Saturday, June 18, 2005

Movie Etiquette

Slublog has had another bad experience at the movies. As I recall, he had a similarly bad experience earlier.
The theater-going public is declining partly due to such horrors, and partly due to the fact that most movies aren't as good as most TV shows these days.

Since I moonlight as a projectionist at a local theatre, this is a subject near and dear to my heart. I think the matter deserves a hefty-sized injection of etiquette, both on the part of the movie-goers and the cinema staff.

At the Colonial Theatre, we have extra staff on hand for the early weekend shows to monitor the audience for excessive talking or other distracting behavior. We actually ask people to leave if they can't or won't allow their fellow audience members to pay attention to the movie. Our regular customers know that a complaint at the concession stand on any other night will bring quick remedial action.

On the other hand, we cinema staff must also mind our manners. We must strive to keep our voices down, lest they float into theaters and detract from the big-screen experience. At the Colonial, people who want to watch credits -- and there are more of them than most people think, even for perfectly dreadful flicks -- are allowed the courtesy of having the house lights at a low level, or off, as long as they want to watch. We don't send our cleaning crews in front of people who are still sitting and watching. They paid for their tickets, and they get to watch the whole movie. Period.

So if you find yourself in a situation like Slublog's, don't hesitate to complain to the management. Tell them there's a little theater on the coast of Maine that tries to keep the big-screen experience enjoyable, and if it can try, why can't they?

Once we've got our acts together, we can all gang up on Hollywood, and demand that they make more than one good movie per quarter.



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