The Theater Experience


The enjoyment of a movie is directly related to the experience of the moviegoer.

I recently went to my local cinema to enjoy everyone's favorite movie: Guardians of the Galaxy. Well, almost everyone. (I thought it was good - not fabulous.) It turns out that the theater recently did a major overhaul, converting into a dine-in theater. I was not expecting that, though it was nice to have a little table for my Buncha Crunch and a reclining seat.

The thing I really wasn't expecting were the patrons surrounding me. To my left were two preschool-age boys. To my right was a preschool girl. None of them could keep their mouth shut during the movie.

Did the cruddy experience I had affect my enjoyment of the movie? I have no doubt that it did. If I had been in a quiet, normal theater (like I was expecting for the first showing of the day), I would have allowed myself to be taken for a crazy ride. But because I kept being taken out of the experience by annoying children (who have no place in a PG-13 movie, by the way), I couldn't keep the enjoyment alive.

While theaters have done their hardest to improve their facilities in order to attract people (like me) who feel like the theater experience is overrated, other extenuating circumstances (like noisy children or cell-phone-using adults) have kept me away. If I do see a movie in a theater, I try to make it the first showing of the day. This worked very well with How To Train Your Dragon 2, which I saw with my mother and eight other people on opening day.

This doesn't necessarily apply to movies in a theater. I remember getting some bad news before sitting in my living room and watching Dark Shadows. Even though I was by myself, my overall mood meant that I was barely interested in the movie.

When I watch a movie, I want to be completely drawn in. I feel like that is important to giving a good opinion of a movie. It's the main reason why I rarely go to the theaters now. I can count the number of movies I've seen this year in theaters on one hand. The two mentioned above - plus Captain America: The Winter Soldier - were the only three that I really felt I had to go to on opening weekend and deal with the crowds. Every other movie that's come out this year isn't worth my money or my sanity. I'll wait till it comes out at our local library, thank you very much.

Recently my big brother had my lifelong dream: a theater to himself. I used to hate that as a kid; now I crave it. Anything has to be better than loud preschoolers.


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