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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Why I Despise Movie Theaters

Watching the same films over and over again isn't hard especially since I keep having the same enthusiasm as I did the first time.  My movie collection is vast and the genres are stretched across the board; Horror (obviously), Comedy, Action, Adventure, Science Fiction, etc.  I have favorites which I don't mind watching on repeat simply because it tickles my fancy.  But I guess that comes with the territory for being a cinematic junkie...


Last week, I dragged my fat bum off the couch and ventured off to see Alien Covenant (which scared the crap out of me).  Upon seeing the trailer, I've been anticipating this film for quite some time seeing as though I'm a fan of the franchise in general.  I wasn't about to wait till this film came out on DVD.  (I'm super impatient.)  I've heard nothing but good things about this flick and that made me even more anxious to see it.  I mean come on--people are being killed off by aggressive, hostile, acid-spitting aliens.
   
Although I enjoy movies, I'm going to be real with you (because we're friends), I hate movie theaters.  Okay, okay, hold on, don't freak outLet me explain.  I'll go if my friends want to go because I enjoy their company even though I'm dying on the inside when my foot gets stuck to the floor because some jerk spilled soda.  I wish I was exaggerating but--I really do hate them.  It's probably one of the most obnoxious teen-infested wastelands.  And teenagers pretty much ruin everything. 




If you really think about it--movie theaters have definitely evolved over time.  Recliner seats, incredible surround sound, I mean--even the food has leveled up from just the normal popcorn and soda combo.  They are not what they used to be when I was growing up.  Movie Theaters used to be this fun and safe activity.  And now if you go at a certain hour during the night, there may be a cop car or two waiting out front to keep people (teenagers) from spiraling out of control.  (I'm not kidding this is actually a thing where I live.)  If you were to think about it--even the prices and the overall cinematic experience has changed significantly.  During the time when soda was called pop, theaters were the designated date destination.  You'd put your hair in some hot rollers, wait for Jimmy to pick you up in his car and then you were on your way.  You'd get a small popcorn and a pop to share while quietly nestled together watching the film in silence with everyone around you.  And maybe just maybe, little Jimmy will put his arm around you.  And after the movie was over, you'd go home (or to a makeout spot, whichever).  Cute, right?  Today things are very, very different. 


I'm very picky when it comes to selecting a theatre.  I call the area into question when I'm making my selection. (Damn, that rhymed.)  Depending on the area, you can either get normal human beings or rambunctious youths.  It has taken me a while to actually pick a theater that I 'somewhat' enjoy.  My theater of choice lets me pre-select my seats at moment of purchase.  But obviously, people have a rough time getting on board with that.  I'll be standing there watching a freshly attached couple (we all know those types) who are having the cutest banter...


"Where do you want to sit?"
"I don't know--where do you want to sit?"
"I'll sit wherever you want to sit baby."
"Aw, but I want to sit wherever you want to sit."
"Aw baby, well how about this one?"
"That's a little close.  What about this one?"
"No that's too far..."

Meanwhile, the line is getting longer and my patience is only getting shorter.  This happens every time.  There's always that couple.  (And if you're that couple just know that I hate you.)  Just pick a seat.  And please--pick one that's far away from me.  When I pick my seat--I'm quick!  I know exactly where I want to sit.  I'm not standing there making this huge life-changing decision.  I always select my seat to be in the far back either to the far left or the far right.  I'm a creature of habit so maybe that's why I can select my seat much quicker, but come on guys!  It's the easiest decision you'll ever make in your life, and I already know that you're just going to end up sitting where you normally do anyway...



There are three types of people that come to watch a movie in a theater; the quiet type (myself), the social media addict or the critic (aka, the person who comments out loud on every scene).  Over 90% of people who frequent theaters are not the respectful movie goer like myself.  The quiet type of person just wants to sit and enjoy the movie in silence.  That's just how we watch a movie!  We hate disturbances because they are distracting.  I enter in full blown relaxation mode when I watch a movie.  And I get beyond upset when some jerk butt ruins it for me...


The social media addict exists in every theatre.  The theater goes dark and the film starts to play, and there's always some jerk on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook (I think that's all of them).  That's the nature of social media--it is addicting.  But that bright light from your phone is extremely annoying in a dark theatre.  In fact, when I see someone messing on their phone (seeing as though I'm sitting in the far back and I can see everything) I can't help but focus on just that during the film.  All I want to do is step down each step to where you're sitting and snatch your phone from your hands.  There's a time and a place for it and you can put that away for at least 2 hours.  It won't kill you.  If I can do it, you can do it too.  And to make matters worse...



You paid to see this film only to be on your phone the entire time.


I enjoy sitting in the far back.  I get a general scope of the theatre and it's relaxing and more often than not--I'm away from other people (which is my goal).  Although I've managed to distance myself, there's always that one person who has managed to pick a seat right next to me.  I enjoy my space when I'm watching a film.  I get comfy.  I recline the seat back.  I'm preparing myself for cinematic magic.  I position myself so I can experience full on relaxation.  By all  means, sit wherever you like just don't sit next to me. 


And to be honest--I don't think I'm alone when I'm saying this.  Think about it for a second--what's your first reaction when some stranger asks you this:



"Excuse me, is this seat taken?"



You hate it.  You secretly hate this person.  They have asked you the question you were dreading the second they started inching their way down the aisle.  You begin to whisper to yourself; 'don't sit next to me, please don't sit next to me.'  You thought for that brief moment that you won.  You were going to have the seats next to you completely empty and free from strangers.  But sadly, you've lost the war, my friend.  You forgot for a second that you were in public and had to deal with people.  You look over at your friend or significant other and you pout (well, maybe that's just me). 



I hate sitting next to someone I don't know...


The critic is that one person who comments on every scene.  They are analyzing this film out loud.  I hate it.  In fact, when someone does this it makes my skin crawl.  I hate it that much.  Are you a famous movie critic?  Are you being paid to give your thoughts out loud?  Either way, I don't care.  I didn't pay money to hear you.  I paid money to sit here and enjoy the film.  In a sense, I am not giving you my penny for your thoughts. 


If there's one thing (out of everything) that rocks me to my core is when a baby starts crying and won't stop crying.  That is like nails on a chalkboard.  You're sitting there, you're highly involved in this dramatic scene and all of a sudden a baby starts crying uncontrollably.  And the crying just keeps getting louder and louder and louder.  Why?  Why is this baby in here?  Also, how come this parent didn't find a babysitter?  Now, I have to listen to your baby cry for the next 10 minutes or so until you decide it's finally time to step outside and give it a bottle or something. (I don't know, I'm not a parent.)  After reading up some 'theater trivia', I discovered that movie theaters once had this additional room called a 'cry room'.  A cry room was built for the sole purpose of mothers who if they had a crying baby could go into this sound proofed room and watch the film without disturbing the audience.  Seriously--this actually existed.  I'm wondering why this doesn't exist today?  That would be such a game changer for me and probably parents as well.


There's this concept that I've developed called; Theater Etiquette.  You respect others around you by not being obnoxious (nobody cares about every comment you make), disrupting others while you're on social media or letting your baby scream its head off.  Bottom line--nobody really gives a shit.  Humans are the worst and the majority of them flock to movie theaters.


















It's strange because when I was growing up, I actually loved going to the movies.  But as I got older I've slowly started realizing that I actually hate going to the theater.  I prefer sitting at home and watching a movie.  I can throw on a pair of sweatpants, eat whatever I want without someone telling me to throw it out beforehand and more importantly--I'm not constantly getting annoyed by another movie-goer. 


If I had to choose between going to a movie theatre or an outdoor movie theater, I'd choose the latter.  I love outdoor movie experiences.  Street Food Cinema is considered to be the largest outdoor cinematic experience that features food trucks and live music.  You can bring your own blanket or a chair and layout.  And if you feel like packing some extra snacks to munch on, you can.  These outdoor movie experiences feature pop culture classics such as; Jurassic Park, Back to the Future or the Addams Family.  It's perfect for movie goers like me who enjoy the pop culture classics.  Nobody is sitting too close to me.  Nobody is distracting me with their cell phone.  And most importantly--there are no newborn babies.




Outdoor movie experiences have even reached to local beaches.  But since I hate sand, we all know that'll never be something I'll participate in...





xx

Meg








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