Movie Theater Etiquette

I think I’ve figured out the main reason why box office sales seem to be in a decline these days… well ok, maybe the main reason is that most of the movies coming out today are sequels, remakes and “re-imaginings” and there’s hardly any original stories, but besides that I think I’ve figured it out. I can remember going to the movies when I was younger and people were actually there to watch the movie. It was a weekend activity that a lot of families did together; got lunch as a family then took in a movie as a family. But today it seems like people aren’t going to movies to see the movie anymore, it seems like they are going to the theater to talk to their friends or talk on the phone to their friends that aren’t at the theater. What the fuck is the point?

If Hollywood wants to start seeing better box office numbers the first thing they need to do is start coming up with original ideas, but since they are clearly out of those, they should focus on making the theater experience better. I’m not saying it should necessarily be what I remember it being as a kid, but it needs improvement. I’m all for the new technology being implemented in theaters these days like DLP projectors, 3D, ear-splitting sound and all that stuff, so don’t think that I’m a snob who only wants to see his movies on film and won’t have it any other way, cause that’s clearly not the case. However, when I pay over $10 these days to see a movie in the theater I expect to be able to watch and enjoy said movie without too many distractions.

I’ll admit that I’m guilty of a few whispers to friends here and there during a flick, but I can honestly say that I have never held a full voiced conversation with the person sitting next to me while the movie is playing. I remember not wanting to go to movies as a kid with large groups of friends because I knew most of them would be talking throughout the whole thing thus ruining it for me and making me look like a jackass to everyone else in the theater, because that’s what you are when you hold a full conversation during a movie, a jackass. Why the fuck did you come to a movie if all you wanted to do was talk to the person sitting next to you? Why didn’t you just stay where ever you were and continue your conversation? Which leads me into my next point, cell phones.

When you decided to see a movie today I’m assuming you had nothing else to do for a couple hours so why the fuck are you answering your cell phone in the middle of it? Are you really going to get up and leave the theater if something better comes up? This happened to us Saturday when we went to see Halloween 2, some idiot about 5 seats down from us decided that he was going to answer his cell phone not once, but twice during the movie… and it wasn’t even on vibrate. There really are some inconsiderate pricks in the world aren’t there? Now, sometimes I’ll let it slide if it’s a teenager or a young kid because most of them are pretty inconsiderate these days, but this guy was at least in his 20’s. And it’s not like it was an emergency because he stayed in the theater to finish the movie, so why answer the god damn phone in the first place?

Ugh, these people annoy me so much. We all paid to see the movie and all it takes is one asshole to ruin it for everyone. I would have been fine if the guy was just texting since he was far enough away that the glow from the phone wouldn’t have bothered me, but no, he had to answer it and hold a conversation. Oh, but while we’re on the subject, there’s really no reason to be texting or answering email while you’re in a movie theater either. The glow from the screen can be just as distracting and annoying as answering a phone call, especially if you’re sitting directly in front of someone or next to them. Turn the phone on vibrate and leave it in your pocket for a couple hours, it’s not going to kill you. Chances are nobody is going to die while you’re in the theater. Are we so attached to technology these days that we can’t even go a couple hours without being constantly connected?

This is the main reason why I rarely go to the theater anymore. I can’t stand the people that go to movies and can’t just enjoy it for 2 hours. And with HDTV’s and Blu-Ray players coming way down in price, there’s almost no reason to go to the theater anymore which is why Hollywood is trying to use gimmicks to fill the seats (3D). But guess what? most of the newer TV’s are capable of replicating the 3D technology as well so what is Hollywood going to do then? They should hire employees to sit in the theaters and watch the movies and monitor the talking and cell phone activity. I know there was talk of using cell phone jammers in theaters, but I believe there’s some legal issues with that, and honestly I don’t think they need to be totally “jammed” because what if there is an emergency, but something needs to be done.

So that’s my little rant for the day. I know that nothing is going to be able to solve this problem anytime soon short of not allowing kids in movie theaters and monitoring the inconsiderate adults in the theater to make sure they aren’t using their phones. You’d think once people reached a certain age they would realize what things are unacceptable in public, but apparently on the North Shore, they didn’t. So I will continue to use Netflix to enjoy my blu-ray movies in the comfort of my own home on my big screen HDTV and occasionally check out a movie in the theaters during the weekdays, a couple weeks after it was released as to avoid the people, since it seems that they are truly unavoidable.

How do you guys feel about cell phones in movie theaters? Do you use yours while watching a movie? Have you ever gotten yelled at for using it? If so, was it really that important that you had to answer or text at that particular moment, it couldn’t wait 2 hours?