Saturday, March 5, 2011

I'm Not Paying $15 or More to Listen to YOU...

As mentioned in an earlier blog post, we went to the movies this afternoon. I love movies, but most of all, I love watching them on a big screen. I think ever since I was a child I fell in love with the entire moviegoing experience—giving my ticket to the usher, buying concessions, settling into my seat, watching the previews and then, being transfixed by the movie.

Obviously, things have changed since I was a child where going to the movies is concerned. On the plus side, you can no longer smoke in the theater, so you can sit wherever you want to. And in general, the seats have gotten much more comfortable and the food choices have expanded, as have the number of choices as to what movie to see.

However, with the pluses come the minuses. To subsidize your increased comfort, food choices and flexibility in terms of showtimes and movies comes a significant increase in ticket and concession prices, not to mention having to endure 15-30 minutes of pre-movie commercials. And of course, in order to attract people to the movies, film companies are creating lengthier trailers which, in many cases, give away all of the good jokes or key plot points, so sometimes you might wonder why you bother going to the movies anyway.

However, the worst thing about the movie experience lately is the attitude and behavior of my fellow moviegoers.

When we go to the movies, we always get there early, to account for parking, crowds, traffic, etc. This allows us the option to choose our seats and get comfortable. Yet all too often, people wander in 3-5 minutes before showtime, or even after the previews have begun, and then they ask if you would move your seats to accommodate them. While I know I should do this to be polite, why should I be inconvenienced because you decided to show up late?

Ah, but only if this were the worst thing that happens...

Why do people think it's ok to talk during the movie? I'm not interested in your interpretation of what's happening on screen, the filmography of a particular actor, whether you once vacationed where the movie is taking place, or even whether you don't understand the plot. If you want to play interpreter, please do it in the comfort of your own home—I didn't pay $15 or more to listen to you talk.

I also understand that people with babies or small children don't often (if ever) have the freedom to go to the movies. But that doesn't mean that you should bring them with you. I don't care how sound of a sleeper your baby is, or how well-behaved your children are, no one is interested in hearing them cry or talk during a movie they shouldn't be attending in the first place.

Today during the movie we attended, a man with an artificial voicebox talked during the entire film, and there was a man with some learning and physical disabilities who proceeded to lose his patience several times during the film and had to be escorted from the theater several times by his companion.

I'm sure moviegoers have always been rude, but the incidence of unacceptable behavior seems to have increased exponentially over the years along with prices. Short of using a taser to get these people to behave more courteously, I don't see this changing anytime soon, but I wish it would.

Here's a simple request: the next time you decide to strike up a conversation during a movie, or think bringing your baby to a matinee is a good idea, could you please think twice? Believe me, lots of moviegoers will thank you.

I know I will.

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