Saturday, July 26, 2008

Movie Etiquette - A Lost Cause?

I've always been a frequent moviegoer. And I'm very sensitive to moviegoer manners - which it seems like people are getting worse and worse at. Now, I will admit that most people these days are much better about not talking on the phone. And I can handle a little chatting between seat-mates, as long as it's rare and whispered. But what I don't understand is the people who feel the need to pull out their cell phone in the middle of the movie.

Here's the thing. I go to a movie in the theater for the experience of being in a dark movie theater, comfy stadium seats, and a larger than life movie screen. Do you think that I can't see the light from your cell phone from pretty much anywhere in the theater? It's dark, people! Stadium seats - I can see into your lap any row below me. In fact, I can see the picture on your phone, and I could probably read that text message you've decided is absolutely necessary to send in the middle of a movie we all paid $11 for. The trend toward larger cell phone screens just makes it worse. Even the girl with the light-up scrolling belt turned it off during the movie!

Why do people feel the need to text in the middle of a movie? The whole point is to escape into another world for a while, and share an experience with the friends who decided to come - in person - to the movie with you. I consider it rude if someone thinks they need to text someone else when they've chosen to spend the evening with me. Sorry, but if I make the effort to spend in-person time with you, can't you make an effort to actually spend some time with me instead of texting someone else? I don't get it. Am I that unimportant to you?

Now, it was suggested to me by a friend that perhaps two seat-mates were actually being polite by texting to each other instead of whispering. But somehow I doubt that. Made me laugh, at least. Maybe we can pass a law where movie theaters can install cell phone jammers. I know, I know, emergencies and all that junk. But for 2 hours? Come on now, people.

So here's the deal. I do you the courtesy of turning off my phone when I'm in the theater. The least you can do is not pull yours out every 5 minutes, shining your bright light into the entire theater, while I wait for you to finish texting the friends you just can't wait 2 hours to talk to. If you just can't resist, then how 'bout going somewhere that's not completely dark and quiet - somewhere you can be sociable with the friends you're with, or if they're not too annoyed with you, text the people who couldn't make it and absolutely can't stand not to hear from every 5 minutes (and God forbid you actually speak to them in person over the phone). Are we really a society that's so desperate for attention that we can't bear to be out of contact with every person we know? What happened to thinking about the people around you -strangers and friends?

(Side disclaimer: being that the movie industry is one in which I hope to be employed soon, I'm happy people are still making the effort and spending the money to see movies in theaters. I'd like the industry to continue to thrive, even in this supposed recession. I'm just asking for a few manners to be followed. That's not so much to ask, is it?)

End Rant. We now return to your normal programming.


vivzan said...

OHHH, So this is why you asked me if I was texting during the film!

I texted once during the previews and once when the film was officially over. Now, during the previews, the house lights aren't fully dimmed, so I consider that fair game. You?

Plus, I was just too excited about the previews! I get mad if I miss any of them! These were great!

vivzan said...

I forgot that I opened up the LED belt buckle in another window. People are wearing that?!? They're for kids, right?

Chelc said...

Yeah, that was why I was asking! Haha. As long as the house lights are still at least partway up, I consider that fair game. Same with talking during the previews. I love the previews (I hate to miss them too), but you're going to expect people to comment on them after they've seen them. And there were some great previews before Dark Knight! I'd already seen the Watchmen preview on my computer, but it was so much better on the big screen!

Yeah, the LED belts I've seen have been on pre-teen/teenagers who seem to think they're cool. I just don't get that.


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