The Movie Theater Dilemma

This weekend, I finally got to the theater to catch the latest installment in The Twilight Saga. I was really psyched to see this one, as it was my favorite out of the four books. Also: TEAM JACOB 4 EVA.


I’m not particularly fond of the movies, mainly because of a few casting decisions that, oh, let’s say, ruined them? (KStew, I’m looking at you. Pinocchio was less wooden than you. For serious.) This particular film was the best of the three in my opinion, because there was less time spent just zoomed up RPattz’s nose, and more time concentrating on some of the other characters’ backstories. Dakota Fanning is creeptastic, Bryce Dallas Howard was perfectly devious as Victoria, Billy Burke’s dry delivery makes me crack up and Taylor Lautner? Is Jacob Black. Stubborn, immature, cocky- all the things that made Edward seem more perfect (re: BORING).

My issue wasn’t with the movie itself, it was with the other patrons of the movie theater. Army Boy and I make no pretense of the fact that other people are a pain in the ass, and we’ll go to the earliest possible showing just to avoid them. This Saturday, I went to an 11:40am showing with my Mom, hoping to escape the tween crowd who would surely spend the whole film texting and giggling.

We got there early and got our seats, then settled in for a little girltalk before the film. As the lights went down, the mood in the theater was one of hushed excitement. The previews didn’t disappoint- the very first one was for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and it was completely epic. I literally got goosebumps.

Yes, I’m a fan of Twilight. But I am a Harry Potter nerd to the core. 13-ish years of reading the books, and thousands of pages later, my love for the story hasn’t dimmed.

And you know what ruined that preview for me? A group of about 12 people who came in together after the previews had started, and immediately began YELLING to each other.

“I can’t SEE!”

“It’s too DARK!”

“They should have WAITED TO START THE MOVIE until we got in!”


Unfortunately, I hadn’t prepared my mental filter quickly enough, and I retorted (quite loudly, according to Mom), “Here’s an idea. GET HERE ON TIME.” Mom was mortified. I… didn’t care.

They “settled in,” and continued to talk at a decent volume through the rest of the previews. We got up and moved across the theater so as not to have to listen to them.

From our new seats, we had a good view, and were about 45 minutes into the movie before the family behind us started talking. It was two “grown-ups” and a boy who looked to be about 8 or 9. Not surprisingly, whenever the film would switch to a conversation revealing backstory or a steamy makeout scene, he would start yakking. And rather than shushing him, his parents conversed with him.

My usual response to this would be to shush them, but Mom could tell that I was getting irritated and kept saying “just ignore them.”

When the lights came up, everyone sitting around us turned to stare daggers back at the threesome, who as expected, didn’t even notice.

“You know, you really shouldn’t go to the theater to see a movie. You get too upset,” Mom suggested.

What never fails to amaze me is that the theater is becoming a less and less courteous place. People talk loudly, show up late, text each other, etc… Since when did this become ok? And what should be done about it? A friend told me about a theater closer to the city of Lancaster that gives its patrons pagers. If there’s a disturbance in the theater, you press your pager and a staff member will come in right away to investigate/deal with the offenders. Good idea? YES. Should all theaters move to this system? I think so.

I personally feel that by ignoring it and moving YOUR seat, which you got by arriving on time, you’re further enabling people to continue their assholish behavior. You end up sitting in a crappy seat up front with your neck twisted in unholy positions, so that you don’t have to listen to people talk.

I’m a shusher. If you’re going to be a jerk, I’m going to treat you like the child you are and tell you to be quiet. If it pisses you off? Oh well. Learn to behave like an adult. Parent your child and let them know that it’s not ok to talk through an entire movie.

I was frankly depressed after the experience Saturday. I can see a point where I’ll no longer have any desire to go to the movies, which I enjoy. Going back to Harry Potter, it’s a treat to me to see the impeccable translation of those books to the big screen. The only thing that ruins it is that people are becoming less and less courteous to each other. In time, less and less people will feel compelled to leave the house to go to a movie only because they have to put up with the people who have absolutely no sense of appropriate behavior.

That’s what it all comes down to- at what point in our development are we taught what’s correct behavior for being out in public? And who is responsible for this? In the case of the family behind us, the parents SHOULD have told the son that they could talk about it AFTER the movie. With the loud obnoxious women, I’m stumped. Did they receive a “special” pass that excuses them from courtesy? If so, I’d like to know where they’re being distributed so that I can set it on fire get one. Er, yeah.

And why should that be the case- why should people who know how to shut the hell up  behave appropriately be unable to enjoy going out in public? Shouldn’t society be holding itself up to a higher standard? It’s no wonder that the rest of the world looks down on Americans.

What about you? Are you bothered by people’s behavior in public? And what (if anything) do you do about it??


6 thoughts on “The Movie Theater Dilemma

  1. I’m a shusher, too. I have absolutely no problem giving people the evil eye and looking over my shoulder at people that are making noise. I’m more tolerant for kid-directed movies like Nemo or something – that’s to be expected – but for everything else, people really should learn to zip it. I get that teenagers are just being teenagers, but could they please take their hormones elsewhere for the next two hours?? I’m with you on this one. I wish I knew how to get people to shut the h*** up!

  2. Seriously, though….a kid that young shouldn’t even be going to see these movies. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but if you want your kid to see it, rent it. It won’t be too long before it’s out. I expect that if I go to see a kids’ movie (we took Amber to see “How to Train Your Dragon” in 3D…so cute btw), it will be a little noisy. They are, after all, children. BUT I expect that if I go to see any movie that is not animated, that there will not be chatty children ruining my experience. To answer your question, “Who is responsible for this?” In the kid’s case, it DEFINITELY falls to the parents, but the adults??? They need to grow up or be SHUSHED! 🙂

  3. Okay, where to begin??? First off, it is never okay to act selfishly, ruining other paying patrons experience (which is exactly what this obnoxious behavior does).

    Secondly, children are not the problem and no, teenagers are not just being teenagers. I say this because my son has a select group of friends who he will go see a movie with, he refuses to go with any others because they act up and talk during movies and it embarrasses and bothers him. So, no, not teenagers, just poorly behaved, ill mannered teenagers. Please don’t confuse the two. Some of us still hold our children to a higher standard than the rest of society seems to be holding for them.

    As for the pager idea, that is f’ing brilliant and should be standard!!! I wish that could be done, as sometimes shushing becomes just as loud and disruptive as the original offenders.

    Basically, I love this post and have recently suggested that we only see movies when we can afford to rent the entire theatre!!!!

  4. I DESPISE asshole movie watchers. DESPISE. Went to see Knight & Day last week and my husband seeing my frustration with the teenjerks behind us turned around and said, “You boys need to keep it down.” They sat there silent for a couple of minutes and then moved. I SO wanted to have movie theater sex with him.

  5. yes, shush away… I hate rude movie-goers.

    I just saw Eclipse too. My issue with the movies is the acting. I had to wait a few months after renting Twilight before seeing New Moon because it was so bad I had to purge it from my mind. New Moon was a little better and Eclipse was much better.

    But Team Jacob??? He is totally hotter than Edward and probably even better for Bella than Eddie, but Bella has to be with Edward… period. Plus later Jacob imprints on Bella’s baby which totally ends the team jacob/team edward argument…

  6. Pingback: Scenes From The Bedroom: It’s All Downhill From Here « Txting Mr Darcy

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