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    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2007
    So I love my cellphone--up front, I can't live without it.

    That said, I can put the lil' bastard down for a couple hours while I watch a film. Indeed, I look *forward* for those 2-hour blocks where I don't have to be attached or connected or whatever word is the current buzz for being accessible.

    I have absolutely no problem asking people to shut the bloody hell up while we're sharing a film. I paid my money, and I'm just as entitled to enjoy it as much as they are. And those 20+ minutes of commercials and trailers? They also plainly explain to people to turn off their cellphones.

    If people don't, I don't have a problem with getting up and finding a manager. If you state your case politely, you're likely to get free movie passes for your trouble while also getting the offending people escorted out without a refund.

    This is the lesson that needs to be taught. And even if they haven't learned their lesson, you don't have to be bothered by their rude behavior. I'd rather miss out on five minutes of a film than have to suffer through two hours of inane cellphone chatter.

    Again, I love my mobile. But I also know that using it has the potential of being ridiculously rude.
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2007
    People, going to the cinema in the US sounds like a truly, truly horrible experience...

    I thought it was be in my local multiplex... Sit down, wait for adverts, then just as the film classifcation screen comes on a group of about 10 teens walk in and talk over the credits... Then they normally shut up. Or I get absorbed in a film and forget them.

    I've stopped going to the cinema almost altogether now as prices here in UK mulitplexes are just too high for the crap that gets released. Transformers was soooooooooo bad, but needed to be seen on the big screen.

    Incidently, I've actually had a proper punch up with my own BEST FRIEND in a cinema because of his mobile going off. This was during 'Eyes Wide Shut' too, so you can imagine how awful the ring tone was. His phone went off three times. Then a cell rings on the screen, and ITS THE SAME RINGTONE. Manager comes over to give us a bollocking and tells us next time, we're being kicked out. We persuade him that it was the phone on the screen that went off the last time. As the manager walks away, my friends mobile RINGS AGAIN.

    So as the manager walks back over, I punched my friend in the side of the head... he hit me back.

    Five minutes later, I'm on my own watching the film, after the manager threw my friend out. Weird.
    • CommentAuthormunin218
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2007
    Behaviour like that..... it's why I really can barely tolerate the general public anymore. People behave appallingly in movie and live theatres. When some moron interrupts my movie with a cell phone or talking.... I'll usually say something, or find an attendant to have them removed. I'm not paying 8 bucks for less silence than i'd get at home.... Although whenever my husband's with me in situations like these, I find all that's needed is a glare from him. Really big, mean looking bald guys tend to shut people up quickly. ;P
    • CommentAuthorElohim
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2007

    Things aren't too bad in Norwich, but I nearly always sit near the back with a big 'ole set of empty seats around me and my mates (we're all giant and quite scary-looking).

    But I agree that it isn't just kids, and that there should be movie police.
    It's too expensive for the bastard in front of me to ruin it for me and for me not to get pissed off.
    • CommentAuthorratjin
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2007
    Wow. Some cities out there sound incredibly bad. In Knoxville, Tennessee, I've never had an experience like that. I mean, there was this once where a guy answered his cell phone and talked for about 30 seconds, and that annoyed me, but some of y'all's experiences sound horrific. I go at night, I go during the day, I go to art houses and multiplexes (and art house multiplexes). Never seen a laptop in a theatre. Of course, *I* am the one guy reading Doc Savage novels on his Treo while the Coke and National Guard commercials play, but when the previews start, the light goes out. Then, during the credits, you can see various people turning on their cell phones to check whatever.

    It is, however, possible that the kind of cultural 'progress' you describe simply hasn't reached here yet.
      CommentAuthorIan Mayor
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2007
    During the Blair Witch Project I heard guy have the same phone conversation twice.


    "hello... no I'm at the pictures... that Witch thing... no it's shit"

    Which I found surprisingly entertaining. Keeping your phone on in a cinema is like smoking in a lift, it shows a lack of respect for everyone around you. And means you're a dick.
  1.  (227.7)
    I do enjoy the theater experience, and for the most part we only ever go when there is little chance of whiny kids or loud teenagers around to ruin our time--very early shows, late-late shows, etc. We went last night to see "Beowulf" in 3D, and while the movie itself wasn't all that great, the 3D elements were pretty enjoyable.

    The one thing that bothers me now, though, are the pre-preview ads that go on and on...particularly the four-minute-long propaganda piece about the National Guard that made me grind my teeth. Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-military; that would be hard for me to do as I have family and friends who are in Iraq right now. But I do have a problem with a super-macho, ultra-jingoistic commercial (set to a rousing nu-metal score, no less!) that makes war look glamorous and fantastic, made to appeal to 18-to-22-year-olds who are just the right age to sign up, be handed a rifle and sent to a sandy hellhole to die. It really detracted from my enjoyment of the night.
  2.  (227.8)
    I used to aggressively tell people to shut up at the movie theater and then a guy 15 years ago at a movie called Deep Cover showed me his gun in response. Now I only confront people that are really, really old. Plus I still need to see Deep Cover again because after that joke about being with two women "your mom and your dad" I forgot the rest because I was terrified.

    If your local cinema -- one that you go to five or ten times a year or more -- has a problem with people talking, the best thing to do is to politely press the issue with a manager, an owner, or both. Get your money back. Phone the owner. Write a letter. Remind them when you're waiting for the DVD and how much money you would have dropped there. Theater owners don't want to drive people away from their theaters, but they also want to run everything as cheaply as possible, as they have some difficult pricing mechanisms to figure out. Plus sometimes a good owner gets stuck with a shitheaded manager or vice versa, so the person who need to make a decision on your behalf may not be getting the information they need. Except in the case of some specialty theaters, cinemas aren't going to have a giant staff of people with flashlights patrolling each screening, not in 2007, not without finding out it's necessary. In a way, expecting the theater owner to mind-read you and your concerns is the same kind of self-absorbed thinking that leads people to talk on the phone in the movie theater.

    As far as people ever not talking on the phone, or talking out loud when we want to, we've lost that battle and it's only going to get worse as Generation Entitlement gets into their 20s. I'd vote for a reverse Logan's Run if I could and take my chances with individual reprisals on the older people in the audience, but I'm not in charge.
  3.  (227.9)
    a reverse Logan's Run

    Once you turn thirty, you...become...alive? *head hurts now*
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2007
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    Some movies like Tranformers you expect crap like that. I live in a hick town with one mctheater but the occasional good movie that comes here is often 95% empty and just like watching it at a nice home theatre. People are generally politer in Canada and don't answer their cells in theaters although some dumb teenybopper was yacking in the library. Transformers was so bad though I was very tempted to go oout to the truck and set off as can of bear spray(a fire extinguisher sized can of very strong pepper spray for bears) in the theatre. I decided to err on the side of not ending up in gitmo though.
    • CommentAuthorSolario
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2007
    Around here, talking on the cellphone during movies leads to you getting escorted outside and losing your ticket. Seems to work alright. Though some people still insist on texting.

    It's pretty well indoctrinated, since before every single movie there's a varyingly humourous reminders, like This Is What Your Friends Are Doing, While You're At the Movies.
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2007 edited
    The one thing that bothers me now, though, are the pre-preview ads that go on and on...particularly the four-minute-long propaganda piece about the National Guard that made me grind my teeth... But I do have a problem with a super-macho, ultra-jingoistic commercial (set to a rousing nu-metal score, no less!) that makes war look glamorous and fantastic...

    I'll admit I was taken aback and a bit offended, myself, when I took my moms to go see The Golden Compass, which (believe it or not) wasn't pure shite, and we had to sit through that garbage. It really does glorify the troops running around shooting their semis, all the while rocking out to 3 Doors Down *gag*. I went to the theater to enjoy an alternate-reality fantasy story, not to be reminded of teenage, virgin soldiers playing cock-rock over their comms while either killing or being killed. The whole thing left a foul taste in my mouth, and I found it to be simply offensive. It was extremely clear that the intent was one of propagandistic conversion appealing directly to the Wii generation.
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2007
    let's see, the last movie I saw in the theater?... Silent Hill. I'm sitting in the back with two friends, in a perfect seat I picked out for myself. totally empty theater otherwise at that time.

    the next two people who come in are a blonde chick and her boyfriend. look around, see us, make a beeline for us and sit directly behind us for... some reason. even though my one friend is really tall.

    the moment the theater darkens, the girl starts to chatter to her boyfriend at the top of her lungs-- so as to be heard over the previews. the first thing she says is: "Silent Hill? So is this a scary movie?"

    the second thing she shouts is "Oh, I heard about this one. My friend told me the ending. What happens is--"

    whereupon my friends and I clap our hands over our ears and move down front.

    Japanese theaters are pretty civilized. on the downside, they're expensive as shit and it takes months for new releases to get here.
      CommentAuthorJoe Paoli
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2007
    I occasionally bring my ipod to my local mall cineplex since they have a pre-film show - some kind of promotional 'Entertainment Tonight-like thing that lasts about 1/2 hour - that I don't care to watch twice. Last time I did, an usher told me I couldn't use it - I was a little dumbfounded since I had the headphones on and couldn't believe the noise could be a problem, nor was it during the feature that I was using it.

    He explained that the light could irritate other patrons. But he allowed me to continue using it so long as I obscured the display. I shut it off completely at the end of the previews. It was all very civilized. Sounds like a lot of your theaters your theaters could use a more vigilant staff.
    • CommentAuthorMark R
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2007
    Sounds like a lot of your theaters your theaters could use a more vigilant staff.

    Yeah, armed with billy clubs and mace, ready to snap the thumbs off the hands of the nearest celly user/texter.
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2007
    OK - so I used to work in a movie theater, one of the nameless ushers in one of the bigger American chains (Wehrenberg - yes, we were the ones with the fucking annoying whisper-ads before the movie. "Wehrenberg...Wehrenberg...." it still haunts my dreams). Anyway, as one of the older ushers, it sorta fell to me to do a lot of the guest-relations stuff, as no one really wants to deal with a sixteen-year-old when they can deal with an eighteen-year-old with enough sense to not come to work with any piercings. The first few weeks, I would be good and vigilant, ask people to put their feet down if they were in a crowded theater, give people looks if they were on their cells, even before the previews, helped elderly folk in...I felt pretty accomplished, and felt like I could actually enjoy this job. Seeing Clerks II, Scanner Darkly, and Snakes on a Plane for free on opening night was pretty cool, too.

    And then I find something interesting out - it is not company policy to make people turn off their cellphones, even if they're yelling "what?! WHAT?!?" into it in the middle of Spiderman 2. So all those times I gave people The Look? According to one of my managers, that's "poor treatment of the guest."

    The worst part was telling people who had complaints about a dude on his phone that there wasn't anything I could really do, because I really wanted to. There can be no greater satisfaction than giving an asshole a spoonful of social justice, but now that the manager was aware I was doing this, he'd be keeping an eye on me. For this, and other reasons, the job began to steadily suck.

    So, on the one hand, we've got assholes like you guys have been giving as Exhibit A, and on the other hand, the theater dudes can't do shit about it, so there's Exhibit B. So really, next time, make the guy or gal eat their cell phone, or cover it in popcorn or something. It's up to you, apparently, lest the usher be slapped with an honest-to-badness poor service record.
      CommentAuthorJoe Paoli
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2007
    @Mark R
    Yeah, armed with billy clubs and mace, ready to snap the thumbs off the hands of the nearest celly user/texter.
    See, the equal hostility for the texter who's not making noise is a new phenomenon for me. It doesn't strike me as the same as someone talking out loud, and the light isn't that distracting unless it's next to you. Not that I'd be doing it during a feature anyway, though.

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