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life, movies

On going to the movies…

I realize that only a limited number of people are going to see this, but I need to rant for a little bit.

It used to be that going to the movies meant people knew to shut up when the lights went off, other than the occasional exclamation or whispered aside to the friend seated next to you. It used to be that you could go to a movie and not feel the urge to throttle several people throughout the movie or have to repeatedly ask them to be quiet/shush them. Now, though, it seems like every time I go to the movies, and that’s a near-weekly thing, the concept of being considerate to others by not talking through the movie has been wiped from the collective unconscious.

It’s not like I don’t understand the urge to mock movies you find ridiculous. God knows I’ve got to enough B quality movies to enjoy doing that myself. The difference is that my mockery is in my own head and not laughed out loud to ruin the viewing of others actually enjoying the movie. Going to a movie specifically to catcall or laugh or make fun of the movie and destroy it for others should never be an agenda for anyone, and yet it seems to be the case all too often.

While we’re on the subject of inappropriate behavior in a movie theater, why do people bring young children and babies to a movie? I’m not unsympathetic, honest. I get that you want to see a movie and maybe can’t afford a sitter and/or don’t want to wait until it’s on dvd, but come on! We all pay good money to see a movie, sometimes a movie that we wait months (or years in the case of sequels) to see. Having a child legitimately scream in fear during a horror film or a ten year old boy cry out, “Gross!” during a romantic scene, or a baby crying intermittently through the entire movie (because that’s what babies do) really and truly destroys the experience for the rest of us.

Even ignoring how distracting and aggravating it is on the rest of the audience, what about how it affects the child? Is it so hard to use common sense and know ahead of time that there will be a problem with a child or baby in a theater where movies are played so loud that their little ears are probably actually in pain? Or that a child will get scared during a scary movie, maybe even traumatized into having nightmares? I know kids beg to see scary stuff, I used to be one of those kids. The difference is, my parents said no and meant it. I’m sure the moviegoers at the time were glad I wasn’t cowering in my seat making noise because I wasn’t there. My parents didn’t let me go see movies until I was old enough to know not to make noise and made sure that I only saw age-appropriate movies.

I’m not trying to offend anyone here, honest. I’m just so sick and tired of having my movie-going experience ruined by the inconsiderate behavior of others. I shouldn’t have to tell you to be quiet. I shouldn’t have to get up and get an usher to tell you to be quiet. I paid $10.50-$13 for a matinee (depending on the theater) or $15-$18 for a night movie, just like you did. I don’t talk during the movie. I don’t laugh and make fun of a movie that others are trying to enjoy.

I don’t care if it’s opening weekend or the very last run… just shut up and let the rest of us enjoy the movie!


(for now)


About Nancy M. Griffis

Author and screenwriter who loves scifi/action/adventure/urban fantasy genres. I have two published novels, Mind Games and Eternal Investigations, as well as a short story published for charity called "Home Fires Burning." All are available through amazon.com and barnesandnobles.com.


6 thoughts on “On going to the movies…

  1. Here’s another pet peeve: people who do not turn their phone ringer off while watching a movie. More galling, they even answer their phone when it rings! They don’t even bother to leave the theater, they just talk in a “low voice” that everyone can still hear.

    Posted by jennifernon | November 24, 2012, 3:27 am
  2. I agree, the baby issue is out of control. I’ve gone to horror movies where parents are bringing infants. I often notice others members in the audience glaring, but that doesn’t do much.

    I notice whenever I go to a movie in a big city the inconsiderate rise. Last time I was in LA I counted at least three people within ten minutes talking on their cells on the way into the lobby. Gee, how nice of them to take the call outside!

    Posted by keithmoore1 | November 24, 2012, 3:56 am
    • I just honestly don’t get the baby thing. I mean, it probably even physically hurts their little ears! of course they’re going to cry! and you’re probably right about the big city inconsiderateness. sigh.

      Posted by Nancy M. Griffis | November 30, 2012, 5:45 am
  3. You are not out of line, not at all. As much as movies cost, you should have not to go through that sort of inconvenience. D and I used to have the same problem when people would bring their kids into the smoking section of a restaurant – D never wanted to smoke around them and I was like “hey, their parents brought the little snots in here, let ’em have a little 2nd hand smoke…” maybe I’m a beeyotch, but damn it, I wasn’t going to let stupid people ruin my meal! Heh. Anyway, yeah, and the phone ringer thing – I hate it that people are so attached to being “in touch” that they can’t go two hours without a damn phone pressed to their head. Jeez, people, what did you do before cell phones were common? Never leave the house in case someone was trying to call??

    Posted by katyasozaeva | November 24, 2012, 4:13 am
    • lol! yeah, although as the child who got brought to the smoking section, the kids don’t have a choice. heh. my parents and nana all smoked when I was young, til I was a teen, actually.

      and yes! I don’t understand how people can’t just enjoy the movie for a couple of hours! the *point* of a movie is to get away from things! yeesh! there’s plugged in and then there’s obsessive. *shakes head*

      Posted by Nancy M. Griffis | November 30, 2012, 5:47 am

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Nancy at the Tim Burton exhibit in L.A.

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