Monday, January 27, 2014

Discussion Post: Why I'm over movie theaters

Monday, January 27, 2014 9:46 AM with 37 comments
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I used to love going to the movie theater. There was nothing like sinking into those comfy chairs and watching my favorite stars on the big screen. Lately, though, it seems like every single time I go to see something in the theater (which is probably only about 5 times a year lately) I always seem to sit next to this girl:

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Seriously, like every single time. My husband and I finally went to go see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug about a week ago and there was a teenage girl sitting with her boyfriend 2 rows up that didn't watch even a second of the movie. She alternated between checking her phone and making out with her boyfriend. For almost 3 solid hours. AND she was in one of those chairs that squeaked like you wouldn't believe every time she moved. Which was every 10 seconds. I just...why even go to the theater?! I don't get it. How can you be that inconsiderate? After the movie I wanted to be all:

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If it was just that one incident I would be annoyed, but it's not. When we went to see the Spiderman remake we sat next to a couple that both checked their phones throughout the movie. When we went to see the latest Star Trek a couple brought their 2 and 5 year-olds with them--and didn't take the 2 year-old out when she started fussing. When we went to see Superman a woman sitting directly in my line of vision checked for phone--and I am not exaggerating here--no less than 100 times. At least once a minute she would hit her screen. If you are waiting on something that important, or have that short of an attention span, why are you at the movie? When I go to a movie I turn my phone off completely and put it in my bag. Sometimes I even leave it in the car. There is no reason why I can't take a 2 hour break from my phone, especially if I am with my husband or with one of my girlfriends. I feel that way about restaurants, too. If I am out to dinner with somebody, I keep my phone in my bag. Also, listen, I don't have children, but if I did, I wouldn't take them to a movie that isn't aimed at them. They don't give a shit about Star Trek, of course they are going to get fussy and bored. Do 2 year-olds even care about children's movies that young? If you HAVE to see a movie, like, that night and don't have a sitter, at least take their ass outside the theater if they start to cry. I cannot stand people who don't have even this smallest bit of common courtesy. It makes me feel so stabby.

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I love movies and I love to watch them on the big screen, but lately I feel like it just makes sense to wait until they come out on video. I have a pretty decent sized screen at home and movies come out on video so quickly nowadays that my need to see them on the big screen has diminished. I get Entertainment Weekly and they are often talking about numbers and how people are going to the theater less and less. This is why: Other people suck! Movie theater prices are ridiculous. The movie I want to see will be out on DVD in, like, 2 months and I can wait that long to see it in the comfort of my own home. 

Did you hear that Madonna got kicked out of a theater a couple of months ago for texting? That's what I'm talking about. They need to have somebody in the theater who puts his/her foot down about this type of behavior so that those of us who know how to act in public can actually enjoy what we spent money to see. 

What about you? How often do you go to the movies? Do you have the same complaints as me or do you always have good experiences? I want to hear from you!

37 comments:

  1. Great post. I was so happy when an independent cinema opened near us. It's run by a cinema lover who even sold his house to buy it. It's amazing and it costs less to get your ticket, popcorn and a drink from the new cinema than it does just to get your ticket at the local Vue. When you can see a movie, with snacks for under £10, you tend to care a little less about annoying people... BUT NOT MUCH!

    My pet hate in cinemas is rude people who are noisy, talk throughout and constantly have their phone out. I hate people who take phone calls in the cinema, seriously, who does that? And crying babies in adult movies really annoy me, they shouldn't be there.

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    1. The independent cinema sounds awesome. We used to have a cheap theater in my city where all shows were only a dollar. A dollar! It was awesome and did make you care a little bit less when people were acting like a-holes, but not much, I agree.
      I'm glad I'm not the only one. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I totally understand. I only go to the theater a few times a year because I, too, am easily annoyed. I usually prefer movie nights at home, but there are those movies I have to see sooner.

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    1. There are always the movies you have to see on the big screen. Like the big action films. I'm such a sucker for superheroes. It's a problem. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I completely agree, it is a pet peeve of mine for people to talk during the movies (and text, etc). What happened to common courtesy? It has definitely disappeared. I still go to the movies though but I go to a morning or early afternoon screening during the middle of the week and you only have the hard core movie buffs who feel the same way (and most people are actually alone). Not everyone can do that obviously (the perks of being a professor), but that's been my solution. Great post! ~Pam

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    1. What kind of professor are you? I didn't know that you were one. That's so cool!! I would love to go during the day. One of my friends and I go to Saturday matinees when we go and it does seem to be better then. Even on the weekends. Thanks, Pam!

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  4. I know how you feel! And men you have had some rude people at the movies! And OMG taking a 2 year old to star trek??? Who does that??? That is even worst than taking them to the mall kicking and screaming (which is something I REALLY hate!). If you go see a movie, turn off your damn phone! Apparently people nowadays can't live without it. I am still wondering though why people go to the movies if they have to check their phone every minute? What's the point of the movie? So yeah I totally agree with you! Great post!!! Loved it!

    Irene @ Ice Queen's bookshelf

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    1. That's what I said! Star Trek is pretty complicated. There's no way a child is understanding the plot. The phone thing kills me! I seriously doubt what you are looking at is some life or death text. Just leave it in your car if you can't help yourself from looking. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. We hardly ever go to the theater either. Only when I absolutely can't wait, like for The Hunger Games. And I have a 5yo, but she doesn't go with us. I do take her to see kids' movies, but she's so well-behaved compared to the other heathens there. And I take her at a time that's appropriate...usually the matinee so that 1) she's not bothering anyone if she does get antsy and 2) nobody else is bothering us. You're right...it's almost impossible to have a peaceful movie-going experience these days. No one can let go of their technology and no one seems to have common courtesy anymore. And most of the time, I don't mind waiting a couple of months to see a movie in the comfort of my own home. My couch is WAY comfier than those creaking chairs. =)

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    1. I understand taking a 5 year-old to children's movies. That's an age where they can understand the plot and sit still for an hour and a half. I just don't understand taking children to adult movies where there is little chance of them being entertained. The creaky chair. OMG. Seriously, I was like: how can you not hear the noise that you are making every 10 seconds? Grrr.

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  6. I haven't been to the movies in quite sometime, but whenever I go, the teenagers always ruin it and I end up feeling super old for complaining constantly about them. :) Between the texting, the constant comments, and the noise, I agree…it's just not worth it. I have been waiting till movies come out on DVD/on demand and it's been way more enjoyable. I completely agree with your opinions regarding this. Plus, the prices are RIDICULOUS at a movie theater. The price that they charge for candy or drinks….you would think we were at a South Beach night club. Seriously. Ha. Anyway, fantastic discussion post!

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    1. Thanks, Chris! The prices are ridiculous. I never get refreshments. The cost of the movie is enough. We almost always go to dinner, too, so the evening ends up costing a ton. I'd rather just order a pizza and watch some Netflix. Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Ugh, I totally understand your complaints about rude movie goers! I went to an early screening of a book-turned-movie, and it was just full of the book's fangirls. Now, I can understand their excitement because I am a fangirl too. However, this one girl next to me obviously LOOOOOOVED the book and had to comment about EVERY SINGLE THING they changed from the book. She kept talking (not whispering) to her friend like "Oh in the book, blablabla" or "Oh, he'll become evil later blablabla." and I was so close to just turning and telling her to shut up. Ugh.

    I still go to the movie theatres with my friends because we all do enjoy it together. But we try to pick times when kids are at school, like before 4pm or something on weekdays. I never want to go to the theatre on the weekend because of all the reasons you talked about.

    If the movie that came out was something I REALLY wanted to see, I would totally go to the movies but at those times that would only have a few people. If it was something I could wait for, I'll wait for the DVD and stay at home. :) Love this post, Natalie!

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    1. Thanks, Ana! I would love to be able to go during the day. I'll do matinees on Saturdays sometimes, and even then it does seem a bit better, but when I go with my husband the only time that really seems to work is weekend nights. That's why we rarely go!
      The fangirls. I completely understand. That's one reason I try to avoid popular movies until they've been out for a few weeks.
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Ugh, I definitely understand what you mean. Between cell phone usage, shrieking / giggling teenage girls, and young noisy children (who should not be allowed in PG-13 / R movies in the first place), all the fun of movie-going fades, fast. I wish people who disrupt films would simply stay home and rent it later.

    Great post!

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    1. Thanks, Lea! I wish my city had one of those theaters where people were kicked out for bad behavior. Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. Yes to all of this! I feel exactly the same way about going to the cinema these days - love film, hate the cinema experience at the moment. Also, the ticket prices are far too high where I live considering the poor quality of service and the state of the screens.

    These days, if we're going to brave a screening, we've decided to go to one of the fancy cinemas such as The Everyman. The atmosphere is usually a little better and the seats are far more comfortable. Plus they tend to be more selective in what they screen.

    It's a shame that you have to weigh up how much you want to see a film with all the negative stuff that comes along with cinema going, isn't it? Well, I suppose the home distribution arms of the various companies aren't complaining too much...

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    1. I wish we had one of those fancy theaters. EW did this article about these really neat theaters like that where people can drink and it's just this whole cool experience. There are a couple pretty nice screens in my city, but nobody monitors the crowd and boots out the sucky people. It is a shame. I want to support local theaters and my favorite film companies, but I just cannot justify the money it costs to go see a movie when the experience is almost always bad. Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. It makes me feel stabby too. It's so disrespectful of everyone else in the theater who are also spending time & money. There are definitely theaters that I avoid where it seems more prevalent. Or I'll try to go during a less busy time.

    Luckily there is one in my town that doesn't allow cell phone usage at all. You get kicked out. And those under 18 need to be with an adult, and babies aren't allowed except during specific times. I usually go there if I want to avoid feeling angry at strangers. However, it doesn't always help because plenty of adults are as thoughtless as children in this scenario. Some perhaps, more so. :/

    The worst ever was when I went to see Juno (way back when) and some woman had brought her sons who appeared to be 6 & 8. SO inappropriate. I couldn't relax during the entire movie. Just..... why?!

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    1. I think all theaters should boot people who used their phones. You're right. It's almost always the adults who are the worst.
      As for your story: I can beat it. When I went to see the first Kill Bill a woman brought her two young children (also prob between 6-10). I don't know if you've seen it, but it starts out with Uma Thurman lying on her back, bloody and almost dead and then getting shot in the head. The lady bustled her kids out of the theater and I was just like: seriously, lady, what did you think it was going to be?! 1. It's rated R 2. It's called Kill Bill and 3. It's a Quentin Tarantino film. Use your head!
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. OH I am so totally with you on this one. I think after every movie I say I'm done going to the theater. Going to the theater is not cheap by any means and to have someone ruin the experience is just completely rude. And I wonder every single time: this annoying person paid the 12-15 bucks to get in, too---why aren't the watching the movie??
    One time when a girl took out her phone and was holding it UP, not even down in her lap, the person a few behind her asked her to put it away and her and her boyfriend actually had the nerve to act all offended, and walked out in a huff a few minutes later because, you know...they were SO insulted at being told what to do. O-O ???
    Oh and another time, a couple brought a baby in (not a kids movie) and when the baby got fussy, they gave him a plastic water bottle to keep him occupied. So all we heard every few minutes was that crinkly sound plastic water bottles make when you squeeze them. RUDE.

    Great post, Natalie!! I definitely feel your frustration at the movie-going experience! Theaters really need to find a way to crack down on people that ruin it for everyone!

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    1. It seems like every time I go the experience is just so bad. The phone thing, the kid thing, talking. People who act like this have to know that everybody hates them. I can't even remember the last time I had a perfectly pleasant experience. There is always at least one person who is ruining it for everybody else.
      I don't know why the theaters aren't doing anything. If I owned a theater I would have employees go in for 15 minute intervals just to make sure every body is behaving. Once somebody gets kicked out, everybody else will get the hint. Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. My goodness, your post had me nodding but laughing at the same time. It is actually funny we talked about this in my office the other day. My parents theory is just the buy the dvd since it is about the same amount of money of the both of them going because they got so tired of all the texting. My fiance and I go to early morning shows.. big nerds but not even close to as crowded!

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert

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    1. Thanks. Based on the comments, it certainly seems to be an issue that everybody has some thoughts and feelings on. Negative thoughts. The theaters need to take notice or they will continue to see there numbers go down. Your parents are right. When a movie first comes out on DVD it is almost always on sale for $20 or less--which is about how much 2 adult tickets cost. Why wouldn't you just wait to own it? The morning is the time to go. I just can't do it due to stupid work. Even on the weekend it is better during the day, though. And cheaper! Thanks for stopping by!

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  13. I would be so annoyed if I were you, too. I don't go to movies in the theater specifically because I am that person that nobody wants around during a movie. I don't watch many movies in the first place because I don't have the greatest attention span/patience for movies, but when I am watching them I need to be doing something (ex. texting). I also like to talk during movies, like, talk about the movie, so really staying home and watching with friends just makes way more sense. I think people really need to be more aware of their surroundings. If you're going to be one of those people that disrupts the movie repeatedly, don't go. It's simple.

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    1. At least you know that about yourself. Lol. I'm not, like, the epitome of politeness all the time either, but I know when I'm being an a-hole and I try to refrain myself. My husband and best friend will go all kinds of Mystery Science Theater on a movie...when we are home. Thanks for stopping by!

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  14. Sounds like you've had some horrid experiences. In Britain there are pretty strict rules about mobile phones in cinemas, and I've seen people chucked out before for not turning theirs off (I let out an internal cheer).

    Also, I'm not so much a fan of the cinema anymore because it's so expensive! When I was a student we used to get a discount, which we could combine with an offer called Orange Wednesdays, so you could see a film on a Wednesday for just a few pounds, but now the prices are extortionate. I'm so stingy!

    Sarah

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    1. That's awesome. I know theaters here are supposed to do the same, but I've never seen it happen, so they obviously aren't super strict about it.
      The expense is a major issue for me, as well. We tend to get dinner, too, so the evening can get pretty pricey. I love a good night out, but I sometimes I like the comfort of my home more. Thanks for stopping by!

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  15. You're not the only person I've heard lament about movie theater woes. Oddly enough, I've never had a terrible experience at the theater. The worst was when my husband and I saw Prince Caspian and there was a small group of young teen girls in front of us. They weren't paying much attention to the movie and were a little distracting, but they left like 20 minutes in, so then we didn't have to worry about it! But I thought that was pretty bizarre, but maybe they just wanted to sneak into a rated R movie. Sorry you have so many bad experiences!

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    1. Wow. You are so lucky! I seriously can't remember the last time I sat in a completely well behaved movie theater. Well, during matinees it tends to be ok, but at night it is always noisy and annoying. Maybe I'm just extra sensitive to this type of behavior? Thanks for stopping by!

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  16. Oh, I HEAR you. This is so frustrating... >_< I'm only 5 foot, so when a human giraffe sits in front of me, BOOM, movie cancelled. It's really annoying. Plus, it really bugs me when people bring their little kids into NOT kid movies. I'm a child carer, so I get really anxious...like, would you take your tiny baby into The Desolation of Smaug?!! I don't even care if the baby is sleeping...those kind of things drum into their brains.

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    1. Oh, no. My best friend is 5'2", so she has those issues, too. I don't know why you would bring a baby to most places, to be honest with you. I mean, obviously, you have to take your kid out of the house, but I don't really understand parents that take their little, little kids to places that aren't kid friendly, like movies and adult restaurants. Whatever, that's why I'm not a parent. You are right, though, just that noise alone--and action movies always get super loud--cannot be good for their little ears. Thanks for stopping by!

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  17. It sounds like you have had some pretty bad experiences! I have a couple of friends that are awful movie-goers. I am then in the weird situation of asking them to put their phone away and making noise or not saying anything at all! Sometimes it really is easier to wait for the release.

    Bella @ Ciao Bella

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    1. That sucks. I hate having to police my friends--I have one who's pretty bad, too. It is just easier to wait for a movie to be released on DVD. Thanks for stopping by!

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  18. I don't understand how people cannot go 3 hours without checking their phones. It's absolutely ridiculous. Nothing is that important! If you're waiting on a super important phone call or something, then fine, but you don't need to be going to see a movie. Do people not understand that even if you have your phone on the lowest screen brightness setting that in a completely dark room, it lights up everything?! Ugh people annoy the crap out of me. I used to go to the movies at least once every 3 weeks but I've had so many problems like you that I don't want to go anymore. That and prices are outrageous these days. $10 to see a movie is expensive, especially for a movie that is going to get billions of dollars. There's no need to have such high prices. Sigh. I completely feel you on this post. I wish movies came out on DVD faster. But that is an entirely different issue!

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    1. People annoy the crap out of me, too. The phone thing, especially, just drives me beyond bonkers. I seriously get, like, so annoyed when I see somebody pull out their phone in a theater or when they are out to dinner. My husband and I and a couple of our friends went out to dinner at a fairly nice restaurant a while ago and the couple next to us were both on their phones not talking at all. What's the point?! I don't get it. I'm so glad I'm not the only one this bothers!

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  19. I love going to the movies. I go... well lots and lots. We usually go opening night. In fact... we even camp out for movies. Yes I am probably too old but it's still fun. A lot of the time I go to theaters that don't put up with people texting or talking. If someone bothers me I just get up and go tell the theater staff. I usually see movies in IMAX which is pretty expensive so people don't normally drag all their kids to movies in that theater. Which is perfect and fine for me. There is also an amazing theater here by me called the Alamo Draft House which doesn't put up with ANY noise. Google their commercial.. actually I'll leave you a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1L3eeC2lJZs Love this theater and go here all the time too. Too bad there isn't one by you!

    Angie

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Hello, there! Thanks for taking the time to comment. I read each and every one and will do my best to respond--usually on your blog instead of on mine. I will, however, always answer direct questions. Due to serious time restraints, this blog is now an award free zone, but I appreciate the thought!