I don't go much anymore. For me it’s not about the quality of the movies or the hassle. It’s the rude people. I have 11 free passes to use (8 expire on the 27th). I just can't get myself to go. I've had too many bad experiences. The coughing thing was spot-on by the way. People are such slobs. You don't go out to places like theaters when you're sick. If you happen to find yourself coughing, cover it up/control it. Every time I see someone not cover a cough or sneeze properly I want to go off on them. I'm Larry David.
I had problems with talkers at 5 consecutive movies. Since then, I’ve backed away. I saw "Piranha 3D" the day after it opened in Davenport, IA. Huge theater. Not a ton of people. Multiple groups of people talking and texting. My and my gal yelled at them. Didn't do any good. I walked out and complained, got my $$ back and got passes.
Then I saw "Get Low" at an indie theater in Dubuque, IA. It was me in the back, 1 lady over to my left up 10 rows, and 1 old couple on my side of the theater up 15 rows. The old couple talked and talked until I yelled at them. Same day/same theater I went to Clooney's "The American." I politely gave up my seat for some guy who was with his handicapped friend (even though there were other handicapped seats in the theater). Both those two guys and two other major assholes were talking (assholes were sitting in the back of the theater). I allowed it during the previews, even though I usually don't. Immediately after the previews started, the movie opens up to that quiet, wintery shot in Sweden. I yelled out, "Time to shut up. You can't talk during the movie." One of the jerk offs in the back said something like, "Calm down, relax" and kept talking. I got up and walked toward him, wanting to hit him in the worst way. Ended up walking out and talking to the mgr. All they can do at first is give a warning. I got my $$ and passes and left.
On 9/17 I saw "The Town" and "Easy A" at the AMC in Dubuque, IA. Again, people talking during both movies. It was quiet'ish, so I allowed it during “Town.” At the end of the movie, the old guy who’d been talking was complaining in the lobby. He’d gone out during the movies to tell them that it was too cold. He was bitching that nobody ended up doing anything about it, and looked to me for confirmation that it had been too cold. The ticket guy was saying something to him, and old dude says something like, “Ah…nobody ever listens worth a damn anyway.” I said to ticket guy, “He was talking the whole movie, so I wouldn’t put too much stock in his complaints.” The lady in line started laughing. Then I go to “Easy A.” It’s a huge theater. 1:00 on a Friday. I’m the first guy in there. Then another guy sits down at the bottom of the theater. 3 girls come in. Sure enough, although there were 8 million seats open, they sat two rows directly in front of me. Before the previews started and as they were starting, they were showing each other texts and photos of their phones. I got up and walked out to the front desk and told them I thought these girls would be a problem. They sent the 18-yr-old girl in. She stood at the end of the aisle (about 5 feet from them), just standing there watching them. They were quiet that whole time, and ended up being good throughout the movie.
I’ve just had enough. It’s so frustrating! I can’t play Wyatt Earp every time I go to a movie. It usually works to yell at people, but I’ve had times when it didn’t work (“The American”) too. What’s next? I’m a big guy, and I’d love to beat someone’s ass. But I’m not getting in trouble when they’re the ones in the wrong. People are just such morons anymore. I’m not sure if they’re literally too dense and don’t realize they’re bothering people –OR- if they’re so into “me” “me” “me” that they don’t care. My sister teaches middle school and says that her kids were shocked to learn that people talking at movies bothered her (they also think that texting the answers to someone during a test isn’t cheating).
Theater owners whine about piracy and too-soon-to-dvd releases. Maybe if they cracked down and had zero tolerance for rude behavior more people would go. I have no idea how many people don’t go b/c they don’t want to deal with that crap. I’m a guy who used to average at least a movie per week, and I haven’t been to a movie since 9/17. I’ll even go to average movies (and there are a lot of those). I just love going to the movies. But until people stop being morons or theaters police themselves better, I’ll rarely go anymore. I have a 58” Plasma and a nice Blu-ray setup, but I’d still rather go to theaters.
People think that going to weekday matinees is the answer. I have more problems at those than when I go and it’s packed. When there are only 8 people in the theater, people don’t think they have to behave for some reason. When it’s packed, I think they’re afraid of the person next to them, behind them, etc…
Maybe theaters need to bring ushers back (which they won’t do b/c they don’t want to pay someone to do it). Maybe they need to have a zero-tolerance policy (one complaint and you’re gone). There’s a chain somewhere (PA?) that kicks people out at the first sign of b.s. One guy was opening his phone to shut it off and was kicked out. He was pissed. I loved it. Next time he’ll have his phone turned off before he goes in. Maybe they can all have call boxes like the Regal chain has (push button 1 for “too hot,” button 2 for “people talking,” etc…). They should at the very least have a dedicated text # for problems.
I only get to Madison once a month or so. Madison seems better. I’ve had problems there too (Sundance, everywhere), but not as often. I find the more liberal the area, the more well-behaved people are. People aren’t as nosy, they don’t do the dumb stuff as much. I wish I lived in Madison or one of my other favorite places.