Feb 112015

It isn’t fair when pet peeves pile on. Enduring one in a day is annoying enough. Enduring two in the same day is cruel and unusual punishment.

02-11-15 Pet Peeves 1

On a very recent Saturday afternoon, Macho Guy and I decided to see a movie. As it happens, I have a bone to pick with the movie theater experience. There once was a time when people went to the movies and actually saw just that—movies—and a cartoon or two, or even a double feature. Movie theaters hyped the fact that unlike television, when you went to the movies, you didn’t have to watch commercials.

Flash forward to present day. Before you’re allowed to see the feature film you paid to see, you have to sit through advertisement slides on the big screen for local businesses, interspersed with a movie and celebrity trivia quiz, and—wait for it—commercials. That’s right, commercials, just like the ones we see on TV. Is that bogus or what? Then you have to sit through the latest “celebrity news from Hollywood” delivered by perky young talking heads. ::yawn::

Just when you think your movie is about to start, here come the coming attractions. You sit through trailer after trailer after trailer until all your popcorn is gone and the movie still hasn’t begun. [Don’t get me started on how much movie theater concessions charge for popcorn.]

At last, following the theater’s cutesy animated disclaimer and safety instructions, the lights dim and your movie is finally about to begin. Yay! You look at your watch or other time keeping device [probably a smart phone] and discover it is already 20 minutes past the posted show time for the movie. The early show time posted for the movie is a fraud. It’s to get you into the theater early enough to see all the ads. And that’s when you discover that you suddenly need to use the restroom.

My question to movie theater owners is this. Why are prices for tickets and concession items going up when theater owners are making additional money by screening advertisements in their theaters? If they’re going to make us sit through all that Madison Avenue brainwashing, the least they could do is lower the ticket prices. Robber barons. I smuggle my own snacks and drinks into the theater just to spite them.

Macho Guy and I decided to go to evening church services that same Saturday following the movie. The lector welcomed everyone and requested that cell phones be turned off before the service began. Being ardent practitioners of cell phone etiquette, we dutifully turned ours off.

02-11-15 Pet Peeves 2Someone lacking sufficient piety managed not to get the memo. During the sermon, a cell phone began to ring. Not a normal ring tone, mind you. This was one of those specialty ring tones the cool people download to set themselves apart from boring folks like Macho and me. This particular ring tone was loud. Very loud. Extremely loud.

The soulless pew warmer who owned it must have selected “ignore” because the accursed apparatus rang again a few moments later. Good grief. That disrespectful heathen ought to fear God’s wrath and be in mortal terror of being struck dead by a bolt of lightening. Turn the sacrilegious contraption off, you blasphemer, was what I wanted to say aloud. Instead, I prayed for Archangel Michael to come down from Heaven and slay the evil device. Barring that, I was willing to settle for its battery to die.

We returned home and after dinner, Macho Guy turned on the TV while I cleaned up the kitchen mess. He channel surfed and as usual found little to his liking. He cracked open a book and read, and I went to my MacBook Pro and began writing this post.

Writing is so cathartic. I can feel my peevishness melting away . . .

  10 Responses to “Feeling Peevish”

  1. I like the “Coming Attractions” trailers, but like you, I am so tired of not only seeing ads while at the theater, but ads I constantly see on TV. Couldn’t they at least come up with something just for movie theaters? As for the cellphone, there’s one in every crowd. Alas, I was one a couple weeks ago. During my yoga class, right at the end, during the time everyone is relaxing, there goes my phone. Someone said they wouldn’t have known whose phone it was if I hadn’t said, “Oh, Shit!”

    • Too funny, Maris. How did you recognize your phone? Do you have one of those special rings? 🙂

      Does your yoga instructor tell everyone to turn off cellphones prior to the class or not? Reminders are usually helpful. At church, the lector makes the same request to turn cell phones off before every service. The church heathen I wrote about either ignored the polite request or arrived too late to hear it. Unless he/she arrived late every week, he/she should have known to turn his/her phone off or set it on vibrate.

      • Lana, no reminders are given to turn off (or silence) our phones. It’s one of those expected courtesies. One I certainly know and understand.

        • I hear you, and I agree, Maris.

          I think our cell phones have become more than a convenience. They’ve become an extension of ourselves and we occasionally forget we’re carrying them–until they begin ringing at the most inopportune times. 🙁

  2. I enjoy trailers, too (we used to call them “previews”). But why don’t these multi-screen cinemas show what’s playing on the other screens, instead of movies that will be released four, five, ten months from now? Also, the old previews actually gave you some idea of what a movie was about, rather than a series of jump-cuts that tell you nothing except the feature is going to be loud!

    • Paul, you are so right about the trailers being loud. I suspect it’s from all the explosions. Hollywood loves the idea of gun control but the studios hardly know how to make a movie without guns, explosions or car chases.

      I like your idea of showing previews of what else is currently playing at a multiplex cinema. I don’t know about others, but if you show me a trailer in February for a movie that doesn’t open until December, there is no way I’ll say, “Oh, goody. I’ll rush right home and mark that on my calendar so I’ll be sure not to miss it.” Or, “I’d better make sure to take out a loan in December so I’ll be able to afford a ticket and popcorn when the movie is released.”

  3. You didn’t disappoint again. Made me laugh. I do agree totally on both issues. Cell phones in the theater is another one. Double whammy!

    • Thanks, Margo.

      I was in a theater one time when someone’s cell phone kept ringing for so long that some people began shouting at him/her to turn it off–and some nasty words I won’t repeat here. =:-0

  4. I am a local movie reviewer so I have to see a movie each week. It’s really bad when you can repeat the previews and commercials word for word! It would be so nice if we did have cheaper movies. I spend $6 for a movie, just for me and that’s the early show. Then add $10 for popcorn and soda. Ouch! I hear you! What a lot of money for the privilege of seeing a movie with 40 other people, some who don’t forget to turn off their phones!

    • You have my sympathy, Melissa. We went to the movies two Saturdays in a row this past month. It occurred to me that forcing a captured spy to watch those previews and commercials over and over again until he begged for mercy would be a very effective way to get him to tell all without laying a finger on him. That, or forcing him to hang wallpaper.

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