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Movie etiquette: What do you do when other moviegoers are acting up at the cinema?

 
 
Reply Fri 22 Apr, 2011 07:28 pm
Went to see the latest Jake Gyllenhaal film, Source Code and I had suffered through what was one of the worst movie going experiences I have ever been subjected to in my movie going life of 35 years or so.

The first offender was a family who brought a whimpering 3 year old to the cinema. Sporadically, the child would throw fit of whining and crying. An older child did in fact complain about the lack of snacks but at least was aware enough to stop whinging before the opening credits started.

Secondly, for the first half hour, two separate individuals in the front of the cinema were screwing around with their smart phones. Texting or surfing the internet. Whatever they were doing, their phones were on full screen brightness.

And the piece de resistance, two grown males decided to discuss the film or something sporadically for the last 30 or so minutes. And by discuss, I don't mean whispering but actual conversational volume-level speech.

I think these jerks were willingly and delibrately being @ssholes and were trying to ruin the movie for everyone else. They were shushed and were politely and curtly told to quiet down.

~~
So what do you do if and when you venture out to the movie theater and your dastardly neighbor is either oblivious or deliberately breaking proper movie etiquette? Is there any actual effective way to handle this situation if the offender(s) refuse to cooperate?
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Apr, 2011 07:36 pm
@tsarstepan,
I see all this as barbarity. I'm from another era, long ago, but not so long ago.
Viva, Fox Venice.

Culture wins. Or, the theater wins. Depends on the place. Whatever, people are missing being in a large theater enthralled.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  6  
Reply Fri 22 Apr, 2011 07:40 pm
@tsarstepan,
Bring it to the manager's attention and ask for a refund so you can try again at a different time, or inform the manager of the problem and tell them you will not be returning to the theater because of the poor experience.

msolga
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Apr, 2011 07:43 pm
@tsarstepan,
Sounds like you had a fun experience, tsar!

Quote:
So what do you do if and when you venture out to the movie theater and your dastardly neighbor is either oblivious or deliberately breaking proper movie etiquette? Is there any actual effective way to handle this situation if the offender(s) refuse to cooperate?

Well first, I usually attend a cinema which has quite a number really small "theatres", all showing different films. Fewer people = less noise & distraction.

But if someone near to me continually talks loudly enough to be a distraction, I've been known to say something like :"Excuse me, but your talking so much means that I can't concentrate on the film."
Not aggressively, or anything like that.
Most people are obliging.
If not, I move away from them.

I think if you've paid to see a film at the cinema you should be able to comfortably see & hear the film without constant distractions.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Apr, 2011 07:47 pm
@Butrflynet,
I'm with Butrflynet on this - get up, go out to the manager if there is not staff in the theatre or near the door - get a refund and try again another time.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Apr, 2011 07:50 pm
@Butrflynet,
I'm doubting they will care. Maybe you have better recent experiences.

I have no doubt that we had as many pervs and maniacs in the theater when I used to go three times a week, but there was a kind of omnipresent sense of decorum, or once in a while, non decorum as a general thing. I take that as related to management, or lack of it.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Apr, 2011 08:11 pm
@ehBeth,
Well if it the distraction is bad enough, I've done that, too. But luckily that hasn't been necessary, too often

Some years ago I attended Saturday afternoon session of a film by an Iranian director (whose films were banned in Iran).
The theatre was choc-a-block full of recent Iranian migrants, with their whole families. Mothers, fathers, children of all ages, grandparents ... they were beside themselves with excitement at certain points in the film, like when they recognized certain locations, or at developments in the plot, etc.
And were unable to restrain themselves from exclaiming, discussing the action loudly, etc, etc.
It was a cacophony!
We did our best, but it really was impossible to follow the plot, concentrate on reading the sub-titles & not be completely side-tracked by the goings on of the audience.
So after about half an hour of this, we left.
The theatre manager was completely sympathetic, gave us substitute tickets for any future session of the film.
But I saw his point. This was a really important event for the Iranian audience.
And what was he going to do, throw out just about everyone in the theatre? Wink
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Apr, 2011 08:21 pm
@Butrflynet,
I guess you're right butrflynet. Thankfully this was a rare experience and that hopefully a one timer at that but if it does happen again, I should take heed and with patience actually contact the manager and make an attempt at getting a resolution. If I do get blown off by the manager at least I would have tried something other then stew in my own frustration. It would also help others to enjoy the movie as well as I wasn't the only person to have their movie experience tainted by these selfish individuals.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Apr, 2011 08:22 pm
@msolga,
Our theater was also a theater (hosted the SF Mime
Troupe from time to time, and others). Well, never mind that, there were many incredible movies.
I can hardly get started on that. Children of Paradise.
Moliere..

Well, never mind.
The audience paid attention. As a group interested, ruled the theater.
Fuckwits were dismissed, and this was in an iffy city place.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Apr, 2011 08:28 pm
@tsarstepan,
Maybe the laws are different , but here they are required to have a staffer at the back of each theatre (something to do with fire regulations) - even in the tiny ones with 8 - 20 seats. You don't get much yakking as they still show up with their little flashlights if they notice something going on. But if there's a problem and you get up and start toward the back - they're usually ready to assist you before you get to them. They will often direct you to the manager before you can suggest it.

Now sometimes, they'll slip out to chat with friends - then they're usually even better about backing you up with a manager - they don't want to get busted for not being on duty in the theatre itself.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Apr, 2011 08:32 pm
@ehBeth,
For the past year of attending countless films at the cineplex theater, an attendee would come into the theater (I assume to check to see if anyone is illegally taping the film or something on those lines) on several occasions and go to the front of the theater and perhaps initial some kind of report.

They only showed up once this screening and long before the two asshats started their belated commentary.

I wish we had that cinema attendee regulation here in NYC.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Apr, 2011 08:38 pm
@ehBeth,
Interesting to read present stuff..
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Apr, 2011 08:41 pm
@tsarstepan,
You've got a lot of contacts in the business -- tell them, that if they haven't already guessed, experiences like yours are one of the major reasons why patronage at movie theaters has dropped off so drastically.

There are devices that disable cell phones, many entertainment venues now use them.

ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Apr, 2011 08:47 pm
@ossobuco,
That's how it's been here for the last 40 - 45 years.

The only big difference now is that we don't get up and sing "god save the queen" before the movie starts anymore.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Apr, 2011 08:51 pm
@ehBeth,
just remembered another difference from the early days ...

the female staff doesn't have to wear a skirt and no one wears gloves now - that's something I recall from the first movies I went to see - the staff in gloves taking tickets and standing under the fire exit signs at the front
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Apr, 2011 09:00 pm
@Butrflynet,
I hate to break it to you, Butrflynet, but I have nothing. Not for a matter of want, I don't even have any delusions or even drug induced hallucinations of contacts in the business.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Apr, 2011 09:00 pm
@ehBeth,
I guess I have to say you're lucky. Fox Venice closed long ago, a huge loss.
I had countless good experiences in that theater, with generally engaged audiences, one way or another or another. The audiences were alive and paying attention. Any kumquats making stupid loud noise in a quiet scene would have been dispatched somehow, but that wasn't routine. On the other hand, they could stomp with some theater.
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Apr, 2011 11:33 pm
tsar, One of the reasons I stopped going to the movies was the annoying, rude, thoughtless, inconsiderate, ignorant, and sometimes belligerant people I shared the theater with. I found myself tensing up when I made plans to go to the movies. Not worth it. I miss the experience.

I used to be an ardent and frequent movie goer.

Sigh.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Apr, 2011 11:38 pm
@Roberta,
I just hope that for the most part this is a rare if foul experience.
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  3  
Reply Fri 22 Apr, 2011 11:52 pm
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
Some years ago I attended Saturday afternoon session of a film by an Iranian director (whose films were banned in Iran).
The theatre was choc-a-block full of recent Iranian migrants, with their whole families. Mothers, fathers, children of all ages, grandparents ... they were beside themselves with excitement at certain points in the film, like when they recognized certain locations, or at developments in the plot, etc.


This would have added to the authenticity for me; I would come back at a quieter time if I needed to fill in plot details.
 

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