that the majority of audiences actually support pre-movie advertising? It would be one thing if they ran in the 20 minutes prior to the “start” time of the movie but instead you show up at 7:20 for a 7:30 showing only to have to sit through an extra 4 or 5 ads which consume 10-15 minutes of your time. Sure, some of them are entertaining…the first time. But when you boil it down you just paid way too much money so Sony or Coca Cola can bombard you with advertising.

  5. Price - I used to be able to go to the movies for about $5. Now I’m afraid to even guess the price…$12? $15? And for what? Want to buy it online? You’ll have to pay a service charge which will put the price even higher. And forget about popcorn…

  6. Weak movies - I don’t know about you but in my eyes movies coming out lately…suck. Not all of them of course but so many seem to be bad sequels, cheap imitations of better movies, or overwraught bloated and unwieldy disasters. Its like all of Hollywood got together and decided that only movies that follow certain established plots and can garner the attention of A list actors will get greenlighted. A good example…the director of the currently being produced film Dallas (based on the popular TV show) quit the project due to idiotic casting choices. Maybe its always been this way but the trend, IMHO, is only escalating.

So what are your reasons for not going to the movies anymore? Or maybe you still go and these things don’t bother you…why?

  1. Home theater gives me the movie experience without the hassles. I can sit back, put my feet up, and enjoy a movie without any problems.

7 & 8) I totally can’t count… :smack:

My solution is to wait until the movie in question has been out for a few weeks and then go at an odd time of day. Usually, I can get the matinee price, which is still about $6 here. There are generally very few kids. In fact, very few people at all, in some cases.

I’m very choosy about the movies, too. If it’s not something that really benefits from being seen on the “big” screen, I figure I can wait for video. The other stuff you mention doesn’t really bother me.

All this means that I’ve only been to the movies a couple of times this year, but that’s okay, too.

I don’t go to the movies more than a couple times a year because audience talking makes me furious. I resent being put in the position of silence enforcer.

Without fail, someone will always talk through the trailers and the opening of the movie, “I think he’s the bad guy”, “That’s so gross”, etc. and so I shush them and they look at me like I’m the asshole. It’s completely ineffectual, like calling the cops on a loud neighbor. At the very best, they quiet down for a few minutes.

I’m a calm guy. I like being calm. I don’t like playing at alpha male, don’t enjoy escalating to an actual confrontation, and hate sitting there and stewing even more.

Hell is other people.

I don’t go to the show but 2-3 times per year. I don’t generally enjoy movies that attract the Jr. High-and-under set, so I rarely suffer from Screaming Kid Syndrome.

I only do matinees because I refuse to pay full price for entertainment where I can’t get comfortable, can’t smoke, can’t freeze frame, and can’t see the screen as well as I’d like to.

Most studio movies stink. And if they don’t, I want to view it my way.

What confounds me is the frequency with which, no matter where I choose my seat, I always have some 6-foot-5 guy sit directly in front of me or people who insist on chomping ice directly behind me. I don’t get upset over popcorn. It’s a loud food. Cool. But to chomp one’s ice takes noise to ridiculous heights. It can last for 40 minutes, maybe an hour, depending on the size of the drink.

Each of the last six or seven times I’ve gone to a movie one of these two things has happened. And I hardly ever go to the movies anymore.

I feel your pain. Once one of my favorite passtime, it’s now something I do less and less, each time dreading what kind of shit I’m gonna have to put up with.

To avoid the young’ns and other assorted loudmouthed dumbasses, I go to the first showing on Sunday morning. I’ve sometimes been the only one in the theater. It would take a lot to convince me to see a show on a weeknight, never mind a Fri. or Sat. night. The only exception would be if I was on a date and I knew he was a movie nazi like me and would join me in the “silencing of the masses” I’m small, people, but I’m scrappy. Ditto for cell phones.

As far as the commercials, the idea of them bothers me for the reasons you stated, but it doesn’t really get to me. I’m usually happily munching away on the corn during those.

I was just going to address your overcrowding issue with,“well, there’s no one else there when I go…” and now I see that’s pretty much my solution to all of your very valid concerns. Of course I know not everyone is able to go to the movies on a Sat. or Sun. morning, but I guess that’s one of the perks of having very little life :slight_smile:

One thing I’d like to add to your list of complaints; why are the theaters so fucking filthy? What is up with that stench? It’s called a carpet steamer, people. Look into it.

And if your cell phone does ring, you shouldn’t answer it unless you’re reasonably sure it’s urgent. Chatting with your friends is not urgent. Just because someone is calling you on your cell phone does not mean you have to or should have a lengthy conversation with them.

The only situation I could think of that would warrant placing a cell phone call from a movie theater would be calling 911 for someone who is having a medical emergency, or something like this, or this. If you just want to talk to somebody, or make arrangements for a ride home, or check up on your kids with the babysitter, walk outside the theater, and call from there. Or you could maybe wait until the movie is over to make those calls.

I much prefer watching movies at home on DVD. That way, I can watch it whenever I want to, in my pajamas or even underwear if I want, without watching 30 minutes of commercials and previews beforehand. I can also turn the volume to a reasonable level so that noises in the movie won’t startle me, turn on the closed captions, rewind if I miss something, deliberately miss any scenes that would disturb me (usually blood and gore), and pause it whenever I want to. Oh, and I get to watch from the comfort of my bed or recliner, which might have cats climbing on them or playing in the box springs, but will not have anyone kicking my seat or anyone really tall sitting in front of me.

It’s because patrons regularly dump their food and drink on the floor, often on purpose rather than to carry it fifty feet to a trashcan.

Theaters are actually marginal profit operations; after licensing fees they’re barely breaking even, and while concessions are egregiously overpriced you can figure they’re only averaging about $5 per viewer per 2+ hour period. That might sound good on a packed Friday night, but no so great on a sleepy Tuesday with only a handful of people in the cinema. The ads are obnoxious of course–and all the moreso for having to pay to see them–but patrons endure them and presumably someone thinks that they have a positive influence on consumers.

As for cell phones, screaming kids, loud eaters, et cetera, I have nothing but agreement for the invective, but that’s life in the big city. I’ve long gone to avoiding peak periods and often catching the late morning matinee or the last evening show; I got to see Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World all by my lonesome at one 10:15 showing. It was awesome. Unfortunately, there’s been little to look forward to in movies of late.

And I encourage any Los Angeles residents or visitor to attend the Arclight Hollywood Cinema. It’s a great theater–reserved seating, large, overstuffed chairs, great concessions, and excellent attention to picture and sound quality. It’s rapidly becoming the only place I’ll go to watch first run pictures, and they have some great AFI and short film festivals.


Ditto, ditto, ditto. Mr S and I used to love going to movies, but the assholes drove us away. Now we only go when the big-screen experience is required: Harry Potter, LOTR, etc. Otherwise we wait for Netflix.

We have good luck waiting a few weeks after release, then going to the very last show on a Sunday night (Mr. S works second shift M-F). Often we have the theater to ourselves.

  1. Screaming kids - seriously, WTF? None.

  2. Cell phones - None

  3. Overcrowding - None- well, 90% of the time.

  4. Commercials - None, other than previews, which I like.

  5. Price - And at my theatre, you can buy a card good for 10 movies for $50. That’s $5 per film.

I go after work or if it’s a really long one and I can only go on the weekend I’ll go weeks after the release. No crowds, no hassles. Still just as expensive, though.

Stupid lazy bastards :mad:

I always see the first showing of the day on Saturday – almost never have problems then. Last time I remember obnoxious talking was during The Day After Tomorrow, which shows you how long ago it was. And I always sit in the first or second row; I can pretty much count on having the whole row to myself.

I hate the horrible volume for ads and some sound effects. And then, just when a little volume would help, the actors whisper vital plot points. Watching the movie at home relieves both of these issues for me, though I do miss going out to the movies. I used to really enjoy it.

Bring back some ushers (one for each screening room in a multiplex!) and do something about the horrid volume problems and I’ll start going to the movies again. If anything worth watching is playing, that is.

No. No. No.

I wholly endorse this change. Do you not remember the insanity of the “Googleplex” theaters that was reached in the 80’s? They tried to cram in as many screens as they could and made them ever smaller until you got to where the then new-fangled projection sets rivaled the screen size.
Heck, I go and see the IMAX version first whenever it is available.

Because of home systems, the theaters of today are sort-of moving back to the movie palace theaters of yesteryear, and I approve.

Some theaters have started Mommy-viewing times. It’s not widespread yet, but it is a step in the right direction.

We have the technology, but the FCC says its use is illegal.

It’s all about when you go. I hate packed theaters, so I avoid opening weekend.

I like the English solution - assigned seating. Now you can show up right before showtime, confident you have a decent seat. Order early, though!

The movie studios force the theaters to operate on razor-thin margins, thus the insane prices for food/drinks. The first few weeks a movie is in the theater, the theater receives very little revenue from the movie. This is also why you get the adverts. I don’t like it either, but its the economics of the business.

Vote with your dollars and avoid the theaters, or invest in a home theater,

This isn’t the theaters fault.

Clearly I hadn’t been in a theatre for a while, because I only noticed for the first time this week that the new flip-phone craze leads to a twinkling twilight of backlit phone screens as people in front of you flip their phones open to check the time every 15 minutes.

It was also the first time for me that someone answered their phone. Twice.

Now why did you leave it on to have the exact same conversation 30 minutes later? :confused:

I totally agree.

Ah, the Arclight. :gloating: