May 12, 2012

The theater going experience

I love watching movies. At some point in my life I loved watching movies in the theater. As a kid it was such a special event. We had a small theater in the town where my Grandma lived. I remember her taking me when I was small. I didn't get to go very often, which made our trips even more special.

The theater has lost the magic that it once held. I am older now, and it doesn't seem like such a special thing to spend way too much money to sit in a dirty seat with a bunch of popcorn crunching strangers.

I made it out to see The Avengers this weekend. It was a solo trip. I don't mind going by myself. It was a good time overall. The movie was fun. The experience was what I'd come to expect out of going to a theater.

It was opening weekend for The Avengers so I knew it would be busy. I decided to go to a matinee and get there with plenty of time to make sure I got a good seat. I hate to even think about paying money for a ticket then having to sit in the front row, or way off to one side. I thought I had planned accordingly. I had not.

As I walked up to the theater a kid was coming out of the doors. He walked straight up to me, almost like he had been waiting for me to get there. "Are you seeing The Avengers?" he asked. I told him I planned on it. He informed me they were sold out. However, he'd bought tickets for his friends early and one wasn't able to make it. He offered to sell it to me for $5. Matinee tickets were $7 for the 2D movie. I thought it was a scam. At any rate this kid didn't understand supply and demand. He probably hadn't had a macroeconomics class. I bought it. It was at the time I'd planned for, and the number of dimensions I desired. I handed him a five dollar bill and walked inside.

The place was packed. A line snaked all the way through the place. I got in the back. A man and his son got in line behind me and asked if it was for The Avengers. I told him I assumed so. He was ticked there were so many people. We talked about how nice of a day it was outside and how people should be out enjoying the weather instead of seeing a movie. What is wrong with all these people? We commiserated.

By the time I got into the theater it was mostly full. Luckily I was a single and it was pretty easy to get a good spot between couples that had opted to leave the one seat buffer when they sat down. I closed the gap. I filled the hole. I was next to an old man. He seemed nice and quiet. He wasn't going to talk. Which he didn't... but he did laugh. A LOT. Really loudly. Any part that might be mistaken for a joke he was on it with his loud HA!. Usually just one. HA! At first I didn't like it. But I came to find it endearing a quarter way through. HA!

There was a kid behind me. He was too young for a movie like this, but his parents must not have been able to get a baby sitter. Maybe they thought he would like a super hero movie. I don't know. 20 minutes in he was asking to leave. To be fair, it was a little shaky at the start. His parents made him stick it out. And he did. He had a couple bathroom breaks, but he was right there to the end... adding his comments every other scene and asking tons of questions. I especially liked how he repeated back dialog every couple minutes for no apparent reason.

The kid was over my left shoulder. There was a very large older lady over my right. She was nice and quiet, except when she started snoring about an hour in. It started off really low. I wasn't even sure what the noise was. It got louder until she did one of those things where a person breaths in and snorts really loud. She woke herself up. She repeated this a couple more times, but it really wasn't bad.

The worst is always the popcorn munching. I almost never buy popcorn, or any concessions. It is too expensive. When you don't have popcorn in a room full of people that do... it gets annoying. The worst is the beginning when the sound is down, but once the movie starts going I usually forget about the cows mindlessly shoving butter in their faces. It's really not that big of a deal.

I made it though all the distractions and managed to throughly enjoy the film. I think I definitely got my $5 worth. I or course stayed until after the credits to see the secret scene at the very end, and a lot of other people did too. When it was over I stood up and waited in line to leave. A man in the row in front of me was still seated. He wadded up his popcorn bag into a ball. Without warning he flips it over his shoulder and hits me right in the face. I was pissed. It took me by surprise. I wish I would have reacted quickly enough to catch it and chuck it right back at him. He never even looked up. He had no clue he hit me. I was ready to fight, but it was like a 70 year old guy. It would have been poor form.

When I deem a movie worthy of seeing in the theater I usually want to go opening weekend. It is usually packed. I always question why I would spend money to go sit in a room full of annoying people just to watch a movie that I could wait and see at home in a few months. Most of the time it is worthwhile. It certainly was for The Avengers. I might even make it out again for that bat movie this summer.

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