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  1.  (227.1)
    I saw Golden Compass tonight, the first film I have bothered to see in a theater in months. I used to go all the time...but lately I just can't be bothered.

    And its not the films, I see all sorts of stuff and was once willing to sit through nearly anything just to see a movie with some friends. But I decided to wait for DVD for 30 Days of Night and and do not think I will see Juno in the theater either...

    More and more cell phones are on, people are chatting away and tinkering with their brightly lit toys the entire time. That one thing has killed movie theaters for me and driven me well into my own den for my movie viewing.

    Just curious if I am just being a very crotchety 30 year old or if I am far from alone...
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2007
    Not alone. Hell, I remember when ushers stalked the aisles and controlled that sort of thing.
    And I'm younger than you are. Granted, this was before everyone and their cat had a cell phone, but people still talked, right?
    It's rare that a film will have me so desperate to see it that I am willing to leave the house and put up with the audience's bullshit. I might go to two films a year. The rest can be waited for, viewed without the constant worry that some bastard's obnoxious ringtone will ruin everything. Or of hearing the dread words: "Hello? Yeah, yeah, I'm at the movies. No, you don't have to call back, I can talk now..."

    There's a certain lack of regard for anyone else, not just at the cinema, but in general. Everyone is in their little bubble, and it doesn't matter how many dirty looks they get, or how many people ask them to be quiet, there's a sense of entitlement that these people have. Sticking with the cinema, most of the culprits are in younger age groups (though old enough to know better, 16-25, say), and I'm thinking that it's linked to the problem children in Gen Y. Maybe not, maybe the proportion of brats to everyone else is the same as it always was. It just seems that there is a new set of young adults that haven't been taught how to act like vaguely civilised adults, and have been raised to believe their shit should be put in a nice frame with a little "great job, son!" plaque. Celebration of mediocrity and so on, leading to inflated sense of self-worth, blahblah.

    It irks me that I'm put in the same group, actually. People like that are 95% of the reason I hardly ever go to public places.
    Unfortunately that happens to include places I would like to go.

    I don't know that poor audience conduct will solely be responsible for the death of the movie theater, but it probably has a role. If only we were allowed to punch them or shove their spiffy gadgets down their throats and let them choke. Some of them might actually learn a valuable lesson, and we could all watch the movie in peace.
  2.  (227.3)
    This particular group of youngsters has grown up with DVD players and home theater systems always existing in their living rooms. For them, movies have not been an event, but a fact of life. It's no wonder that there's a sense of entitlement in them now, as they treat the entire movie theater as their own private living room: they don't view movies as a public experience.

    This single fact has disenfranchised more moviegoers than anything else. If movie theaters want to lure customers back, they're going to have to start treating their business like something important again, instead of reinforcing the living room mentality of things with self-serve drink fountains and twenty minutes of commercials before every movie.

    Oh, turning each theatre into a Faraday cage couldn't hurt, either.
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2007
    I got so sick of it that last year I actually went to one of those giant warehouse stores and purchased a DVD projector for my basement. It cost me around a thousand dollars and came with a projector and 60" wide angle screen, but if you have a clean enough wall, or make your own screen and have enough room, you can push it back to 300". Currently I have it set up to around 100" and have yet to test it beyond that, but the quality is surprisingly good for my current setup, not to mention that my la-z-boy recliner is much more comfortable than any theater seat, and the only disruptions I have are the ones I create.
    • CommentAuthorjona
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2007
    The problem is that people are now so attached to their mobile phones that they can't bear to turn it off in case they miss something ( god alone knows what if you listen to their mundane conversations.) I am old enough to remember when there were no mobile phones, I never felt the need to be contactable 24/7. I still don't. I rarely go to the cinema nowadays for this very reason - some arsehole explaining the plot over his phone to all his mates.

    Also I read a blog in the Guardian about food in the cinema where the writer was complaining about people now brininging in take away food, specifically pizza and fried chicken - stank the whole place out. I foresee 2008being a bleak cinema zone for me.
  3.  (227.6)
    Personally, I think years of churning out dreary tosh and expecting me to pay almost £10 for the privilege of having my knees realigned whilst watching may have killed it more than anything.
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2007
    It's not just young people who have to answer their phones though, I've seen people in their 30s do it. I've also yelled at friend for doing it. Last few movies I've been to I've been lucky and no one had calls or were on their phone. A lot of it depends on what theater and where it is, even small distances apart can make a difference in the people who go.

    I'm not crazy about the price of movie either. Though I did pay $12 dollars to see Beowulf in 3d. But for me going out the movies is one of the few getting out of the house things I do. So for now I just do it, so I don't have to be at home.
  4.  (227.8)
    This saddens me to no end. Movies are meant to be seen on a big screen, and I'm very passionate about film. I want to see as much good material as humanly possible. But I've recently had Eastern Promises fucked up for me by a group of high school kids whispering through the whole picture, and it's almost put me off theaters. It took me right out of the moment, and I left pissed off. When I finish up my cabin, one of the first things I'm going to install is a projector, and I'll not be bothered by the rabble again. Except in cases where I absolutely cannot wait, such as There Will Be Blood.

  5.  (227.9)
    I walked out of a theater few weeks ago. I went to Darjeeling Limited, a movie I had been excited to see since hearing about it. The during the entire preview I had to listen to drunks and college kids flapping their gums about nothing, that's fine nothing of importance was happening. Once the movie began, it continued. Obnoxious and inappropriate laughter. Idiots explaining what was going on five minutes into a film the had never seen. Cellphones ringing,including the conversation that follows.


    That and the girl playing with her laptop in front of me eventually lead to me just walking out. This was at an art theater mind you. I expect that behavior when you go to the megaplex at the mall and have to sit in a room with screaming children and their bitter worn down parents.

    It's a shame, I used to love the ritual of going to the theater. Getting dressed nicely, going to a top shelf joint for a drink and a steak. Watching the movie and being so engrossed that the entire walk home I would still be digesting it. Call me a romantic, but I miss the days when theaters mattered. The theater was alway more then just something to do on a Saturday night to me. It was a place you could go and get a little taste of another persons dreams. It was the sanctuary from a fucked up world where I could see nightmares walk, and hear words of love so perfect for a moment, that real life seemed a little less so.
    • CommentAuthorKunundrum
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2007
    I've had this problem living in a poor city for a while now, but it was before the cellphones too. Not to sound racist, but I know I am not the only one who says this, but black people talk during movies. The only theater I can get to has 4 dollar movie night a lot so the seats are always filled, and it's just loud the whole time. And now that everyone has a phone, it's just awful. I honestly don't remember the last movie I saw in theaters, it's been a few years.
    • CommentAuthorjohnmuth
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2007
    This is why I usually aim to go to the movies, during the day, on a weekday and sometimes as early as possible. Of course, working from home and on my own schedule makes that a lot easier for me than for a lot of people. Plus, I really enjoy going to the movies alone - at least for the first time I see a movie. Then if I go again with someone, and they're jabbering to me, I don't care, or I can answer their questions.

    But, usually the only other people at the theater with me are people are also there to watch a movie without the interruptions and immature people shooting their mouths off.
  6.  (227.12)
    Call me old fashioned (and maybe this is the theatre in me), but is it too much to ask of people to sit quietly and just enjoy the film?
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2007
    I don't go to the theater very often. It's not necessary, living in the backwater town that i do. It's usually blockbuster type movies and children's fodder... not that i sneer at such things. They are just not worth $8. The experiences described here are outrageous though. Has civility sunk so long in theaters everywhere? As unexceptional as the movies are here, ushers will still boot people talking on cell phones. Laptops in the audience would seem unheard of.

    How would one compare these rabble-filled theaters to an experience like an Alamo Drafthouse, the chain based in Austin Texas? I was there back in September... while there is food, booze, and lots of audience participation/reaction, it seems like they would boot anyone who is talking socially, and especially if they are on a cell phone. I might be mistaken though.
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2007
    I'm beginning to think we all need cell phone jamming equipment (see here and here). Or, even better and more fun, miniature Bowel Disruptors.
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2007
    I have never had such an experience at the cinema. Now I feel left out.
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2007
    I watched No Country for Old Men last weekend (amazing) and my phone went off. Thankfully it was on vibrate, but I still felt like a jackass.
  7.  (227.17)
    Time for the Firefly quote that says it all;

    "You're going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater..."
  8.  (227.18)
    kunundrum-if you plan for this sort of thing, its awesome. i go see shitty movies at the theater a block from my house because its a bunch of gangstas and thugs and groups of 15 year old retards. i love being in a theater where everyone is rowdy on opening night-depending on the movie. drink a few, blaze, and just go to bitch and make jokes at how fucking terrible pirates 3 is!! if i seriously want to sit and watch somethng, i go during the day to a nicer theater where it will be relatively empty.
    • CommentAuthorKunundrum
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2007
    Hah hah. We used to do that. I have a Magic Johnson theater sorta close that serves fried chicken and Colt 45, I shit you not. I saw the Lord of the Rings there, and it was awesome, because we knew what we were getting in to.
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2007
    afternoon movies on the weekend are great because they are usually less crowded, the teens and pre-teens usually show up for later movies.

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