Thursday, July 23, 2009

Five People To Avoid At The Theater

We've seen a lot of movies recently. That usually tends to happen in the height of the Summer Blockbuster Season, when we go on vacation, and when we are able to purchase discounted tickets. The stars aligned these past months and all three of these factors came together to send us to the theater at least once a week for the past month (a lot, for our pay grade). It seems that every time we see another movie, we encounter several people who live to make the theater experience as frustrating as they can. Since I am generally too passive to do anything on the day, I choose to write scathingly about it later. Today I feel I have earned the right to rant since I actually "shushed" someone for the first time in the theater (before you get all up in arms, they were swearing and talking loudly throughout the film - which happened to be Harry Potter - and someone else had already shushed them once.) I've decided to outline several people I meet at the theater that almost make me want to wait for the DVD release.

1. The party people: The worst thing about this one is that they come in a group. Usually teenagers, usually high, they come in five minutes before the movie (which, thankfully, restricts them to the front row). They've usually smoked a copious amount of weed, or broken into their parents liquor cabinets to pre-drink vanilla vodka before the evenings main event, a PG movie and then calling the least observant parent to pick up the whole crew in their mini-van. They send a younger sibling trying to make the cut to save twelve seats, and then they saunter in and sprawl out with their snacks and huge purses (likely holding a two-six of sour puss) They make out, chit chat, and giggle, generally distracting the other paying patrons, and then whine about the lameness of the show upon their stumbling departure.

2. The Texter: You all know who I'm talking about, the problem is you likely ARE who I'm talking about. It seems like overnight it has become acceptable to text during a movie, since you're not making any noise. I've even witnessed a pre-show Rogers commercial that involved a girl texting her friend whilst mid-movie (can I just say EPIC Rogers FAIL, btw). Its NOT ok to use your cellphone at the movies. It lights up the whole theatre, distracting anyone behind you from the screen. I really don't want to know what you said to your boss, or how many shots of Patron you did last night, but if you're two rows down and whipping out your Blackberry so you can BBM your girlfriend, its hard to miss! I paid to watch the show, not to watch your social life drama unfold via Facebook, and you can Twitter your thoughts once you've seen the WHOLE movie. An extension of this are the people, who are audacious enough to answer their phone in the theater. This happened recently and I tried to give the offender the benefit of the doubt - maybe his wife was in labour? Then he said "Nothing, just watching this lame movie" and my grip on the arm rest increased tenfold.

3. The Critic: I have no problem with critics, especially when I agree with their thoughts. What I hate is the person who critiques the movie, during the movie, at a volume everyone in the general vicinity can hear. They subject you to their unenlightened thoughts, whining about plot points they didn't understand, asking what was said when the theater errupts into laughter and they were awakened from their mental slumber, then commenting on how unfunny the joke was. Lets keep it to ourselves, ok?

4. The Space Invader: I wish I was talking about martians who invade the theater with plans to capture and conquer (is "martian" even P.C. anymore?). I'm referring to the person who takes up their seat and half of yours when they sit down. I'm not discussing size here, its an attitude. Their elbow never vacates the shared armrest, and occasionally goes as far as your ribcage. Their shoulder veers to your side over and over, and their scent wafts into your bubble, causing your popcorn to taste of B.O., or worse CK One. This person often seems to be a smoker, and occasionally has a laugh to match their aura. Since I've gotten married and Derek graciously lets me take the aisle everytime, my encounters with the Space Invader has been limited of late.

and finally....

5. The Noisy Snacker: Don't be fooled, they come in all shapes and sizes. They usually sit in their seats, looking completely normal and harmless, talking in indoor voices until about fifteen minutes before the show time. You think you've lucked out and chosen a good seat, next to considerate neighbors. Then, they stand up. "Oh well, probably just taking a pre-film bathroom break" you think to yourself. Sadly, you are mistaken. You look up to see them returning at the last second, arms laden with popcorn, sodas, candy, sometimes even a five course meal. As the show starts, so too does the chomping, the rustling, and the slurping. They finally finish their popcorn and you breathe a sigh of relief; at least you can enjoy Act II in peace. No no, my friend, they still have sour patch kids, which they pull out of the rustling package, one by one, handing them up and down the row to their party, oblivious that all the other farm animals have had their dinner and made it to the barn by this point. I'm not ragging on everybody who gets a snack at the movies, I'd be in that category often enough, but these people have a specific talent for getting the most noise out of the smallest movements. Each bite echoes throughout the theater, coming through in THX complete with the added bonus of spit. Seriously? That's enough.

Clearly, I'm a rage-a-holic who should generally be kept in her cage, but it feels good to break out and howl at the moon every once in a while.


  1. So I guess I'm not invited to Movie Night With The Langers anymore?


  2. I want to hang out with the #1 people. Making out in the theatre is what it's all about :)

  3. Such a great post. It's so true and probably why I enjoy watching movies at home more than in a theater.

  4. munch munch munch, more popcorn please!