The movie industry likes to blame movie pirates and illegal downloaders for the decline in movie profitability and the death of the movie theater. However, after going to see The Hobbit for the second time, I had a sudden realization that the piracy excuse is a mere scapegoat for the real problem: going to the movies sucks.
I don’t mean that watching movies in the theater isn’t good–I love it, but only to a point. The experience of going to the cinema is excruciatingly obnoxious to the point of driving people away and thus cutting into the profits of the industry as a whole. If you can pay $10 for a Blu-Ray high definition version of a film you watch on your 70 inch television in the comfort of your own home, why would you put up with an obnoxious theater? There are a few things that we, as a society, need to work on when visiting the movie theater:
1. Electrogents mind the “electro” when living as a “gent”
Electric gadgets are everywhere–even the movie itself is probably projected by some digital gadgetry. However, electronic device’s omnipresence does not mean they get free reign. Turn your cell phones off, or at the very least silence them. Don’t take them out of your pocket and look at them, either.
I have a huge problem with people who stare into their phones on a constant basis. I see people eating dinner and both of them are ignoring one another and staring into their phone to beat the next angry birds level. This is stupid. However, it’s even stupider when you bring them out in the theater. Yeah, your phone might not have made a noise when you got that incredibly important text that said, “I know, lol” but the light from your screen burns into everyone’s eyes who are sitting behind you. It’s incredibly distracting and if it happens on a continual basis it is enough to absolutely ruin a movie.
Mind your electronics, and just keep them out of earshot and eyesight. If you think or know it’s something important, quietly leave the theater and take care of it. It sounds simple, but I can’t remember the last time I saw a movie without seeing someone’s phone at least once.
2. Shut up.
Seriously. Shut up. Just because we’re in the middle of a loud car chase with gunshots and explosions doesn’t mean that it’s okay for you to talk about your plans for after the movie. We can still hear you, I promise.
It’s also incredibly annoying when you laugh out loud. There are exceptions for actual comedies or comedic relief, but laughing during inappropriate parts is annoying and everyone wants to smack you for it. Laughing is just as bad as talking sometimes, and you should remain conscious that other people around you are trying to enjoy a movie in silence and you are probably removing them from the moment.
3. Stop eating so much.
Yeah, movie popcorn is delicious. But I see people taking this way too far. Not only is movie popcorn incredibly unhealthy, it is super noisy. We can all hear your rumbling around in your trough of popcorn, and we can hear the ice in your 90 ounce soda.
If you must eat in the theater, be quiet about it. If something has a wrapper around the outside of the box, take it off before the movie starts. If you have a bag of popcorn, just eat the pieces on top, don’t dig around in there for the extra-buttery piece. If you have some chips, be careful about crunching away. It is possible to eat in a theater with tact, you don’t need to turn into a barnyard animal simply because nobody can see you.
Maybe if we as a society can start minding others at the movie theater and making the moviegoing experience more enjoyable, people won’t be so inclined to illegally download movies or avoid the theater altogether by renting movies to watch at home. The next time you’re at the theater, be mindful of others and pay attention to how others probably aren’t mindful of you.