a little bit of everything

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Movie Theater Pet Peeves

The August 5, 2005 edition of Entertainment Weekly contains a 5 page feature about the many many things that are ruining our movie going experiences. This has been a popular topic as of late. Last month the Red Eye (an offshoot of the Chicago Tribune) did a 2 page spread about this same topic, and I've been seeing little segments here and there on the various entertainment shows. Ladies and Gentlemen it all comes down to this, our movie going experiences are getting worse. Despite the new technology, better film quality, and newly designed state of the art theaters, movie theaters still aren't getting it right.

So, what's the problem? According to both the Red Eye piece and the main article from Entertainment Weekly there's not just one problem but many problems. I'm sure that as soon as you read the title of this post you came up with your own list of things that drive you nuts when you go to the movies. Most of us share the same pet peeves; over-priced tickets/snacks, dirty theaters, talkers, idiots who don't turn off their cell phones, and the newest most talked about problem today, the commercials. It used to be that if a movie was supposed to start at 7:00 you could figure it would really start at 7:05 maybe 7:10 because of the previews, now you're sitting through 15-20 minutes of commercials and previews. Now the previews I don't mind, I actually enjoy them, but the commercial madness has got to stop. At a recent movie outing I counted SIX commercials before we got to the previews. SIX, and three of them were for the same damn product (H2O). And these aren't the little 30 second spots they air on TV these are long and often times stupid commercials. A helpful hint to the theater owners, ad execs, and product CEO's; just because the commercials resemble movies or trailers doesn't mean we're going to like them, in fact most of us find them to be more annoying than the normal commercials. This particular issue has been getting some press lately because several big wigs in the movie industry have issued statements saying they agree with us and urge theater owners to find another way to make a buck. Mega-producer Michael Bay was on Access Hollywood recently talking about this issue. I'm afraid to say that I don't think it's going to change. If Michael Bay and other studio big wigs can't get it to change I'm not sure what will. I for one am implementing my own protest, I will not buy Aquafina water as long as I keep seeing their stupid commercials at the movies.

Another issue or pet peeve I'd like to address is one I haven't seen written about yet, but it is definitely towards the top of my list...self-serve butter for the popcorn. What the hell is that about? The AMC and Cineplex Odeon chains seem to be the only theaters doing this and if they know what's good for them they'll stop. I'm not a big fan of the soda self-serve thing either. For one, it may be quicker for the concession stand kids but it's longer for us (you know your customers), I don't know why it's so difficult for people to pick a drink and get it but it is. The self-serve thing also adds to the cleanliness issue that is already troublesome for most theaters. With so many people getting drinks and popcorn butter at the same time it's going to get dirty, people are going to spill and make a mess of the lids and straws, and the whole butter area can be a sticky gross mess. My biggest beef with self-serve concessions is the lack of service. I'm already spending an outrageous amount of money on popcorn and soda and then you're going to make me get it myself.

Okay people I've been rambling for long enough, now it's your turn. Big or small, obvious or obscure, we've all got them. What are your movie theater pet peeves?


  • At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Josh Hinton-Ryder said…

    My pet peeve?

    When people behind you put their feet on the back of your chair, and then look at you like you're nuckin' futz for saying something about it.

  • At 8:17 PM, Anonymous Danny said…

    Yeah...that. :-)

  • At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Amanda Sylvers said…

    I hate it when the projector guy screws up and either makes the movie too skinny, too wide, or just flat out forgets to start the next reel.


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