I love going to the movies. In fact, I’ve gotten to where I look forward to my Tuesday evenings simply because I know that’s the night of the week that I’m most likely going to see something at the theater. That’s because the theater here in town has admission for only $6.00 on Tuesdays. A steal when you compare it to the national average of $18.50 per ticket.
But, as much as I enjoy seeing movies on a huge screen in a dark room with a bunch of strangers, there are some things that bother me. These are those things…
- Trailers that give away the entire plot of an upcoming movie – The purpose of the movie trailer is to pique my interest, right? The people who edit movie trailers from whatever the filmmakers have already got looking decent for the screen, they’re supposed to make the movie look enticing. They’re supposed to make me excited about their movie. And, usually, that’s how it works. And they’re usually smart about the placement of those trailers. I’m not going to be interested in seeing a trailer for the next Ice Age when I’ve paid to see Paranormal Activity 7, right? But there are trailers that completely ruin the movies they’re advertising. The most obvious one out there right now is for The Space Between Us. After having seen three separate trailers for this one, I’m fairly certain I can accurately give you a synopsis of the entire movie. If I am confident that I know what’s going to happen in a movie from beginning to end, why would I pay $13.00 to see it when it actually hits theaters? Why would I even wait to pay $1.50 at the Redbox? I considered embedding the trailer here so you could judge for yourselves, but I don’t want to be responsible for giving that piece of trash further publicity. It’s a shame, really. It looked like a movie I might have enjoyed on some level.
- People who come into the theater after the trailers have finished – First of all, I don’t get you people. I mean, trailers are part of the fun of going to the movies. Seeing what’s coming soon? That’s amazing! I know, you can see all the trailers on YouTube now, so that takes away some of the enjoyment. But just because you don’t care about the trailers doesn’t mean you should wait to come in after they’re over. Because, and this is the important part, you can still see where you’re going while the trailers are playing. Yeah, movie theaters don’t darken the room until the actual movie begins. So if you wait, then you’re basically walking into a cave filled with people who were all considerate enough to find their seats while they could still see them. You have to climb over them and hope you’re not stepping on people’s feet or jackets or handbags that you just know they used to sneak in a box of Whoppers. It’s worse in theaters like ours, where the seats are assigned. You have to try and find your specific seat. Good luck when you can’t tell what row you’re standing in.
- People who try to sit in seats they didn’t actually purchase – As I just mentioned above, our theater has the nifty assigned seating deal. I think that’s the way theaters are trending these days. Maybe that’s how they’ll all be eventually. Except for the dollar theaters. They can do whatever they want. They could put gum on the floor for all I care. You’re only paying a dollar for your ticket. You learn to deal with that stuff for only a dollar. Anyway, in a theater where you’re expected to sit in seat F7 because you purchased a ticket for F7, you better friggin’ sit in seat F7. Because if you decide you’d rather sit in H5 just because you think the sound is going to be better aimed at that part of the room and then a group of people who bought out that seat and the four or five seats surrounding it shows up, they’re gonna expect you to get out of the seat that you’ve basically stolen from them. And, I will say, it’s easier for a group to intimidate someone who’s in the wrong seat into moving back to where they belong. Once, I went to see a movie by myself and the place was packed. I got to my seat only to find there was a dude there who was clearly with a group. “I think that’s my seat…” I said quietly, but trying to be loud enough for the guy to hear me. He just stared at me, along with all his friends. Then he said, “Really?” But it wasn’t a question of clarification. The tone was more like he was implying, “Really? You’re gonna be that guy?” So I just rolled my eyes and found a different seat. One I didn’t pay for. And I got lucky enough to find a seat that was one of the few that no one actually paid for. But, you know what? I should’ve been that guy. I paid for that seat. It was, by rights, my seat. You paid for a different seat. Go sit in it! Jerk.
- Overpriced refreshments – Do you know why movie theaters charge $6.75 for a small Coke? Do you know why they charge $8.50 for a medium popcorn? Because they can. Because we let them. They put up a sign that says no outside food or drink. And since they do that, they have a monopoly on anything you want to drink or snack on while you watch your movie. Do you know how much it costs to make the equivalent of a medium popcorn at home? About 75 cents. Yeah, and it’s better popcorn, too. So I say we stand together! I say we put a stop to it! What would movie theaters do if we all, for just a week, decided that we were going to see movies without getting any snacks or drinks. Do you think we, as Americans, could stand to do that for one week? We would just need to get organized and make that decision. Go to the movies just once and make it through your 2 hours and 18 minutes without popcorn and a soda. What if every movie theater in the United States made zero dollars off of concessions for a full week. Think that would make them change their pricing? Probably not. But, I guarantee I would be much more likely to buy many snack items if they were more affordable.
- People on their phones during the movie – I’ll admit, this one is somewhat rare. But in those rare occasions, it’s beyond annoying. I don’t care if it’s texting or talking, it’s just rude. It’s also stupid. You paid good money to see this movie, just like I did. So, by ignoring the movie and texting your boyfriend about who you’ve come out with tonight, you’ve wasted your own money and caused me to enjoy my movie going experience much less. It’s even more rare for someone to answer their phone during a movie, but it does happen. Once, a guy in front of me (who did not turn off his ringer) answered the phone and actually said, “No, I can talk,” and proceeded to remain in his seat, having a full conversation with whoever it was that called him. If I was a more bold kind of person who wasn’t so much afraid of getting arrested or punched in the face, I’d have been tempted to grab his phone and throw it across the room. But that sort of behavior leads to negative consequences in polite society. You know what else should lead to negative consequences in polite society? Answering your phone during a movie!
Those are my pet peeves pertaining to the movies. What are yours? Let me know in the comments!