Tag Archives: theater

Rudeness is destroying the arts

or Why I Don’t Leave The House Anymore

“Am I disturbing you?”

The last movie I saw in the theater was the 3-D version of Beowulf. The theater was fairly empty–maybe 30-40 people total. Two teenage girls sat two seats to my left. A man was in front of me. The two girls talked loudly through before the movie and when it started, they didn’t stop. They continued to talk and laugh loudly until the man in front gave up first:

Man: Excuse me ladies, the time for talking is over.

Girl: I ain’t talking to you! You turn right around and shut up. I ain’t disturbin’ no one.

Main: if you don’t stop talking, I will go get a manager and have you thrown out.

Girl: You shut up. Turn around, turn around… turn around mister.

Girl: <to me> excuse me, sir, am I disturbing you?

I looked at her and said, “Yes, you are.”

She shut up after that.

That wasn’t all in this showing. A man/woman couple behind me had the following exchange:

Woman: shut off your phone!

Man: I ain’t shutting off my phone! I don’t shut off my phone for anyone–I don’t even shut it off in church!

Woman: shut it off!

Man: No way!

(this repeated a few times in a similar vein.)

This man got up and left half way through the movie when his phone went off. He came in 20 minutes later with a friend, and they stood in the doorway and talked VERY loudly to each other and on the phone. The man in front of me got up and asked them to leave, and they did..after a minute or two.

What goes through the heads of these imbeciles?

“Thanks for coming to our bachelorette party!”

My mother, grandmother, and family friend were in London. They got tickets to see Dirty Dancing (which they thought was good, but not as good as the movie of course). Apparently that show is popular as a destination for girls’ bachelorette parties. The entire performance was punctuated by screams and yells every time the lead male came out.

I’m not against a good time, but this is the theater not a private party. Most of the audience is there to see a show. The theater should advertise certain days as more appropriate for this thing–theater aficionados beware.

“It isn’t real Texas theater unless you get drunk off your rocker.”

When my wife was visiting family in San Antonio they got tickets to see the touring Phantom of the Opera. They had nosebleed seats, which made the experience even more unfortunate.

Apparently, the theater serves beer throughout the performance–not just intermission. The guys in front of them got up half a dozen times to refill their beer glass throughout the show, blocking their view for a significant period of time. Add to this, the glare from the beer glasses, the opening of cell phones during the performance, bathing everyone in bluish glow, talking, and basically acting as if they were at a rodeo.

What is wrong with people that this is accepted behavior? Why aren’t these people kicked out more often? we (I’m including myself)willing to tell them their behavior is unacceptable and get management to act  ? And I mean without a refund–maybe even a fine or a ban.

Edit: My wife was so upset at the experience that she wrote the theater a letter of complaint.

Yeah, I’m a snob. So what–it doesn’t make me wrong.

All of these stories come down to rudeness at a basic level. People just don’t care what effect their actions will have on others. Sooner or later, this will creep up into the higher arts–classical music and opera, if it hasn’t already. Nobody will enjoy anything because of the few who just don’t care and ruin the experience for everybody.

I actually don’t think I’ll ever attend the theater to see a film again. We finally bought our first TVand a sound system. It’s modest, but it’s better than having expensive experiences marred by idiots.


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

Riverdance

Leticia and I took in Riverdance over the weekend. I’d seen the video and listened to the music countless times, but seeing it live on stage is a completely different experience. If the tour ever comes to your area I highly recommend it. The foot work is simply out of this world and the music is a lot more fun live (isn’t it always?). I can’t say I have a favorite part–it was all incredible.


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

Movie Theaters

Much has been said in the media lately regarding the drop in movie theater attendance by the American public. Reasons given include: awful movies; expensive tickets and concessions; competition from DVDs, home theaters, and video games; cell phone users; advertisement and preview glut; rude patron behavior; etc. I bet the list could go on for many people.

Yesterday, we went to see March of the Penguins. It was highly recommended, and some said we had to see it in the theater for the full-scale effect.

The movie was great–but not overly so. Worth a theater ticket? (and the popcorn I have to get?) I’m not so sure. But each time (and they’ve been few) that I’ve gone to the theater here, I’ve understood more and more the reasons people are not going as often.

I think I’d rather watch things at home where I can control the environment–sure I don’t have a cavernous room with a 30-foot screen and 7-channel Dolby Digital, but…

…It still seems more enjoyable. Probably the next big thing to drag me to the theater will be the next Harry Potter movie. After that, the Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. After that? Who knows…the list gets smaller every year.

I wonder if theaters will become the exception, as DVDs become the rule?


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order: