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June 16, 2005

Why it will be a long time — if ever — before I see another movie in a theater

B_47

The other day I was thinking about how long it's been since I've been to the movies.

I mean, I watch movies on DVD at home all the time but in a theater, jeez, I can't remember when I went last.

The thing that got me to thinking about this was all the "sky is falling"–type news stories recently about how Hollywood is praying that "Batman Returns" opens big this week because for the past 16 weeks box office receipts have been down 10% from the same period a year ago.

Let me tell you why they're down and will continue heading south.

I'll take things in sequence, from the time I might have otherwise decided to go to a movie.

1) What's playing, where and when? That's no problem: go to Fandango online and instantly the info comes up for my area.

2) Choose a movie and time — again, no problema.

3) Go there. If it's popular I'll have to wait in line first for tickets, then for admission. If it's really popular it'll be sold out for the showing I want to see so I'll either have to see something I didn't want to see or go back home.

4) Enter and get a seat. The concessions stands are a joke so let's not even discuss them; suffice it to say I've got all my favorite eats and drinks from 7–11 stashed in various pockets.

5) The seats in theaters in Charlottesville are dreadful: old, stiff, uncomfortable. Sure, I know that there are those cushy, rocking, high–backed ones elsewhere but I'm not elsewhere, am I?

6) Then there are the inevitable tall people who sit right in front of you so you can't see the whole screen.

7) Then there are the icky, sticky floors and all that.

8) Then the theater gets dark and the commercials start: stupid, boring, and loud. That takes maybe 15 minutes.

9) Then the previews start, again mostly of movies I'd never see: stupid, boring and loud. That takes maybe 15 minutes.

10) Then it's show time. Maybe 40 minutes after the time announced, the movie itself actually starts.

11) But wait — it's out of focus! Now what? Sit there and watch it or get up to complain? If I don't, no one else will. But why should I have to sit and wait apprehensively for the out–of–focus movie to begin anyway? I mean, I paid decent money for a ticket and all.

12) But wait — there are talkers around me. And there's some kid repetitively kicking the back of a seat in my row. Maybe the talking will stop and the kid will chill.

13) Oh, no, now I've got to go to the bathroom. But I'll miss some of the movie. Oh, well.

Now, let's consider the alternative: watching a movie on DVD at home.

All of a sudden most of the problems above don't exist.

And, bonus — if you get bored or tired you can stop the thing and come back later or tomorrow.

And you can eat whatever you like, not just contraband you've smuggled in.

And that's not even bringing into the discussion the ability to snuggle under a blankie with your sweetie should you be fortunate enough to have one.

Nolo contendere.

June 16, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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Comments

I saw Batman Begins last night. I showed up about 20 minutes before scheduled start time and bought a ticket at the touch-screen kiosk in the lobby and wandered right in. Since there was only one of me, I found a seat easily. A comfy seat in a theater with stadium seating, so no worries about tall people, etc. Before the film came previews, yes, but I enjoy movie previews. And then came the movie, which was fantastic. Big, bold, and loud -- perfect!

Your problem isn't with theaters, it's with the podunk town in which you live! Here in Dallas, I don't see movies often -- I watch DVDs quite a bit -- but when I do, it's wonderful.

Posted by: Phillip Winn | Jun 16, 2005 7:58:01 PM

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