But we do have this delightful and somewhat relevant story from The King's Speech thread:
And this recent article from Dennis Cozzalio -
So we show up, Mrs. Jones & I, right at 8:15. Mind you, the show started at 8:05, but with commercials and previews, we entered right as the title card was playing. Surprisingly to me, the theater was mostly filled. We spied a couple of seats about two thirds the way up, next to a middle aged couple on one side and a younger woman on the other. We bounded up, and my wife squeezed in to take her seat. In the other, free seat, lay the jackets of the middle aged couple; whom we'll call Mr. and Mrs. Creatures of the Most High Who I Should Not Kick In the Face.
Mrs. COTMHWISNKITF says to my wife, "Surely you don't want us to move our coats? What are we supposed to do, hold them in our laps?"
Me (Not Face Kicking Christian Elder who would look bad if I kicked someone in the face): "What?"
Mr. COTMHWISNKITF, "Go away. You're late. We're not moving our coats."
Mrs Not Face Kicking: "What?"
Mr COTMHWISNKITF: "You're disturbing us. We won't move our coats."
Me Now considering kicking a face: "You've got to be kidding me."
Mr COTMHWISNKITF: No. Go away. You're interrupting the picture.
Now, for a (500) Days of Summer Allusion, the things my Non-Not Face Kicking Christian Elder self wished I said.
Instead, I said, "You should be ashamed of yourself." And then we walked off to find seats next to some other poor sinners.
- I'm sorry, did you buy three tickets?
- Come on, honey, who would want to sit next to a couple of ripe #@#holes anyway?
- Wow, I thought I'd left my selfish three year old at home with grandma.
- Oh, sorry, was that your teeth that just hit the floor?
At that moment, I wished I'd bought some jujubes so I could rain them down on the bearded fellow's head like Elijah's fire. My wife prayed for them.
I contemplated oneupmanship, maybe even confronting the fellow in the hall on the way out. Maybe even kicking him in the face.
And I'm glad that I just told him to be ashamed of himself, and that I found another pair of seats, and then we laughed about it. But grace, right? And it made me think a little more about my own follies, and I guess instead of just wishing I'd argued them in to moving their coats, I started thinking about that parable in Luke 8, where Jesus tells us about sowing the seeds, and I wondered what kind of seed I'd sown, and what kind had been sown to me.
And then I enjoyed the movie with my wife, after the nerves settled down. In spite of the wallpaper.
He's referring to this theater advertisement (language warning) -
The Alamo Drafthouse should be endlessly commended for really getting the word out in the funniest way possible about the mounting antisocial problem of texting, cell phone usage and general moronic bad behavior in movie theaters. Have we really become so bored and restless as a society that we can’t stand to sever our connection with the outside world (the same one that, as David Edelstein observed in his own post saluting this hilarious trailer, we’ve presumably come to a darkened theater to escape from) for the amount of time it takes to watch a movie? Hell, many serial phone junkies can’t even get out of the previews before lighting up their devices. If your need to stay connected is that strong, then maybe you should have just stayed at home?
I’ve already told the story of the father-daughter tag-team of ninnies who sat next to me during the none-too-cheap Arclight screening of Midnight in Paris my wife and I attended last Saturday night, but in case you missed it: The young woman (I’d guess she was 22 or so) was out with Dad (55-ish) and before the movie they could be overheard discussing her prospects for an acting career. The Arclight “cast member” came out and performed the standard welcome spiel for the theater, introducing the movie as having been written and directed by Woody Allen. At this point the woman gasped, turned to me and said, “I didn’t know this was a Woody Allen movie!” Inexplicable, but not particularly annoying—the movie had, after all, not yet begun. But as soon as it did, so did their chatter, and it wasn’t long before I had to shush them. They both seemed a little embarrassed and gave me an apologetic chuckle, and Dad actually said, “Whoops, I forgot we weren’t at home!” Whew. But then, incredibly, it wasn’t more than five minutes later that the woman whips out her trusty iPhone and starts checking her messages! I asked her to please shut it down, she did, and there was no further interruption for the rest of the movie. But why should anyone have to work that hard just to get people to behave in a manner that suggests they are aware that their behavior affects those around them?
... whipping out your phone and talking on it during a movie seems to me indicative of a much more narcissistic and even sociopathic tendency in people who seem to believe that the world shouldn’t hesitate to tolerate or adapt to whatever their desires are at the moment, the inconvenience of others be damned. I think of the testimony of a friend who was besieged by the light of an open flip phone at a crucial moment while watching the decidedly nontechnological Meek’s Cutoff and having the movie’s spell, which was already for him tenuous, broken altogether. The movie theater is a sanctuary, where the outside world should be allowed admittance only through the images and sounds on screen and the way they resonate in the privacy of one’s own mind. I hope that the Alamo’s Drafthouse’s ingenious campaign spreads like wildfire and other theaters adopt its aggressive stance against this kind of immature nonsense. On behalf of all the “regliar” moviegoers in the audience who cherish the communal movie theater experience as it was in the days before we all felt the intense need to be interconnected 24/7, I salute you, Alamo Drafthouse!
Personally, I've started enforcing these rules with friends & family even in my own place. I currently refuse to push play on the DVD remote until I've dimmed the lights, shut off household noises, and aggressively and tyrannically enforced a cell phones off policy (I am currently considering buying a large hat in which to collect all cell phones, IPhones, blackberries, etc. for the film's duration). It's a tradition I intend to enforce, even in the future when I have kids in the house.
Edited by Persiflage, 24 June 2011 - 11:48 AM.