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Death and Movies

Posted on June 11th, 2024

Dave!There has been so much talk about movie theaters shutting down and "The Death of Movie Theaters" that I've pretty much accepted it as fact. With the exception of going to see Taylor Swift and her Eras Tour: The Movie (totally worth the risk of getting COVID), the last movie I saw in a theaters was Spider-Man: Far From Home in July of 2019. So... going on five years now.

It would be easy to blame this on COVID, but I had stopped regularly going to the theater years before. I'd just go to the Marvel Studios movies because the spectacle of it all was better on the big screen. Nothing to do with COVID... I just eventually grew to hate the fucking people you have to watch a movie with. Used to be that people respected the audience and any interruptions to your experience were rare. But then people started becoming bigger and bigger assholes, and you were guaranteed to have loud talking... people on mobile phones... kids running amok... and once I even witnessed a fight because somebody kept bumping the seat in front of them. It's madness. Who wants to pay money to put up with that shit?

For a while I circumnavigated the bulk of this mess by only going to "prestige" theaters or dinner theaters or what-have-you. When you have to pay a boatload of money to see a movie, you tend to get people who are there to be serious about watching the movie. But eventually even that was tainted. When I saw Avengers: Endgame There was a group of grown-ass adults loudly talking the entire time. It was at that point that I said "fuck it" and decided I was done with theaters. I ended up going to Spider-Man: Far From Home a few months later, which wasn't as bad an experience... but it was still bad. Because People. My love affair with theatrical releases was over.

That was pre-COVID.

Then COVID came along and I decided that I can just wait for streaming and view films from the comfort of my own home. It wasn't worth it before and now it really wasn't worth it (except for you, Taylor!).

Which is a darn shame because there was a time I loved the movie theater experience. In my high school and college years, I was going to a movie most weeks. Sometimes twice a week. Didn't even have to be a big-budget affair... I would go see anything in a theater. Aliens one week... Hoosiers another week... Manhunter the next (boy 1986 was a good year for movies — although the worst movie I've ever seen in theaters, Born American, also came out in '86 so there's that).

I don't know what it would take to get me back in a movie theater again. Odds are the answer is nothing. Or maybe Avengers: Secret Wars. I honestly don't know.

To me, movie theaters are already dead. and have been for quite a while.



Posted on January 6th, 2012

Dave!I used to love going to the movies.

I rarely go anymore.

Roger Ebert recently wrote an editorial commentary called "I'll tell you why movie revenue is dropping..." In it, he dissects why people aren't going out to the theater anymore. I thought I'd go through point by point to figure out where I fit in.

  • Absence of a must-see mass-market movies. Meh. Sure I like the mass-market popcorn movies, but I'm just as entertained by smaller independent films.
  • Ticket prices are too high. Meh. I honestly don't mind paying a premium to see a movie in the theater on a big screen with great sound.
  • Refreshment prices. Meh. I don't buy refreshments very often because a movie usually follows going out to dinner and I'm not hungry enough to eat again.
  • Lack of choice. Meh. There's pretty much always something out there I'd like to see.
  • Competition from other forms of delivery. Meh. I'd just as soon get out of the house and see a movie when it's released than wait and watch at home.
  • The theater experience. BINGO! This is the one true reason I fucking HATE going to the theater: other people show up. And they're usually rude assholes that make going to a theater a horrible, horrible experience.

I remember several years ago... like ten years... maybe more like eight years ago... I was on a movie date watching Spider-Man 2. About 20 minutes in, some idiot's mobile phone goes off... and he answers it. My date dug into my arm with her nails because she knew this is exactly the kind of situation that causes me to go off. But somebody else beat me to it. "HOPE THE MOVIE ISN'T DISTURBING YOUR PHONE CALL, BUDDY!" he yelled. The man who took the call screamed back "MY WIFE WENT INTO THE HOSPITAL THIS MORNING, SO I HAVE TO TAKE THE CALL YOU ASSHOLE!" At this point I couldn't take it any longer and screamed "YOUR WIFE IS IN THE HOSPITAL AND YOU'RE AT A MOVIE THEATER? WHAT A DICK!" This cause the crowd to start applauding and the idiot with the phone left never to return.

It was at that point I realized that movie theaters were doomed.

Moviegoers have always had to deal with people who talk during the film and smack their popcorn and kick the seats, but mobile phones? This was a disaster. Who the heck is going to want to pay a stack of money for movie and overpriced refreshments if they're going to have to listen to people talk on the phone while they're trying to watch a film? Hell, escaping from having to listen to people on their phones is one of the best reasons to go to the theater!

Clearly movie theater companies would have to do something about this.

But other than those lame "turn off your mobile phone" messages that are flashed for a second after the previews, they don't seem to give a crap.

And now it's even worse because people are texting during the movie. Theater companies seem to care even less about texters because they "aren't disturbing anybody." Except they ARE. All those glowing screens are a huge fucking distraction when you're trying to watch the film...

DaveToon: Theaters Suck with Phone Glows

Though SOME theaters have the right idea about that...

...but most don't.

And since I don't have an Alamo Drafthouse nearby to kick the rude assholes out of the theater, I just stopped going. Now the only time I'll go is when it's a movie I'm just dying to see... and even then I usually go to mid-day showings and wait for as long as I can so the crowds will have died down.

So attention theater companies: Stop your whining about falling revenue.

Because if you really wanted to lure me back as a customer, you'd start doing your part to make it a worthwhile experience. Which means kicking out the talkers, seat kickers, phone callers, and texters so people can actually enjoy watching the movie they paid to see.

Until that happens, I'd rather watch a movie on my iPhone than in your stupid, annoying theater, even though David Lynch will eat my soul...

Maybe I won't be "experiencing the movie" but at least I won't be "experiencing movie theater hell."



Posted on December 14th, 2009

Dave!And so... James Cameron's Avatar is dropping in theaters this Friday, and I am near the point of desperation to go see it. The problem is that I positively loathe to go to the movies anymore. People have reached new heights of rudeness, and it's just not as fun as it used to be. I spend most of my time filled with rage because people are getting calls on their mobile phones, lighting up the entire theater by texting, talking in loud voices and making noise, kicking the seats in front of them, and being all-around assholes. Why should I pay $7.50 for a ticket and $6.00 for a Coke to be subjected to that?

Maybe I should publish a new addition to my growing family of "Dumbasses" books so I can pass them out whenever I go to the movies?

DAVETOON BOOK: Movie Theater Etiquette for Dumbasses

Though the odds of anybody too rude to already know theater etiquette actually taking time to read it are slim.

So maybe I do what I usually do, and wait for the Blu-Ray to be released.

But then I look at this poster popping up everywhere...

Blue Alien Avatar Poster

...and I really, really want to go.

Here's hoping that if I do go I won't end up killing anybody.



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