Author Topic: Why We Don't Go to Movie Theaters...  (Read 1728 times)

Offline Phillip Dampier

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Why We Don't Go to Movie Theaters...
« on: June 03, 2006, 12:00:50 am »
I was responding to another post on here and a side thread/thought developed that I figure I'd develop as a standalone thread.

Why movie theaters suck.

John and I used to go to movies weekly around here.  When I first met him in 1987, we paid $5 each for tickets to a mainstream movie, and $1 to see the "second run" movies.  You paid your money, and people sat and watched the movie, and only perhaps 5% of the time did you encounter a chat show, tossed candy, or other disturbances.

Today, attending a lot of movies is like serving a prison sentence because the only thing you can think of is how much longer you have to endure the crap.

Tickets are now threatening to break the $10 mark per person, and if you want popcorn and soda, you'll need a second mortgage.  A small popcorn literally runs $6.50 now here - $3.75 for a small soda.  Their "value meal" deal will set you back $12.75 for something that cost them $.75 including the packaging.  Exxon/Mobil is probably the only company that can match this greed grab.

So you head into the theater, find your seat, and then the nonsense begins:

1) Chatty Cathies: This is the group that paid nearly $10 each to sit in a darkened version of Starbucks with a show.  You get to sit and TALK for the entire movie with your friends, usually about nothing important.  At least one of these groups will have the insufferable "know-it-all" who will explain and preview plot points for their friends and you, if only because you are in earshot.  Yeah, like I paid to hear Chad's opinion!

2) Can You Hear Me Now?:  I can sit in a theater with six people in it, and one of them will be on their mobile phone for most of the movie.  On one occasion, I got to hear my first movie theater three way conference call - "Hold on, Jamal is on the other line, let me hook us all up!"  Oh, yes, please do!!!  Because people always shout into their mobile phones, the whole theater got to be in on the party line!  Just lovely.  Of course, the walkie-talkie feature now on offer from companies like Nextel take annoyance to a whole new level - an ear splitting high volume "hey are you around?" leads to an actual conversation in the theater that lets you hear BOTH sides of the conversation you didn't want to hear at all.

3) Let me impress my friends/date: Why you are the most precious and funny guy when you elbow your buddies next to you to invite them to watch you toss small candies at other theatergoers.  Yeah, that really IS funny when you flashed your laser pointer on the screen for 15 minutes.  Sure, everyone wants to laugh at YOUR jokes.

4) The Munchies: You got into your seat 15 minutes early and only after the movie has started to you realize you need to make not one, but three runs to the concession stand, bathroom, whatever, forcing everyone in your aisle to make room for your shuttle service back and forth. 

5) The Bag Ripper and Muncher: If you eat your popcorn, do it with your mouth open and only during the quietest parts of the film!  Mister Ed with a feedbag makes less noise.  And please spend 10 minutes opening your bag of candy (crackle... shake... rriiippp... oh damn, as the candy rolls down the aisle after you tore the bag the wrong way).

And special awards go to:

- The guy who lit up a cigarette in the middle of the movie theater.
- To the couple that decided sex in the theater was something we'd all enjoy seeing.
- To the management who will respond to paying customers only if they set themselves on fire, and then only to put the fire out.
- To the overcaffeinated workout guys on Zantrax 3 who through grunting and hollering would amuse everyone.
- To the charming lady who slashed another woman 47 times on the face and upper body with a razor after asking her to hang up her phone.
- To the new mom who brought Precious to a hard R rated film who, surprise, started crying, and mom valiantly toughed it out, ensuring we all got to hear Precious' protestations.
- To the penny pinching corporate owners who replaced live people in the projector room with computers, guaranteeing you'll need to send out a search party to find an employee to fix the film that broke ten minutes earlier.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: Why We Don't Go to Movie Theaters...
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2006, 01:01:30 am »
I certainly have experienced the second-mortgage-to-pay-for-concessions situation. Especially as the mother of two children who are, let's say, accustomed to a certain degree of privilege at the concessions counter, so that even a matinee for the three of us -- including films I am not exactly dying to see myself -- can cost upward of $35. I have stooped to smuggling beverages into the theater.

Despite all, I'm still a dedicated theater-goer, for the following reasons:

-- Can get better popcorn than I could make at home (though I try not to eat it with my mouth open during quiet parts of the film!).
-- Can get in on big "cultural events" type movies while they're still water-cooler conversation.
-- Am far, far, far less likely to fall asleep.
-- Like the special occasion feeling to it, rather than a casual "wanna rent a movie" thing.
-- Can see it on a big beautiful screen, in (relative) quiet, in the pitch dark, rather than on the tiny screen in my living room with all the possible distractions and interruptions that might entail (which is why I saw BBM one more time in the theater even AFTER it had been released on DVD).
« Last Edit: June 03, 2006, 07:20:11 am by latjoreme »

Offline YaadPyar

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Re: Why We Don't Go to Movie Theaters...
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2006, 11:01:11 am »
I believe I can add no more, Phillip, except to mention to poor quality of most of the films that require one to endure all that...
"Vice, Virtue. It's best not to be too moral. You cheat yourself out of too much life. Aim above morality. If you apply that to life, then you're bound to live life fully." (Harold & Maude - 1971)

slayers_creek_oth

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Re: Why We Don't Go to Movie Theaters...
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2006, 11:26:46 am »
I HATE movie theaters!  With a passion!

Offline MaineWriter

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Re: Why We Don't Go to Movie Theaters...
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2006, 11:45:33 am »
I HATE movie theaters!  With a passion!

Um, Chris, don't you manage one? I would like to think that your theaters don't have the problems that Phillip is addressing because you are such a good manager...altho I imagine you have the extortion price concessions because that has become the norm everywhere.

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slayers_creek_oth

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Re: Why We Don't Go to Movie Theaters...
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2006, 01:42:43 pm »
Um, Chris, don't you manage one? I would like to think that your theaters don't have the problems that Phillip is addressing because you are such a good manager...altho I imagine you have the extortion price concessions because that has become the norm everywhere.



LOL...I manage 3..

Well ticket prices in Logan, Utah are much lower then most places...only $6.50 for the evening show and $5 for the matinee...

But concessions are a bitch like you said.  I don't have many problems in my areas!  But I have friends in SLC that have described similiar issues as the ones that Phil has and the theaters I was at in Denver were a mess...

I guess I'm just VERY anal so I don't usually have too many problems...that and I'm a workaholic and work 12 hour days...so there is never a chance for things to go wrong...

Offline David

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Re: Why We Don't Go to Movie Theaters...
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2006, 01:44:23 pm »
Yup.  Going to the movies is an expensive date now!   LOL

And you don't want to pick a bad movie at those prices.    

That's why if I go to the Theater myself,  I always go to a Mid-day Matinee.   No crowds,  adults only usually and cheaper admission prices.   So if you see a dud,  you only wasted half the price!    LOL     And if it was a great movie, you saw it in comfort and peace and quiet.

Offline ednbarby

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Re: Why We Don't Go to Movie Theaters...
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2006, 02:05:30 pm »
Yeah, it sure ain't what it used to be, hunh?

Kinda like traveling on airplanes.  Even just 12 or 15 years ago, it used to be so glamorous.  People actually got dressed up (or at least put on clean, presentable clothes) to ride on an airplane and treated each other with courtesy and respect.  Now it's like a cattle call.  You're herded onto the plane like sheep while some numbnut with a real need to get to his seat so he can sit on his fat arse in it for three hours is stepping on your Achilles tendons trying to get past you.  And if you're actually wearing something that couldn't double as pajamas, you're sticking out like a sore thumb.  You can't even buy a minute bag of peanuts on most of them anymore, and you can't carry a lighter in your purse but you can have exactly two matches.  So if that first try at lighting the plastique fuse on your sneaker doesn't quite do it, you get another shot.

I still tough it out and brave the theaters just because I'm still a romantic when it comes to the thought of sitting in a darkened room with perfect strangers and sharing the same possibly life-changing experience.  Yes, I've endured a couple assholes at a couple of my BBM screenings (good thing that one chick didn't have a razor on her when I glared at her and said, "Do you MIND?" when she decided the Lightning Flat scene was a good point to make a cell-phone call (everyone else except her boyfriend applauded me, so maybe I woulda had some back-up) and a little bit of everything you mentioned here and there.  But I still believe.  Maybe the prices will eventually get so high, we'll only have the filthy rich assholes to contend with.  Come to think of it, most of them are the worst kind.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: Why We Don't Go to Movie Theaters...
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2006, 06:40:28 pm »
That's why if I go to the Theater myself,  I always go to a Mid-day Matinee.   No crowds,  adults only usually and cheaper admission prices.   So if you see a dud,  you only wasted half the price!    LOL     And if it was a great movie, you saw it in comfort and peace and quiet.

I usually do this, too, if only because that's when I have the most free time anyway.

I'll have to say, though, that I have had very few experiences with rudeness from fellow audience members. Oh, I think I remember someone answering a cell phone call once about six years ago. (Barb -- someone actually made a call during the Lightning Flat scene? That's not an insensitive person, that's a sociopath!). And once about 20 years ago I sat in front of this rude loud talkative drunk guy.

But normally the worst problem I have to contend with is someone with a big head sitting in front of me (I will switch seats four times to get an unobstructed view). And theaters with arena seating are putting an end even to this problem.

I think a lot comes from picking nice theaters. When time permits, I'll drive 30 minutes to a good theater, bypassing a theater 10 minutes away that I don't like. I realize residents of smaller towns don't always have this option.




Offline RouxB

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Re: Why We Don't Go to Movie Theaters...
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2006, 08:08:10 pm »
Movie theater life here in Santa Barbara is still pretty pleasant though the whole concession thing is ridiculous.  I have no problem bringing in my own food (don't do it often but will if need be)-I'm sure I would added to that list as the person who brings in McDonald's and stinks up the entire place.


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