Thursday, March 30, 2006

Rant: Why Movie Theaters Suck

I do apologize beforehand for the rant. I try not to use this space as my own personal soapbox, but I was reading this article on Slashdot, and I’m sorry, but I have to comment on this one because I KNOW I am not the only one who feels this way.

Let me tell you why I don’t go to the movies anymore.

-People
I go to the movies to see a movie. I typically go with my girlfriend. But, as we have realized, the public movie theater is no longer the place to go for dates. Apparently it is now the place to go if you’re an obnoxious focktard with a group of obnoxious focktard friends. Without fail, every time, we get stuck listening to a group of obnoxious teenagers giggling, laughing, outright screaming, throwing shit, and being generally disruptive. And if not, you got the fat bastards who laugh so frigging loud like every joke in the movie was comedy gold…. And strangely enough sometimes there’s not even a joke involved. My guess, their high… And this doesn’t even get me started on the theater staff, but I will spare you that one.

-Cell Phones
I suppose this has just as much to do with people as it does the technology itself, but how hard is it to NOT answer your phone in a movie. I go by the philosophy, if you call me, and I am busy, if its important you call back or leave a message. How hard is that concept for other people to grasp. If someone calls you in a movie, you don’t need to answer and tell them your in a movie, how the movie is, what’s going on, etc. And text messaging in a movie is just as disruptive. Nothing like shifting focus during crucial parts of a movie because the dumb ass in front of you in text sexing their girlfriend.

-Facilities
Movie theaters are GROSS. Gum on the seats, that nasty smell of popcorn buttern and urine in the theaters, and half the time either the projectors aren’t focused correctly, or the surround sound isn’t calibrated or even turned on. Now I am a video/audio phile. If that stuff isn’t done just right, I get annoyed.

-Advertisements
This was the last straw as far as I was concerned. Last time I went to a movie, I had to endure 30 frigging minutes of advertising. Its bad enough that companies bombard us with shit advertising for crap that we don’t want and don’t need in our radio, television, on the drive to work, and are constantly trying to find new ways to encroach upon the sanctity of our daily lives. I used to enjoy movie previews, but when advertisements crept in, I had enough. As a result, I have boycotted all subsequent products from the sponsoring companies (Pepsi, Coke, and Turner Broadcasting can all kiss my ass) for intruding upon my time. Eventually consumers will realize something; companies in a capitalist society will only do something so long as it is profitable. This is why spam is so prevalent. If companies didn’t make money off of it, they wouldn’t do it. So the way I look at it, if I can get enough people behind me to boycott products that advertise like this, they will get the hint and stop.

So what do I do? I wait for the DVD release. Then I either rent it or buy it based on reviews, take the movie home to my nice home theater with a wall sized screen, home theater seating (which is nice because is doesn’t have the gum that movie theater seats seem to have), with my kegarator, and the power to throw out people I find unruly from my domicile and watch my movies in peace. No obnoxious teenagers, fidgety old people, rude service, advertisements, overpriced food, or any other inconvenience that comes with the movie going experience. I know the movies looks and sounds exactly the way it was meant to with a fully optimized adjustment for both the screens and the surround sound setup.

I do make one exception as far as theaters go. I do like to go to the Alamo Drafthouse here when I go see their cult movies, order a beer, and that kind of behavior is expected. And with that, they don’t bombard me with advertisements.

So if the theaters are a little upset about the decline in sales, and the speed up of DVD releases, too bad. Fix your problems, and I might consider going back. And while your at it, quit showing the crappy movies that Hollywood thinks we all want to see. I imagine that the poor quality of movies has a lot more to do with the decline than anything else.

5 comments:

Ryan said...

I agree with above, I used to love the theaters going experience, but now it is a fiasco. My wife and I have to first find a seat with out crap smeared all over it. Then we get to endure arse loads of commercials, I really hate this, it is the same reason I have a DVR. Usually there are some people being really annoying, yelling, being deliberately obnoxious. I am not an audio/video phile and it makes me angry when the sound and video are jacked. I have to leave my movie for a few minutes to track down someone to fix it. Also the employees are usually some of the most boring, lifeless, couldn't care less people I have ever seen, worse than fast food. In addition, the movie industry has tried for years to bring more people in to their movies by changing the trailers to match different genres, this is another reason that I don't go to many movies anymore. You just don't know what you are going to get. I went to Crank, sat through about 10 minutes of it and left because it was a turd, I told the manager that I was going to go see a different movie because that one sucked. He would not even let me top off my $5 soda. I now sneak in all my own snacks and soda. the movie industry has clearly lost all touch with reality. It needs a serious check. Theaters better get with it or they will find themselves extinct.

Anonymous said...

I just saw Valkyrie in a movie theater and it took me a while to get into the movie because theaters suck! The surround sound wasn't turned on and the sound was just too soft. I could barely understand what the characters were saying when they were whispering and sometimes I could even hear the movie next door which whose sound system was obviously operating at the normal volume. I go to the theater to immerse myself in a film and when I'm straining to hear the movie I get really annoyed. I could have asked for my money back but why bother? It's not worth the 10 minutes of arguing and waiting for my refund. This is the LAST time I go to the theater.

Anonymous said...

Working at a movie theatre is even worse than going there. Of course, you get free movies but that's not the point. The point is that you have a lot of annoying people to deal with, especially if you are a movie theatre usher like me. I've had to deal with annoying ass teens sneaking into R-rated movies and making noise, rude ass adults, mean manager, big crowd, etc. If you want a raise then don't ever think about workin at a movie theatre cuz you'll never get one. And if ur a introvert like me then don't work there cuz you will have to deal with people a lot, unless you are playing movies upstairs. I've been workin at the movie theatre for about 6 months and I've been trying to find me a different job since then, but the economy sucks right now. I told the general manager that I would stay until I graduated from high school this year but it seems like I will be leavin before then. This is why I'm going to college in the Fall 2009 and I've already been accepted to UNC-Charlotte, because I want me something better in life. Working at the movie theatre should be a last resort, unless u like to deal with people, you're desperate to get a job, or you like free movies. The reason why I'm still working there is because money is my motivation and I have no other job options. As soon as I get hired from one of the better jobs that I applied to I'm gettin tha hell out of my movie theatre job! Sorry if this comment was long but I had to get this off my chest. I may even start a rant about working at the movie theatre.

Anonymous said...

anonymous #1, you could've asked someone that worked in the theater to turn up the volume. Ugh...

Anonymous said...

At least I'm not alone. People are the reason behind every one of our complaints here. The theaters are a mess because the patrons are disgusting slobs. Trashy people that multiplied fill public spaces with their trashy children. The restrooms are filthy because people are filthy. The service sucks because only inexperienced high school kids would settle for, or get stuck, taking such a low paying job.

I go, or went, to the theater to enjoy some escape time from reality. I don't want to be reminded of the outside world (why? because of the people!). But of course, never fails, I'm fully immersed in what I'm watching until my eye is distracted by a light a few rows ahead because some inconsiderate twat feels compelled to open her mobile device and check her messages. God forbid she goes an entire hour and a half without communication! I wish I could find one of those devices that blocks any and all signals within a certain radius. They are likely illegal for safety reasons (unable to call 911, for example), but you know what, if a person starts choking on popcorn and dies as a result of not-reaching 911, at least that's one less occupied seat in the theater. I'm aware that sounds completely monstrous, but monsters are made and you inconsiderate movie-goers are my creators.

Advertisements; people turn away from television because of them. Personally, I resent the aggressive attempts at manipulating my subconscious. I'm only aware of these attempts because going to school for business opened up my eyes to how deceptive and manipulative advertising really is. It is quite disgusting. I must not be alone because it seems people these days are turning away from television in droves, and since TV’s are essentially electronic billboards, and the economy is entirely dependent on consumption, this fact scares the hell out of the powers that be. To make up for it they have begun slipping in their ads to the places people are turning to; the internet. YouTube now has advertisements before some videos and, of course, we have no option to skip them. I visit YouTube very infrequently now because of this. In fact, I leave whatever video I was about to watch the moment I realize I'm being attacked by an ad, and then I laugh about it because I'm confident that was the exact opposite effect the maker of the ad intended.

These days I only go to theaters when a film comes around that really grabs my attention. Avatar didn't do it (still haven’t seen it and it's not on my to-do list). The very fact that Avatar was so incredibly popular guaranteed I was nowhere near a movie theater or the surrounding businesses and establishments. There are only two films (well, technically four because the stories are being made into two films each) the last Harry Potter and The Hobbit, the latter of which has still to be greenlit for production.