Editorial: The Theater-going Experience is Broken

The movie theater.  A once beautiful place to see a film is now nothing more than an aneurysm waiting to happen. Allow me to paint you a picture:

It’s here. The day you’ve been waiting for since the first trailer came out. The film you have been not-so-patiently waiting for is finally in theaters and you came to the cineplex 45 minutes early to find a good seat. Finally, the film is about to start and the theater is nearly full. It’s almost here! The film you’ve been waiting all year to see!

The film starts. A transparent, yet annoyingly noticable blotch of some sort appears on the screen. Seriously? The theater whose sole purpose is to show movies can’t maintain a proper screen? Whatever, you probably won’t notice it much longer; time to enjoy the film. But wait…people are still coming in. They’re late and obviously cannot tell time. And they’re talking while trying to find seats that most certainly aren’t together; why are they talking? The movie has clearly started. They shouldn’t have even been allowed in. It’s alright…they find seats and settle down. But then, a cell phone rings. They don’t know how to set it on vibrate? Ok, just turn off the ringer, please. But, wait! They answer the phone. They must be deranged!

Shut up.

Before you can yell something to the cell phone offender, a baby starts crying directly behind you. A baby in a rated-R film? The parents must be mad. They must think this is “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeekquel”. There is no other way to explain it. They’ll leave soon.

25 minutes pass. You’re into the 2nd act and the baby is still squeeling and moving. You can’t take it anymore. You turn around and ask the parents to please take the child out and instead of getting the appropriate response, the mother says you should find a different seat!

This is when you pull out that gun you brought.

That was my average movie-going experience these days (except for the gun part, of course). Going to see a film in theaters has become such a miserable experience, I am ready to give up entirely. Instead, I would love for films to come out simultaneously in theaters and On-demand. I have a perfectly good home theater that would suffice if I choose not to go to the theater. Give me the option to avoid crying babies, ringing cell phones, chatting teens, and stupid fuck-faces without the need to pirate a film.

Going to the theater is expensive, especially when the film you are seeing is in 3D. So you’re paying a bloated ticket price to have a less-than perfect movie-going experience. And some may argue, “Some things have to be seen in the theater.” I used to agree; I would say “Avatar” was something you had to see in theaters. But now I am not so quick to say that. I have come to despise the theater-going experience so much, that I would rather wait for something to hit Blu-Ray than see it during it’s theatrical run. At home, I know the conditions will be perfect. At a theater, it really is a crap-shoot.

Studios are trying to push out “Premium Video-On-Demand” services so you can watch a film at home 30-60 days after it hit in theaters. I am all for this distribution structure. Give us the choice. The studios know that less and less people are going to the cineplexes, so they are slowly adapting. Shouldn’t we?

I am sure this is not the last time I will write about my feelings towards movie theaters and their patrons, as I see at least one movie a week in a theater.

Leave a comment down below. Tell me some of your worst movie-going experiences. Or, tell me I’m full of shit. Go ahead.

1 Comment

  1. Chris Bracco says:

    you, sir, are full of shit.

Leave a Comment