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Saturday, May 04, 2013

Why I Will Never Go To Another Theatre

Good manners cost nothing is something both of my grandmothers tried to push into my consciousness.  It didn't really take, not on the level they believed it should, but it's like a TSR program on a computer, always running, always there.  My children would be shocked to be aware of this, as they see me as a growly monster, lashing out irrationally at anyone I consider lesser than me. It clearly shows the state of their immature psyches.

I don't get mad at waiters for bringing me the wrong drink or meal.  Mistakes are made every minute of every day.  The law of averages says I will be on the losing side of one of those at least once a week.  I get irate in traffic. Especially when I see the same cars making the same bad decisions day after day after day.  I yell and scream within the confines of my car or motorcycle helmet.  I glare as I pass by them.  That's as far as my road rage goes.  Much like Mt. Aetna venting to relieve pressure within the magma chamber.

I don't get angry with salesmen/women in shops for doing their job and trying to assist me with a sale.  If I know going in I'm just browsing, I tell them that, politely, so that they can find other pickings.  If I change my mind, I find that salesperson and if they are not assisting anyone else, I allow them to get credit for that purchase.

I tip well, unfailingly thank people for kindnesses or services they give me, and try to treat other people in the same manner.

So how did all of that come crashing down in a movie theatre last night?  Because everything that could go wrong, did go wrong, with a ton of stupidity thrown in for good measure.  I had the worst movie going experience of my life, and this comes my decade long embargo against movie theatres because of the VCR generation.

First off, I purchased my tickets online so that I would not have to stand in what I knew would be long lines. The movie time changed three times from the time I purchased the tickets. The kiosk to get my tickets was broken so I had to stand in the long lines I had tried to avoid (averting the stupid is also a good tool in retaining your courtesy).  I finally get to the window with my cell phone out, passbook open with my Confirmation Code.  The chick behind the glass then hands the phone back telling me she needs my confirmation code.  I pointed to it on the screen and said, "It's right there where it says 'Confirmation Code'."  She had the grace to look sheepish just before the swept the glass and lost it all.  I had to go back, find my code and hand it back to her, which, at this point I was not betting was a good idea.  I finally get my two tickets and head inside.

Inside I am herded into an even longer line.  My son held a spot in line while I visited the amenities. When I got out the line was moving. We got through and then were immediately herded to the theatre.  WTF?  I want my Icee and Twizzlers!  We get into the stadium and there are literally rows and rows of empty seats with sweaters, jackets and teens spread across them.  "These seats are saved!" the little beasts screamed.  Great.  Now I am in a theatre with screaming pre-pubers, loud teens, and I have to sit over to the side with a huge bar blocking my view of the bottom half of the screen. Oh yeah, so flippin' happy I've paid money I've earned for this experience.

There were, what seemed like, 20 hours of previews for mediocre movies I have now decided to never view, not even for free in the confines of my own home.  The only ones I wanted to see were for the new Thor movie and the new Star Trek movie.  Eye candy, yes.  My son nerdgasmed over the new Man of Steel movie.  Yawnfest.  I've never been a Superman fan.  The new Wolverine movie also doesn't appeal.  I've never been a fan of his either.  I endured him over the years so I could enjoy the other X-Men.

And then finally, the dimmed lights go completely down, the curtains make their final swoosh to create a bigger screen for the movie and... people are still talking, still on their cell phones, despite the 8 hours of begging people to turn them off and disconnect for the movie.  So, awash in the backlit glory of iPhones, the movie began.  For the next 2.5 hours I was rapt, caught up in the tale of Tony Stark's struggle to come to terms with who he now was.  Ironman 3 completely rocked. The theatre experience blew diseased goats.

Through all of this, I did not tell anyone to shut up, sit down, or take their screaming baby out of the theatre.  My son and I kept our remarks amongst ourselves.  He has much more experience in this milieu as he's a movie person. I am not.  He's noticed the decline on a much more subtle scale than I because he's in the theatres almost every week.  I go, maybe, twice a year, and that's very maybe.

Hollywood sits backs and wonders why gates profits are steadily declining.  It's because what I experienced last night is now the norm for going to the movies.  It used to be considered rude if you talked in a movie and was not tolerated by the management.  Now it's ignored because someone, somewhere is afraid they will offend some teenybopper taking a picture of herself in the theatre to show she's actually there and then laughing and giggling as she posts it to Instagram. If any of them had attended with me last night instead of only seeing movies within the confines of their personal office theatres, then they would have had crystal clarity of why people with jobs and money no longer enjoy going to the movies. If I could buy the movie online and watch it at home, streaming to my TV I would do it and never ever again step foot inside a theatre. I hear that the studios are seriously considering such a scheme.  I know it will kill theatres, but they started it when they began refusing to quiet the rabble that were obviously not being taught good manners at home.

My husband is going to see the matinee today with our eldest and he will report back to me if his experience was any different from mine.  He would have gone nuts last night.  Perhaps it was a good thing he was too sick with man-flu to go with.


Anonymous said...

I only go to matinees now just to avoid that kind of experience.

Severine said...

That has been my modus operandi in the past. I need to NOT deviate from that.