Roger Ebert’s 2/19 Movie Answer Man column gets into how movies suck now. It’s worth reading, but the best part is an exchange with a reader who complains about having to watch 40 minutes of commercials and previews ahead of “Fun with Dick and Jane”.
And Stephen Cummings of Coralville, Iowa, writes: “According to the IMDB, Pam Blase, a spokeswoman for AMC Entertainment, states that only one movie patron per 600,000 guests complain about ads before movies and that most regard the ads as ‘part of the theatergoing experience,’ something to do rather than talk to the person they came with before the movie starts (talking to a friend when you could spend valuable time staring at ads is really bad in consumer culture).”
I don’t go to the movies anymore, and I never complained about them to management. I booed them at first, soon I stopped going. I used to go to movies all the time, too — back in the mid-90s, when I worked right next to a theater and had a job that didn’t have a punch-clock, I’d go see a matinee for lunch at least once a week, and if there were several good movies out, I might go three times.
Now, I never go. It’s not worth it. $10 admission for a fairly horrible experience:
– the sound cranked up to ear-splitting levels (including the pre-commercial in-theater commercial radio, for your listening enjoyment while watching slides of ads)
– other people behaving badly
– badly-framed and projected films
I’ve got better things to do with my time. I used to go out with my friends on weekends, get dinner and have beers, catch a film, maybe head out to a bar afterwards to discuss or, if it sucked, get back to whining about work. Now we almost never go to the movies, and if we go it’s to some tiny art-house place where we don’t have to put up with that.
Movie theaters, then — consider this a retroactive complaint. I wish you luck in your work to drive away the other 599,999 guests.