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Nordling Advocates For The Theatrical Experience!

Nordling here.

It's just not like it used to be.

Back when I was young, films ran for months.  Sometimes, in the case of the gigantic blockbusters, they ran for years.  Those days are long gone, of course - most films have a window of two months at most before leaving the theater and going on to Blu-Ray, DVD, and Video On Demand, which by all accounts is where the true profit of a film lies.  Theatrical release is becoming more and more like a commercial for the home release.

Studios still rely on the theatrical window, of course, but a flop, by definition, means something different than it used to.  Most films at least break even these days, even with all the wonky math that the studios use to determine just how much money a film made in all.  But going to the theater is still a communal experience - maybe the last true communal experience we have, except for maybe going to church or a sports event.  Theaters like the Alamo Drafthouse, or the Arclight, recognize this and do their best to make the best theatrical experience possible.  Now, with IMAX, 3D, D-Box, stadium seating, and various other improvements in theaters since the 1980s, you would think that more people would go to the theaters instead of staying at home.  Except, they aren't.

Now, flat out, it costs a lot to go to the movies these days.  Tickets are upwards of $10, and for many places, that's a lowball figure.  Add on the cost of IMAX, or 3D, and it could go upwards of $20 a ticket.  For a family of four, that's a serious money investment, and you haven't even gotten to the concession counter yet.  So on the money level, it would make sense for DirecTV's new Home Premiere to take off, where the family could see new films only two months after release date.  For $29.99, you could see a newer film in the comfort of home, with your own food and drinks, and even guests, and it would make more financial sense for that family to enjoy a film.  I understand that.

Today, 23 filmmakers - producers and directors alike - decried this new event in Video On Demand.  Filmmakers like James Cameron, who has been a huge advocate for 3D filmmaking, Peter Jackson, Guillermo Del Toro, Michael Mann, Michael Bay, Kathryn Bigelow - these are Class-A filmmakers (yes, even Bay) who are concerned that their art is being compromised for the almighty dollar.  Now, in the war of commerce vs. art, commerce almost always wins, and many of these filmmakers realize that.  But they are truly fighting for the distribution of their art, and I think they deserve to be heard.  You can read the letter in full here.

I cherish the theatrical experience.  When you're in the dark, watching a great movie, and everything's clicking and the audience is polite and respectful, yet also engaged with what they're seeing - well, there's nothing like it for a film fan.  With bright projection, terrific sound, and comfortable seats, going to the movies is still one of the best entertainment values for your dollar out there.  Now, many of the theater chains out there are terrible at the entire presentation of their product.  Crappy projection's my personal pet peeve - those bulbs have to be changed regularly and too many theater chains skimp when it comes to this and the film ends up looking like mud.  That's one of the reasons I don't like 3D as much - the glasses automatically dim the screen, and most theater bulbs aren't bright enough to compensate.  But I also think that's changing as audiences become more discerning of their theaters and theaters up their quality to compensate.

Watching a great movie in the comfort of home does have its advantages, of course.  But I don't think that an early release of films to VOD is the answer.  I think people have grown accustomed to having what they want when they want it.  I also think that as a society we are becoming more and more marginalized, separating ourselves from everyone that isn't close to us.  For regular folks, who don't go to the movies very often, this will likely make little difference, anyway, but for film fanatics like myself, the idea of not sharing this wonderful experience with others, even complete strangers, seems particularly horrible to me.  I'm serious when I say this - I lose faith in people in general, but when I'm in a movie theater and we're having that great shared experience that only a good movie can bring, I feel much more optimistic about people.  It's a nice feeling to have.  We're not all factions or political parties or races in a theater - we're one.  And increasingly, the theater is the only place I feel like that these days.

I remember lining up to buy tickets for STAR WARS: EPISODE I.  Say what you will about the movie, and I'm sure you have ad nauseam at this point, but the crowd that was there was so hopeful, so happy to be there, and the theater was buzzing in that way that only comes when the audience is primed for a great experience.  Or when I saw THE MATRIX opening weekend for the first time, and had no idea what to expect, and coming out of that theater with an audience so thrilled that they applauded all through the end credits - there's nothing like it.  You can't judge a regular audience by Butt-Numb-A-Thon, of course, because that's a crowd full of film hypergeeks, but when every moment is shared with a crowd like that, it becomes as real a memory as any event in your life.  When Sam carried Frodo on the slopes of Mount Doom, I turned around to watch the audience, my own eyes filled with tears, to see hundreds of eyes reflecting their own tears, and for someone like me, it makes you feel like you're a part of something larger than yourself.  I'm not a religious person, but I've found the closest thing I know to God in a movie theater.

Can there be improvements to the theatrical experience?  Of course.  I'll call out the chains right now - you have to improve on your presentation of films.  No one wants to sit in a theater full of texting kids and no one doing anything about it, or a screaming child, or some asshole talking throughout the entire film.  I'm sure you're staffed by people little older than teenagers themselves, but I guarantee you that the reason many people stay away from theaters these days is that too many people just don't have any respect for their fellow moviegoer, and theaters shouldn't be afraid of kicking someone out for being disruptive.  You have to replace your projection bulbs timely and have people checking every theater to make sure the screen is well lit.  You just have to.  As for the price hikes in 3D  - the audience is paying $5 or more dollars for cheap plastic glasses that cost $1, maybe.  Granted, studios are also behind those price hikes and those need to come down.  I understand how it works when it comes to new releases - those first several weeks, you don't see any money from ticket prices, it's all about concessions.  I don't mind paying for concessions as long as the food's good.  I understand concessions are what makes a great theater possible.  That said, you could also provide healthier alternatives to the same old candy and popcorn.  You'd be surprised at how many people would respond to a simple bowl of fruit.  I'd be all over it if my theater offered any.

All the commercials shown before a movie - again, I understand that the theaters need to make their money.  I also understand that those commercials are incredibly disruptive to the audience experience.  Before a film started I used to love talking to my friends and family about what we were about to see, or how our day was going - just visiting with each other before the film starts.  The commercials now make it impossible.  Plus, I think we need a respite from all that selling that we undergo every day, and in a theater, we can't even get that.  Now, I love trailers, as I'm sure any film geek does, but what the hell am I seeing yet another car commercial for?  I get that already just walking outside and looking at a billboard.

Maybe we can blame the films themselves - maybe they've gotten worse over the years instead of better.  But I don't think that's entirely true.  I think most everything is looked at through a veil of nostalgia and yearning for the past, where we make all the movies from "back in the day" seem better.  But crap movies are universal no matter what time period they're made in.  It's no more an exception today than it was twenty years ago.

I'm not saying anything new here.  Critics of the theatrical experience have been saying it for years.  But I think if these fundamental changes are made, people would flock to the movies again.  Not to sound too much like an old grump, but seeing a film a couple of decades ago - we have the improvements in technology when it comes to the presentation but there's none of the joy or camaraderie in going to the movies like there used to be.  We can blame the films, we can blame the theater, we can blame our changing society.  Or we can do something about it.

I'm going to continue to go to the theater, until that option isn't available for me.  I'll also enjoy films at home.  But I don't think this 60-day window is the answer.  The days of a movie playing for months on end is gone and they won't be coming back, not the way the audience demands their entertainment these days.  I think the problem is more fundamental than theatrical release lengths, though.    It's something more endemic, and not easily solved.  I doubt theaters would go away entirely.  I don't see that happening.  But I can seem them becoming much rarer, and I don't think that's good for anyone.

Nordling, out.

Readers Talkback
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  • April 20, 2011, 1:14 p.m. CST


    by SonOfTorah

  • April 20, 2011, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Movie crowds can suck...

    by Chewtoy

    ...but they can also add so much to a viewing experience. I can't see that ever being replaced.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Nice article, Devin

    by Der Aggravated Piscine

    I mean Nordling.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Thank god for Arclight

    by jersey_d

    We're spoiled here in LA. You pay a higher ticket price, but I'll take that any day over lousy seats, bad screens and disruptive movie goers.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Cough. Crinkle. Jabber. Giggle. Ring. "Excuse me".

    by rev_skarekroe

    Nose whistle. Slurp. Munch munch munch. Heavy breathing. Whisper whisper. "I think I'm in MST3K!" Inappropriate laughing. Guess what? The theatrical experience sucks.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:22 p.m. CST


    by shodan6672

    The perfect movie environmment for me is with my wife, on a Thursday afternoon, with nobody else in the theater. People have fucking annoyed me in a theater since I was a child.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:22 p.m. CST


    by D.Vader

    After Harvey Weinstein firing the first volley with The King's Speech, we'll soon see a world where only PG-13 films get released in theaters to make the maximum amount of profit. Soon, with everyone else will choose to skip the theater knowing the movies they want to watch will come home a few weeks later. Only teens go to the theater bc its their chance to get out of the house and away from parents. Bc the theaters are dominated by teenagers, this increases the number of watered down, PG-13 horror and action films released. Studios are unwilling to release R-rated fare in theaters bc everyone who goes to see them is underage. They release everything else- G, PG, R- on Demand, but those films are made with lower budgets and with less attention paid to them. The studios are cutting off their own legs and don't even realize it.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Where would Rocky Horror Picture Show be without the crowd?

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    There's your argument right there.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Fuck the theater

    by JonJonB9

    Let the people have what they want, basically what these signatories want to do is take away personal choice from the viewer. I haven't been in a theater in about three years, longer before that, it is a fucking awful experience these days for someone who just wants to go in and enjoy a film without all the added bullshit.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:27 p.m. CST

    Lower prices will bring people back.

    by bat725

    It's roughly $60-$75 for a family of four to go to the movies, including concessions. I'd rather wait for the blu-ray, especially now that I have a 3D tv.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Add inconvenient times to the list.

    by cookylamoo

    Most people in New York work until at least 6 PM. If you could go out, grab some dinner and get to a movie by eight, then get home by ten thirty, that would resemble an evening on Broadway which would appeal to a lot of people. But instead, movies tend to run at 7:00 and 10:00, seven being too early and ten being too late. Also it seems whenever I attend a movie, just before the feature starts, the same three assholes plunk themselves down behind me and start an ongoing narration that lasts throughout the film. I assume these people are AICN film buffs.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:31 p.m. CST

    agreed jersey_d

    by FrankBooth93

    the Arclight is one of the few places to have the genuine theater experience anymore..

  • One more incident and I'm facing serious jail time.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:31 p.m. CST

    I'm totally over movie theaters.

    by the new transported man

    Bad projection, high prices, inconsiderate attendees & commercials did me in. Maybe I'm less of a film nerd than I used to be, content with internet film news & discussion & my Netflix subscription. Definitely have a case of "Read the T.V. Guide, you don't need a TV." 3D can get me back into movie theaters; I dug the hell outta Beowulf & Avatar in 3D, plus I have no plans to buy a 3D TV. But what I really want is 2D, digital projection, no crowd, & the ability to drink booze while I watch. Which is basically my living room.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:31 p.m. CST

    When I saw ROTK in the theater, all I heard in the audience was gay-jokes

    by StarWarsRedux

    And this is coming from my sister's theater-club friends, several of whom were gay themselves. Sam and Frodo staring at each other on the slopes of Mount Doom-- "Aw... They're gonna kiss!" <p> <p>But then, the LOTR movies kinda sucked, in hindsight, so that's to be expected.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Remove other theater goers and I'll go

    by JumpinJehosaphat

    I will say that having the Alamo Drafthouse to go to in Austin helps me tolerate the fact that there's other people there. And, depending on the event, I can even enjoy the experience with others. But, for all the other parts of the world where there isn't an Alamo, movie going is miserable, noisy (I'm looking at you, phone talkers!), expensive and depressing.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Saw a Avitar in 3-D on a TV in an appliance store.

    by cookylamoo

    Somehow, 3D on a TV set made Avitar look like an episode of Fireball XL5 with the hovercopter held up by strings. Everything else looked like the beginning move of a video game.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:33 p.m. CST

    and you forgot to mention privately operated car park

    by emeraldboy

    are a rip off. thus disencouraging from getting into your car and going to the cinema. its the the reason i rarely go the cinema these days.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Hear, hear, Nordling

    by darthderp

    Crowd reaction can be one of the highlights of going to the movies, for me, anyway. I remember seeing Die Hard, and the crowd going apeshit when Powell blew Karl away at the end. I remember seeing Terminator 2, and a few in the crowd calling out "Yeah!" when Arnie reloaded that shotgun - one handed - on the Harley. I remember seeing Revenge of the Sith with a big crowd, and when Vader's mask got lowered, there was DEAD SILENCE in the theater. That first intake of breath, someone behind me muttered, "Hell, yeah." Yes, the prices are nuts. You think date night is pricey, try a family of five. But I still go; in fact, I only wish I could get there more often than I'm able to. But the good outweighs the bad, as far as I'm concerned.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:34 p.m. CST

    It reminds me of the death of arcades.

    by bat725

    Once technology got to the point where you could play arcade-quality games at home, people stopped plunking quarters into the arcade units. For me, it's the same now with 3D Blu-ray. I get a better picture quality in the privacy of my own home, with my own food, I can pause to go to the bathroom, etc. I know that arcades and theaters provide their own unique experience, but is it worth the extra cost?

  • April 20, 2011, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Theater is a rip off, Blu Ray is not, all there is to it.

    by Saen

    When the theater starts charging under $8 for the tickets and selling food for roughly the same cost you can get at 7 eleven, seeing how its the same level of quality then I might start going back. But otherwise I will wait for the Blu Ray release for almost everything. This year's exceptions looking to be Thor and Cap, but that is it.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:34 p.m. CST

    The movie industry is what, only a century old?

    by bmcapers

    Looking forward to the future.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:35 p.m. CST

    by cookylamoo

    by emeraldboy

    i whole heartedly agree with you on that. and the not on saturday/ not sunday times. arrrggggghhhh

  • April 20, 2011, 1:36 p.m. CST

    It's like what I discovered about Porn.

    by cookylamoo

    You don't need other people in the room to Whack Off.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:37 p.m. CST

    You know what I miss? XXX theaters...


    fucking VCRs, man.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Seeing The Matrix for the 1st time was fucking amazing

    by zillabeast

    Talk about out of left field....I think it took us all by storm.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:39 p.m. CST



    You almost read my mind.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:41 p.m. CST

    I don't like people raving about the theater experience

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Who basically get to see every movie in the theater for free because they're "the press." Most normal people can only afford to see a few films a year becase ticket prices are out of control. I love going to the movie, but can no longer afford to, I wait for DVD because otherwise I wouldn't see anything new at all.


  • April 20, 2011, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Funny Michael Mann's name is on there

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Since his last two films looked like shit in the movie theater and actually looked better on DVD/Blu-Ray.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:45 p.m. CST

    I say support you local art or revival theater

    by Samuel Fulmer

    At least they can make good popcorn that usually isn't as expensive as at the big chains.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:45 p.m. CST

    I don't care for al these self righteous editorial articles

    by Cartagia

    That we've been getting lately. "Beaks think Kill Bill should get a Blu Ray release!" "Nordling thinks we should go to the movies!" "Harry likes cookies!" We get it, if you are going to do an editorial, make it actually about something. Now, as for the theatrical experience. Nothing beats it. Period. I saw "The Room" in a sold out theater 2 weeks ago here in Nashville. One of the best nights I've had in a long time. But, my favorite story comes from the midnight showing Episode II. Right in the middle of the arena sequence. When Mace and Jango are facing each other down. Everyone was on the edge of their seat. You could feel the excitement buzzing through air. Then the charged each other, and Mace sliced Jango's head off in a single deft movement. Everyone became dead silent for a full 5-10 seconds. You could hear a pin drop. Then everyone exploded with applause and cheering. It was amazing.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Fuck the movie theater

    by shitstorm23

    It sucks, I hate when my wife wants to go. Over-priced & annoying. I'm fine taking my kid to see some kids movie as I expect a hundred kids to be loud and crying, but other than that, I fucking hate the place. People texting all the time and then getting an attitude when I tell them to stop. Not to mention the people that need to comment on obvious things, like they feel the need to point out they understand the plot or have figured out a twist. Just shut the fuck up. <P> It's time for a change, let me watch new movies on PPV from my house, even at a premium price would be fine. <p> I do love the movie theater popcorn though.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Me either cartagia

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Especially when it's coming from people that more than likely aren't paying to go to most of the films they see in theaters. Hell I'd love it too if I got to go see a bunch of films at a theater for free.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Who actually wastes money on concessions?

    by D.Vader

    I mean, if you complain about that, well you're just asking for trouble.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Ticket prices go up, films get worse

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Seriously, there are maybe 20 films a year that warrent even wasting your time watching at home, let alone in theaters. The only two films I saw last year in theaters was Inception and True Grit. And no, I did not fall asleep during Inception.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Matrix and Phantom Menace Summer ...


    Was the last truly great fucking summer I can remember ... The Matrix provided the genuine quality, Menace provided the build-up excitement and genuine feeling of childhood wonder. Sure it sucked donkey dick but what an event.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:55 p.m. CST

    I saw many films in 2007

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Because ticket prices were a couple of bucks lower where I live, and there were a number of excellent films. Once the prices got jacked up and the films being shown weren't as good, I haven't even come close to seeing the number of films I watched in that one year in theaters.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:56 p.m. CST

    I grew up in the grand old days of kid matinees.

    by cookylamoo

    When parents would drop their seven to fourteen-year olds off at a movie theater and then fuck all day while their kids enjoyed a triple feature of hammer horror films. Fun for us...more fun for them. But today, parents are obliged to keep their kids chained to them at all times. Instead of fucking they actually have to watch films like Madagascar.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Also Ticket prices go up, actual number of tickets sold are down

    by Samuel Fulmer

  • April 20, 2011, 1:57 p.m. CST

    they actually have to watch films like Madagascar

    by Samuel Fulmer

    cookylamoo-This might explain the high divorce rate!

  • April 20, 2011, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Two things:

    by falconsclaw

    First, I can't help but notice Steven Speilberg's almost glaring absense from this list. Was he not contacted or was his opinion not in harmony with the others who signed? An accomplished director and producer like Speilberg would have definitely added weight to this argument as well as made most theater owners stand up and take notice. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Speilberg is the be-all and end-all of movie making; but there are many people inside and outside the industry that respect the man and his works and would have been interested in what he had to say. Second, a good number of the names on this list DO know how to put butts in the seats of theaters and they do it well. Almost half of them have put out pictures in the last ten years that have either broken box-office records or won critical acclaim which resulted in higher box-office revenues. That said, what about the ones who are actually generating those films that aren't making money? The fact is, for every "Avatar", there are ten to twenty "Gulliver's Travels". People are having a hard time justifying the "movie-going experience" and all it's costs when the local multiplex is only showing "Alvin and the Chipmunks 3" in four houses and "Saw 16" in the other ten. Frequent visitors to this site are well aware of the problems Hollywood has coming up with original ideas but there has to be some accountability on the side of the studios who continue to generate crap movies just so we can get all excited when a truly great one comes along. If that means certain studios (and theaters) have to lose their shirt because they choose to put films out that no one wants to see, then so be it.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:58 p.m. CST

    No one knows how to behave in a theater

    by rockhpi

    When audiences shut up and turn of the phone and stop stomping up and down the stairs, and theaters grow some balls and start tossing people out for being disruptive, I'll go back to the theaters. Until then, it's for special films only and Wednesday at 11AM if I can.

  • April 20, 2011, 1:59 p.m. CST

    Movie Theater Prime Time

    by drkhelmet

    Best times to go and be undisturbed - early afternoon and 10pm shows during the week. Other than that, you will be lucky to get a good audience at a 7pm slot on a Saturday night. Damn those kids kicking the seat - SHUT THE HELL UP YOU!!! If I see one more flash of light from some kid texting I will scream....okay and scene...

  • April 20, 2011, 1:59 p.m. CST

    It is something endemic, Norling is right about that

    by D.Vader

    Society is becoming one that increasingly prefers to be "shut in", one that avoids actual human contact, and one where you can get everything you need with a click of the button. Its WALL-E people. And you know it.

  • April 20, 2011, 2 p.m. CST

    Nordling Regurgitates Conventional Wisdom, Belabors Point!


  • April 20, 2011, 2:01 p.m. CST

    1999 was awesome period

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, too many good films to list.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:02 p.m. CST

    "No one knows how to behave in a theater"


    In the UK thats not a huge problem .... I've been disturbed once in years of going ... and that was a bunch of Spanish students who had been taken there because their teachers had time to kill (Didn't help that we were all watching Miami Vice!)

  • April 20, 2011, 2:04 p.m. CST

    You forgot to mention audio quality.

    by OgieOglethorpe

    Poor audio quality due to inferior systems, blown speakers, incompetently set up systems.. these things every bit as much as picture quality determine which theater in the Dallas area I attend. The sound doesn't have to shake my seat and deafen me, but it does need to be distortion-free, distinct and discrete. Few things annoy me more than paying to hear a surround movie downmixed to stereo because some idiot didn't turn the knob to the right setting.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Slasher Films especially suck in theatres.

    by cookylamoo

    At home, you can watch Drew Barrymore get stabbed OVER AND OVER. In the theatre, it's there and it's gone.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:06 p.m. CST

    In the next 10 years

    by eric haislar

    you will be able to watch a new film the day it comes out at home. either by sat or internet. The tech is here. The studios just need to except the fact that the theater as awesome as they are are dying. Why go out when you can stay home and have bunch of friends over and watch Transformers 6 on you HD tv screen. It's going to happen people. Hell i bet it happens in the next 5 years.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Yep society is becoming more shut-in Vader

    by Samuel Fulmer

    That's why when I hear people go, "But...but people will always want to get together and watch a film with a crowd," just sound naive and more what they wish, not reality. Sure unless someone has some kind of social phobia they would love to have that ideal shared theater experience, but that happens what, one out of ten times. Usually you go and idiots are yacking on their bluetooths, fat people are farting while they are splattering popcorn goo everywhere, an autistic kid is screaming, and some couple is having an arguement.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:08 p.m. CST

    i don't see a big deal...

    by vicmackey1268

    Ok, so here's what I've heard, and if I'm wrong, I apologize up front... 1) These movies will be, on average, showing on directv 60 days after being in the theater... 2) They will not be "new releases" in a sense, because, especially during the summer months, movies usually don't stay in theaters too too long cuz theaters are rattling off movies (July has a major blockbuster hitting every week). 3) Filmmakers MUST be getting a profit from these home sales as well. Bottom line, by the time that 60 day train rolls around people have moved on to a different new film anyway, theaters show decreased times for the film, and its usually either the die-hard fans (seeing HP for the 5th time), or older people with nothing better to do. IMO, putting this out there will only increase revenue for the movie. While theaters might see a tiny slump, no one really enjoys being the only peopl in the theater during a blockbuster or comedy (except old people who hate crowds and teens who usually txt during movies anyway)...meanwhile, allllll the families who loved the movie opening weekend don't have to drag their lazy asses to redbox cuz their little kids all time favorite movie (until the next one comes out) is OnDemand... I think as long as the window is 60 days or later we're all fine. There are some movies I can wait to see on dvd anyway and I dont think this service is going to change that. Movies like Capt America, Transformers 3, and ESPECIALLY Harry Potter already have such a huge following you couldn't pry those people away from their midnight/opening weekend shows. Plus, remember theres a HUGE chunk of people who have Comcast and DishNetwork that will be looking forward to seeing that old movie in theaters anyway. In summary...meh, idiots who wanna see a movie for ten bucks more than the bluray, prolly 30 days before the bluray hits, fine, be stupid...I have my AMC Silver Passes I got for $6.50 so I'll be seeing the same movie as you, for cheaper, the 2nd weekend its out, on a bigger screen, and then using the money I saved to buy the bluray...

  • April 20, 2011, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Hoo boy! Get a load of this bit:


    "When Sam carried Frodo on the slopes of Mount Doom, I turned around to watch the audience, my own eyes filled with tears, to see hundreds of eyes reflecting their own tears, and for someone like me, it makes you feel like you're a part of something larger than yourself. I'm not a religious person, but I've found the closest thing I know to God in a movie theater." Why the fuck were you looking at the audience when something you consider so moving and powerful is happening on the screen?

  • April 20, 2011, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Haven't been to a movie in a while

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    It's just unappealing ... If I knew I had a good chance of not getting annoyed by some asshole(s) I'd go. But that aint gonna happen.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:09 p.m. CST

    The closest thing to God I found in a movie theater came when I was 22.


    And she came and came again and again.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Best theatre experience of all time

    by BlaGyver

    Technically this goes against what Nordling says, but I feel like a story right about now... I was a wee lad when Attack of the Clones came out....4th grade I think. Ended up seeing the movie a month or so after it came out for a friend's birthday party. We saw a noon showing on a Friday and had all gotten pulled out of school early for it (to ward off any "that's what's wrong with parenting these days, this was not a regular occurrence. Special occasion). The theatre was completely empty except for us. Eight or nine 10 year old boys seeing a Star Wars movie on a Friday that we had gotten out of school early for. We were positively giddy. We ran down to the front and had imaginary lightsaber fights through the trailers. We had them again through all of the romance bits on Naboo (even ten year olds know shit when we see it). But then the Battle of Geonosis came on. AOTC is my least favorite Star Wars film, but that battle looks fucking spectacular on a big screen when you're ten. Credits rolled and we walked out of the theatre arguing over who got to be which character. I distinctly remember getting to be Kit Fisto, which was awesome. Best day at the movies ever.

  • Back in the day, BEFORE TV's....we needed theaters. It was the only way to see a movie. Then, when we did get TV's...they sucked. 13" pieces of shit. It wasnt a cool experience. But nowadys I have the option of watching movies on a 73" DLP or my 55" 3D LED TV. I'll take that over a theater any day. There's absolutely NO advantage to watching a movie in a theater. Did you seriously talk about the darkness as being an advantage? Well turn your fucking lights off! The size isnt an issue anymore. There are very good HD projectors you can buy for $1000. Make your own theater. You're not excited for being in a're excited that you're getting to see a brand new movie. Don't confuse the two.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:11 p.m. CST

    It's like a restaurant

    by Samuel Fulmer

    If the food and service is terrible, and it's overpriced, are you really going to keep going back?

  • April 20, 2011, 2:13 p.m. CST

    I saw Bill Hicks: American in a tiny theater this weekend

    by schadenfreudian

    (The Grand Illusion in Seattle) They had a stand up comic come out and do a few minutes before the show, which was cool. But there were STILL a coupe of assholes in the 70 or so seat theater who talked during the movie. So, yeah, I'm torn on the theatrical experience.

  • Nah, I'd prefer to go to the theater.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:14 p.m. CST

    The theatre "experience"

    by pachaim

    I don't buy it. All this talk about the "communal experience" you get at the theatre comes from nostalgic film buffs who have been watching their films this way for decades. These days, everything and everyone is connected. You don't need to listen to people buzzing as you walk out of The Matrix to get a feel for its revolutionary impact, you get that through the internet. The real appeal of the theatre is the viewing experience that you simply cannot get anywhere else. Watching a blu-ray at home is great, but it's still no movie theatre. That, and the fact that you have no choice but to hit a theatre to see a film in a reasonable timeframe. So it's not surprising that these filmmakers are afraid of people avoiding the theatre - they already want to, but right now they don't have a choice. Execs and filmmakers need to figure out a way to make the industry work while giving people that choice, lest they fall into the same trap as the music industry, thinking they can fight back against the winds of change.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Nordling Turned Around

    by cookylamoo

    Because the Sam and Frodo scene was giving him a hard-on.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:15 p.m. CST

    cookylamoo, that's the point

    by D.Vader

    It forces you to pay attention. No rewind in the theater.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:15 p.m. CST

    American: The Bill Hicks Story, that is

    by schadenfreudian

    Carry on.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:15 p.m. CST

    I actually do get excited when I go into a theater.

    by D.Vader

    The anticipation in the room is palpable.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:16 p.m. CST

    "Well, Nordling, that was a very nice essay. What did you think of it, class?"


    "No questions? ... Okay, well, if there aren't going to be any questions, please take out your math textbooks and turn to page 78 and begin reading the chapter on long division. Your homework will be the first ten exercises at the back of the chapter. There will be a quiz tomorrow."

  • April 20, 2011, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Great article

    by ltgalloway

    I started going to movies at the theater in the early 90's which wasn't so very long ago, but even I am nostalgic for the way things used to be. I don't mind going out of my way for a good theater experience. The last time this happened was at Duncan Jones' "Moon". Also, I don't feel 3D necessarily equals a good theater experience. For me it feels like more like tunnel vision. That's all I wanted to add. I hope this article will have an impact on someone out there.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:18 p.m. CST


    by D.Vader

    I feel you missed the point about the communal experience.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Best Movie experience was seeing the Solaris Remake

    by eric haislar

    I was the only one in the theater( I am not joking, no one else was there.) Watched the whole thing memorized with no interruptions. It was awesome. Last time I felt like that was when I was watching Inception for the first time on Blu at home on my 60 inch HDTV. The theater does not matter, only the film.

  • That's the problem, VicMackey. You know it won't stay that way.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Keep getting stung its going to start hurting ...


    Probably 70% of movies I watch in the cinema disappoint .... you then start thinking about the £7.95 fee you just paid.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:19 p.m. CST

    To med igital projection cheapens the experience

    by Samuel Fulmer

    And it looks like film is going away. The two films that I watched last year in theaters were True Grit and Inception, two films that were shot on film that were projected on film that looked amazing.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Way too many options at the concessions stand

    by drewlicious

    I'll never understand why anyone buys anything outside of soda, popcorn, and maybe nachos at the movie theater. It's all overpriced but at least with those things the quantities are large. But now at the the theater I go to they can buy pretzels, hot dogs, pizza, health food, and cappuccinnos. These are all foods you'll chow down in a minute tops. Plus they all take longer to make so you're waiting in line an additional few minutes. This will detract from the movie going experience in the long run because the more food you have in a crowded theater the more it will stink. In a 3D movie you'll also have more kids throwing up that expensive food. I just cross my fingers that I'm not going to be the first person scalded my movie theater coffee. Some jackass shows up to the movie late with a cup of super hot liquid and its so dark you can't see two feet in front of you. What could go wrong with that?

  • April 20, 2011, 2:21 p.m. CST

    "I was the only one in the theater"


    Nice .... My mate and I have often been close to this .... Most recently a late showing of Predators, we almost got the Holy Grail then an old man with a packed lunch walked in.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:21 p.m. CST

    My best theater experience

    by blackmantis

    Was seeing The Rocketeer in the El Capitan's opening week in Hollywood. Not the greatest move ever, entertaining, but it was the whole experience. Watched it twice in a row. The theater was gorgeously restored, they hand dancing girls before the show, and the sound was to this day the best sound I've ever heard in a theater. Thunderously loud. I went again a week later and I think they turned it down some. Runner up is Apocalypse Now in 70mm at the Cinerama dome. Also saw Ben-Hur and Lawrence of Arabia there in 70mm. Doesn't get any better.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Why D£FUCK should I drop $15 on yet another franchise "genre" movie that


    amounts to nothing more than a glorified trailer for the next installment in the series? Riddle me that, Batmanster.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:21 p.m. CST

    theaters are dead

    by LethargicJ

    They have been dead for a long time and are only still around because of life support. And that's why I don't get the VOD complaint. This VOD idea isn't going to kill the theater, this VOD idea only exists because the theaters are ALREADY DEAD. The only people holding on to the movie theater experience are the same type of people who hated the invention of TV because it would kill their precious radio programs. Things change, things evolve. It's 2011. In this day and age it makes less and less sense to pay for movie tickets when you have a MUCH better way to watch movies at home. People who are complaining about the death of movie theaters really sound like a bunch of out of touch Grandmothers.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:23 p.m. CST


    by eric haislar

    It's never happened again. My buddy and I saw GI Joe after it had been in the theater for like 2 months. 2 mins before that abortion started some kids walked in. So close! God i new that movie was going to suck but wow it really blew me away by just how fucking awful it truly is.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:25 p.m. CST

    "this VOD idea only exists because the theaters are ALREADY DEAD."


    lethargicj, couldn't have said it better myself. The cost of seeing movies in theaters has been inflating for a while now, as has the amount of tweenybopper-skewed film programming. Meaning, of course, more fuckfaces in the theater. And then, considering that corporations own the biggest, most advanced theaters, they're going to be run largely by young people making shit pay who don't give a flying fuck whether you enjoy yourself.

  • And yes, I have been that fortunate. And yes, I did take advantage of the situation.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:27 p.m. CST


    by eric haislar

    I saw that movie with my parents! I remember that as a awesome movie experience. I also remember seeing Batman 89 (I was 8) with my dad and after the movie we where both so jazzed, he drove the car home like it was the bat mobile and hit the garage door opener right before we got there so we could enter the garage just like batman entered the bat cave.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Hey! .... This is actually a damn good talkback ...


  • April 20, 2011, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Yes it is, ginge.


    I guess I have to begrudgingly give credit to Nordling for that.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Movie Theaters are like Video Stores

    by Samuel Fulmer

    I like living in a world the option of visiting one exists, but when they both finally disappear I won't be shocked.

  • ... And that was for Grindhouse. I saw it opening night at the Chinese Theater. Everyone there knew what to expect and we all ate it up. Arclight is better then the average chain... but they still aren't perfect. God bless their advanced seating options. Like everyone else has said... Theaters need to step up and actually ENFORCE the no-talking, no-phones rules. I'm sick of having to tell people to shut up or put their cells away. Why do I have to police the fucking theater? I thought that's what ushers were for. The people are what keep me from the theaters, not prices. I can enjoy a film much more at home on my 61" 1080p screen with a blu-ray disc and my 7.1 audio setup, then I ever could at a theater with people chomping away (seemingly with mouths wide-open), krinkling wrapers, yapping at each other, texting, etc. Fuck theaters. They need to put some effort into their profession. Simple as that.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:31 p.m. CST

    this was a brilliant article

    by Mark Leffler

    and reflected a lot of my thinking over the last few years.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Movie trailers suck now too

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Everything is packaged like something you've seen a million times so even if it's a good original-ish film, you wouldn't know it from the trailer.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Let it go

    by vikingkitty

    I used to love going to the movies, but with society's continual decline in manners (which seems inversely proportional to the birth rates of the lower classes being kept alive by money stolen from their betters by self-serving politicians), why would I subject myself to the punishment which inevitably accompanies such outings today?

  • April 20, 2011, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Maybe they need to bring back vertical integration

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Maybe then the studios will feel a little more accountability for all the bad films they put out that fail at the box office.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Best experience in a theater?

    by D.Vader

    I'm having a hard time thinking of one moment. I've had LOTS of great ones- Star Wars movies, LOTR, etc- but they all blur together and don't have a specific moment, like the above stories about Ep.II. I can remember a specific experience that surprised me in how fun it was. I went out with a lot of restaurant friends to see "Mamma Mia". One of the leaders of the group was a gay guy who loved ABBA, so we all went opening night for his birthday. I wasn't really interested, but I hadn't been to the theater in a long time (my gf actively avoids them). And I was shocked at how much fun it was, with over half of the theater singing along with what happened onscreen. I'd never been to a Rocky Horror Picture show screening, but I imagine that's a little bit of what its like. That was a surprisingly fun time, a good communal experience.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:34 p.m. CST

    I used to be at the the theater constantly

    by Jaster

    Now I rarely go. My home system beats the shit out of any theater, except for size of course. At 58" it's nothing to sneeze at though and I'll trade razor-sharp picture detail and awesome directional 7.1 surround sound for the theater any day. I can buy the Blu-ray with shitloads of features, better sound and better video than the theatrical experience for about the same price of admission. Hell I can even get better 3D at home. Plus I can start it whenever I want, pause whenever I want and switch over to my HTPC and check my email, take a piss or whatever. To top it all off I don't have to deal with fuckheads flipping open their phones and telling each other about their day. The ONLY reason to go to the theater at this point is for a film that's so awesome looking you can't wait the 4 months for the Blu-ray. Those are few and far between.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:35 p.m. CST

    No one is going to pay $30 to see a movie in their own home and NOT own it

    by Billy_D_Williams

    The high price to go see a movie at a movie theater makes sense if you have a family of two or three four because you're going out on the town, the screen is huge, the sound huge, and its a communal're paying for all those things because you dont get them at home. Now for studios to ask people to pay $30 to see a two month old theatrical release on their 40 inch plasma with their kids running around, who may not even stay to finish the movie, doesn't make much sense when they can easily just get a netflix dvd or blu ray rental, or blockbuster rental of a fairly new rental for a fraction of that price. after two months of playing in a theater, its only going to be another month or so before it's on dvd/blu ray anyway, and it will be waaaaay cheaper to rent it on netflix. I just dont understand the logic of the $30 price point here, or why people would pay it, and i've been talking about families, what about single people or just couples, especially if you're talking romantic comedies and if this was day and date with the theatrical release (god help us), then they'd have a point, but the $30 makes absolutely no fucking sense...though i'm sure that price will sink like a rock soon after when they dont get any takers. Thank God i live in Hollywood...the arclight is a God pay a higher ticket price, but its like going to the opera or get to pick your seat, so you dont have to show up 30 minutes before to find a seat, you just waltz in as the movie is starting and plop right down; no annoying ass late comers looking for a seat, blocking the fucking screen with their giant fucking heads (the ushers even escort you to your seat)...there is a short, live presentation before the movie starts stating facts and stats about the film and the filmmakers involved by an articulate theater worker, not some illiterate pimple faced wankster teen...the auditoriums are immaculately clean and nice smelling....the presentation is beyond incredible; they have the best picture/sound combo in the world, and regularly change their projection bulbs, so you always get a bright, crisp, clear picture with gut thumping surround sound (seeing The Dark Knight was an orgasm inducing experience) you can even buy beers and drinks for the 21+ screenings...and my personal favorite; they even have a ZERO tolerance policy for noisy guests...they will eject your ass faster than a hooker from a hotel room after sex if you're caught talking excessively or using your cell phone...i fucking love that shit. actually my real favorite is my number one complaint about theaters now: NO FUCKING COMMERICIaLS...there are no annoying, soul sucking ads, ONLY previews, just like the old days. Oh, i almost forgot NO fucking top 40 pop music hits playing before the light dim, you know that terrible Britney Spears/Lady Gaga vomit inducing pop bullshit...the arclight actually plays original movie score soundtracks, YES, its pretty fucking awesome to enter a clean, crisp, nice smelling theater, escorted to your seat and hearing John Williams or Jerry Goldsmith music playing lightly over the speakers...fucking awesome shit. The arclight is truly a cinema lover's dream, even the lobby looks like some futuristic train station ( often see celebrities there too, i've seen plenty...i remember when Lucas showed the 30th anniversary of Empire Strikes Back there, he and Harrison Ford were trotting around the lobby. if you dont live here, i highly recommend visiting hollywood just to go to the arclight, yes im serious, its that good and truly worth the trip. I haven't even mentioned the cinerama dome, the original property before arclight took over...incredible 4K projector on a giant wrap around screen with skull exploding (but not overly harsh) opinion of the prequels aside, seeing Revenge Of the Sith in the "dome" as we call it, was nearly a religious experience...the experience actually made the movie seem better than it was shot digital and projected at 4K, so there was no loss in quality, in fact it was like the screen wasn't even there and we were all hallucinating the movie in hyper real quality....though I hear Lucas doesn't like the dome because of the curved nature of the screen, and i agree with him...generally i avoid the dome for most releases, but its worth the trade off for the incredible presentation....sitting too close to the screen can cause motion sickness (you dont even have to be in the first few rows), yes, it's that fucking big and does not lose quality over the huge screen size because of the 4K projector.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Oh! How can we all forget this one?

    by D.Vader

    The crowds laughing every time M. Night's name popped up onscreen during the trailers for DEVIL. Come on, that was UNIVERSAL!

  • I loved seeing No Country for Old Men in a small arthouse theater. The room was packed with, say, about 200 people tops. If anyone had a problem with the ending, they kept it to themselves. When I went to see it again at a matinee in a multiplex, there were about 15 other people in there, and at the end two of them, a couple of yahoos sitting next to each other, yelled out like jackasses and one made fart noises. I followed them to their car and "corrected" them. Those two chodes knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the CHOP that day, I can tell you!

  • April 20, 2011, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Fuck everything about theatres except the audiovisual quality

    by golden tribw

    I like what the theatrical experience OUGHT to be, but it is almost never that. Pools of spilled coke sticking your feet to the ground. Entire families that won't stop talking through a feature. Idiotic comments, inappropriate laughter. Old people with nasty fucking breath who sit behind you and breath their dessication all over you for two hours. Toddlers who cry. The glow of that asshole's cellphone as he texts from two rows in front of you. UNCOMFORTABLE FUCKING SEATS! Shared armrests .... There's a hell of a lot to hate about going to the theatre, even forgetting about the line-ups and crowding, the time/cost of travelling there in the first place, and the money invariably spent on tickets and offensively overpriced junk food. That said, I love seeing things on the big screen and hearing them in crystal clarity. But what ought to be a purity of experience is almost invariably adulterated by bullshit. When I saw HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN with my best friend for his birthday, everything went right, we didn't buy concessions, the audience was in the right mood (and there weren't too many people crowding into an R flick at 2pm) but the theatre had it cranked at literally 1.5x the usual volume, it was almost literally earsplitting and I had a headache nearly instantly (and that's a fucking LOUD movie). Finally, I couldn't give a fuck less if James Cameron and Michael Bay (and that cunt bitch Kathryn Bigelow, god HURT LOCKER was fucking abominably bad in every way) are whining about their profit margins. Those idiots churn out the biggest money-makers of every year even when they suck balls (Transformers XYZ). If you want me to give a shit, get some actual artists in a story like this one, not the usual suspects who break box office records on a weekly basis, because it's insulting to imagine those megabillionaires gathering for a televised announcement that the cinematic experience is going extinct, oh, and by the way they aren't making as much money as they deserve any more. Del Toro is the only name on that list I actually give a shit about, and aside from him Peter Jackson is the only one with any integrity. I don't want to crap on Michael Mann but he hasn't made a good movie in a decade. Let's hear from Cronenberg and Cuaron and Hillcoat and Haneke and Jean-Marc Vallée on the subject. Kubrick would have had plenty to say, and it would have been insightful and articulate, not rubbish, and I guarantee it wouldn't sound like such desperately self-serving pablum coming from a genius like him. Cameron, Bay, Bigelow, Abrams, .... whatever. I don't care what they have to say about anything.

  • GOOD! Keep them out of the fucking theatre!

  • April 20, 2011, 2:39 p.m. CST

    audiovisual quality-Sadly

    by Samuel Fulmer

    There have been too many instances in the past decade where I went to see a film where the focus was way off, the projection bulbs were too dim, or one of the speakers was about ready to blow. You tell the one douche you can find there who isn't working concessions and they look at you like you're speaking an alien tongue.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Stupidest movie theater experience...dig this...

    by darthderp

    I live in the southern New England area. One of the nearby theater chains offers Red Sox games shown in high-def on one of the screens. You read that right. A baseball game, in the movie theater. Simply a giant High-Def TV screen. With pseudo-Fenway Franks available. I only ended up going with my older kids when I got free passes to one of the games for helping out coaching their baseball teams. Otherwise I would not have bothered. We only stayed for a few innings; the Sox were losing anyways. That was a few years ago; we have not been back since, and I have no desire to.

  • Didn't Uwe Boll want to protect his bottom line too?? What a bunch of shit directors.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:40 p.m. CST

    I saw Willem DaFoe at the Arclight

    by D.Vader

    He walked by and had a very bemused smile on his face.

  • Ghostbusters 1984 .... I was 10 years old with my Bro and Mum, the whole audience sang the theme and laughed at every joke and funny moment .... Incredible experience that has never been bettered ...

  • Thus killing the conversation.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Gordon & Hurd don't even direct!

    by golden tribw

  • April 20, 2011, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Stephen Gyllenhaal is a nobody.

    by golden tribw

  • April 20, 2011, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Cameron is just mad because

    by Samuel Fulmer

    When you watch Avatar at home and not in Imax 3-D the film becomes that much more of a joke. Sorry man, but that is the cheesiest film I've ever seen that isn't called Batman and Robin. Hell, Costner's The Postman was less cheesy, and that was flaming nacho level cheese!

  • April 20, 2011, 2:44 p.m. CST


    by Samuel Fulmer

    He didn't have a stocking on his head and say to you, "Those are dummies, dummy" did he?

  • April 20, 2011, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Bill Mechanic was CEO of Fox

    by golden tribw

  • April 20, 2011, 2:45 p.m. CST

    My favorite theatrical experience...

    by sapno_krei

    YOUNG GUNS. Much of the packed audience seemed to be people who got shut out of the sold out DIE HARD, so everyone was in a mood, but the movie turned out to be great fun, with people hooting and hollering and cheering at all the right moments (one guy even *barked* when a dog appeared).

  • April 20, 2011, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Stephen Gyllenhaal squirted out Jake and Maggie!

    by Samuel Fulmer

  • April 20, 2011, 2:46 p.m. CST

    OK, I guess the theater experience is good for certain movies.

    by rev_skarekroe

    Snakes On A Plane, for example. Otherwise, fuck it.


  • For me, it was Song of the South; my parents took me to see a re-issue of it. I think I was 3 or 4 at the time. Second movie was a few months later, a re-release of Star Wars. I've never been the same since.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Karyn Kusama ... who the fuck is Karyn Kusama???

    by golden tribw

    The correct answer is NOBODY GIVES A FUCK

  • April 20, 2011, 2:46 p.m. CST

    the theatrical experience today is primarily for teenagers

    by Billy_D_Williams

    just read the comments here, fanboys bitching about commercials, bad presentation, high prices...and it's not that they're wrong in their complaints, but they're simply not in the demographic anymore because they've developed a little something called "standards"...teens on the other hand have very little standards and almost ZERO fucking taste...studios have known this for years, why do you think the target demographic for most movies is 13 - 25 (or something close to that)...because after 25 you develop taste and standards and the ridiculously low standards of theaters (and movies) becomes fucking annoying, so you stop going. teenagers on the other hand are easy to please, generally dont complain as long as they're out of the house away of their parents with their bubble gum chewing brat friends, and there is something bright, loud and colorful in front of them...its also why the general quality of the films themselves these days is fucking terrible...its a teenager's market folks.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Samuel Fulmer

    by D.Vader

    No, he was completely nude and banging Charlotte Gainsbourg in black and white slow-motion.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:50 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    The people.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Too much money and too many assholes...

    by alienindisguise

    I can watch any movie on a 40 inch hdtv and not have some dumbfucks chattering or fucking with their cells. Theaters are dead to me.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:50 p.m. CST

    What does Tripp Vinson have to say about this?

    by Samuel Fulmer

  • April 20, 2011, 2:50 p.m. CST

    First movie for me

    by D.Vader

    Was either ROTJ or E.T. when I was, what, 3? Or since movies stayed in the theater longer or got rereleased, I guess I could have been older. I remember my dad taking me to stores after E.T. to find an E.T. toy, but they were all sold out and all we could find was cross-dressing E.T., and nobody wants that for a toy.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:51 p.m. CST

    As long as he didn't throw a pumpkin bomb at you!

    by Samuel Fulmer

  • April 20, 2011, 2:51 p.m. CST

    What does AICN's Real Ninja have to say about this?

    by D.Vader

  • April 20, 2011, 2:51 p.m. CST

    list your terrible theater experiences now...

    by Billy_D_Williams

    i remember one time some old lady didn't speak english and her fat companion sat next to her and actually translated the movie to her for 2 not fucking kidding, i was about ready to kill somebody.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Well, I'm not going to shed any tears. This is what your generation wanted anyway.


    To be a culture of shut-ins, with your Kindles, Twitters, Droids and iPads. "Talk to people? What's that? I'll just tweet them." "Manners? What are those? And how do they apply to Facebook?" "'Civility'? Pshaw. You're too old-fashioned." Well, Generation Whine, here's the Change You Can Believe In.™

  • April 20, 2011, 2:53 p.m. CST

    I read that in the old days...

    by lostboytexas

    people used to drive to a large building and pay lots of money just to see a movie!!! Sure, some flicks look great on a big-ass screen BUT movie quality has deteriorated and is now barely worth a free download. Also, people are cunts and having to sit among a bunch of them to watch a fucking stupid movie is insanity! The Alamo Drafthouse is overrated as fuck. Design-wise, its like a NY peep show palace circa 1984. And who the fuck wants to watch a film when people are eating full-course meals and drinking beer, not to mention these fucking waiters running amock? Theaters should just die like Blockbuster did. VOD 24/7/365 bitches!

  • April 20, 2011, 2:54 p.m. CST


    by eric haislar

    Why not? I pay 30 bucks to take my wife and I to the theater?

  • April 20, 2011, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Terrib(ly funny) theater experience

    by D.Vader

    Seeing "Hannibal" and "The Talented Mr. Ripley" at the theater on campus in college with a projectionist who didn't understand how to properly frame the picture. With "Mr. Ripley", we saw boom mics in every shot. The funniest was a wide of him and some others on a stage at a piano. You could clearly see a microphone just hanging from the ceiling pointed straight at the piano's body. Hannibal suffered when Liotta's head was cut open at the end. The brain was completely cut off by the top of the screen due to low framing.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:56 p.m. CST


    by eric haislar

    Bambi I think, my mom took me to the re release.

  • April 20, 2011, 2:58 p.m. CST

    CHOPPAH's first theater experience was seeing Jimmy Whale's Frankenstein in its first run.


  • April 20, 2011, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Seeing The Two Towers on its opening night...

    by D.Vader

    I was in college. I had a group of teens behind me talking incessantly during previews. That's fine, I understand, the lights are still somewhat on, and the real movie hasn't started. Its annoying but not out of the question. Stop when the movie starts, and its okay. Then we start getting shots of the Misty Mountains, Howard Shore's score is swelling, and you can barely make out the sounds of Gandalf shouting at the Balrog. These nitwits *continued* to talk at full volume during this somewhat poetic opening. So I finally wheeled around, looked them dead in the eye, and spat out "GUYS. SERIOUSLY." They sat up straight and quickly responded "Yes sir. We'll be quiet now sir." I didn't hear a peep out of them for the rest of the movie. Someone raised those kids right.

  • Once the boom mic shows up on the film (meaning someone fucked up during production), what is a projectionist supposed to do about that?

  • April 20, 2011, 3 p.m. CST


    by eric haislar

    I was thinking the same thing. Why could you even see the mikes at all?

  • April 20, 2011, 3:02 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    Jesus it's psychotic people like you that scare me away from going to the theater.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:02 p.m. CST


    by D.Vader

    What the camera sees when recording is something more like a giant square. Within that square, you've got various other squares and rectangles to show you the framing lines for when it will be presented in 4:3 or in widescreen. So if you're shooting wide, as long as the boom is above that rectangle in the frame, you're good to go. From what I've been told, when you receive films at a theater, its still within this square, and its up to the projectionist to matte it properly when shown. I thought it was weird at first. I couldn't believe a big deal studio film like "Ripley" would have so many shots with a boom mic in it. One shot was okay I guess- maybe they didn't have enough time to reshoot. But the next scene? And the next? Over the piano? I was astounded. Then I learned the projectionist screwed up.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:02 p.m. CST

    The Passion of The c

    by reddwarfcas

  • April 20, 2011, 3:02 p.m. CST

    The Passion of The c

    by reddwarfcas

  • April 20, 2011, 3:02 p.m. CST

    The Passion of The c

    by reddwarfcas

  • April 20, 2011, 3:02 p.m. CST

    The Passion of The c

    by reddwarfcas

  • April 20, 2011, 3:02 p.m. CST

    The Passion of The c

    by reddwarfcas

  • April 20, 2011, 3:02 p.m. CST

    The Passion of The c

    by reddwarfcas

  • April 20, 2011, 3:02 p.m. CST

    Don't ask me how it works, though

    by D.Vader

    When I look back at the projector, I see the whole thing, I don't see a matte in front of it to block out the unwanted parts of the frame.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:03 p.m. CST


    by golden tribw

  • April 20, 2011, 3:03 p.m. CST


    by D.Vader

    If I really wanted to scare them I would have said "PLEASE."

  • April 20, 2011, 3:03 p.m. CST


    by reddwarfcas

    Sorry about that. Damn.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:03 p.m. CST

    A Misunderstanding Between Theaters and Studios

    by Shannon Nutt

    The studios have clearly come out and said they would NOT be applying the 60-day rule to movies that were doing WELL at the box other words, movies going on-demand would only be ones that weren't playing in theaters anymore anyway. So instead of having a gap between the movie leaving the theater and hitting home video, that gap would be filled by this "premium" period - which would actually result in MORE money for the film in question. The studios are just trying to maximize their profit...why theaters (and some filmmakers) don't see this, is anyone's guess.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:03 p.m. CST

    AVATAR 4 through 6 now being written

    by golden tribw

  • April 20, 2011, 3:04 p.m. CST

    I have to agree with this article.

    by MoffatBabies

    But I don't think people need to be terribly concerned about a 30 dollar On Demand view being any kind of a threat to anyone in this economy. The home experience doesn't come close to theatrical unless you invest 15 grand into your home theater (more really) and no matter how much better a deal it is even for 2 people, most will balk at the idea of ANY pay per view even that is not an actual live EVENT being more than around 10 bucks. Worry misplaced. It will not fly.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:05 p.m. CST

    "Anyone care to share the VERY FIRST movie they ever saw"


    ET ..... Not a bad introduction to the world of cinema. Early 80s Spielberg, magic.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:05 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    I'm not paying to see it. I can sit quietly at home for free, thank you very much.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:06 p.m. CST

    "Manners? What are those? And how do they apply to Facebook?"


    So true ....

  • Fucking spare me.

  • first two theatrical experiences were ET and ROTJ :)

  • April 20, 2011, 3:09 p.m. CST

    I hear ya, movienut401

    by jules windex

    Your comment brought back a fine memory:)

  • April 20, 2011, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Rarely go to the cinema anymore. Talkers killed it for me

    by steve

    I just got tired of turning around and telling people to shut the hell up. And then they get annoyed with YOU for interrupting their conversation. So I pay $80 for my family to watch a movie and instead have to listen to some ass talk about himself behind me instead? Yeah. Pass. I only go to movie nights set up by the cool local comic book store, Keiths Comics in Dallas. He rents out Studio Movie Grill for superhero movie nights, geek movies, and you're guaranteed a respectful fun audience. And you can drink beer. Bonues. But the ordinary cinema experience? Dead to me.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:09 p.m. CST

    The "On demand" part of VOD

    by schadenfreudian

    It's no surprise. This culture no longer has any patience. Nobody wants to wait for anything anymore, and when they DO have to wait, they shit their pants and whine. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to tell some kids to get offa my lawn.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Chicago Events/Music Box

    by Davidhessstation

    I live in the suburbs outside of Chicago and the only theaters I usually go to is The Music Box (which shows older films, midnight movies, and art films) or Hollywood Blvd where you eat and drink while watching a movie. These theaters don't show commercials and Hollywood refuses to let children in after a certain time for ALL their films. The crowd is there to see the movie. That's the only time I will go see a film. Opening night for big films are usually ok as people are there to see the film and not talk on cells or with others but even then you get late comers standing around pointing at seats or you get the dreaded baby coming in. Yes, movies that come out now aren't as good as they used to be (I blame CGI) but there are some great indie films that get released that if we lived in the 1970's and 1980's, it would be released wide. Ordinary People would be an indie film if made now, shown in very little theaters. I'd rather stay at home and turn off my phones, drink and eat what I want for free and watch a film without others around me. I was never a fan of strange people nearby "enjoying" the film and clapping during the credits or certain scenes. I always found that ridiculous.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:10 p.m. CST


    by D.Vader

    Its bc the theaters want to maximize their profits too: They get more money from a film the longer it stays in theaters. What's the incentive for a family to see Kung Fu Panda 2 if it comes out on Demand 2 months later? That's when the theater would make some money it needs. That's their point, anyway.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:10 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    for the backrow handjob, and then some.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Great Article

    by MajorUndeclared

    Nice work Nordling. The thing that drives me the craziest in a movie is disrespectful teenagers. My local theater offers the option of being in a 21+ theater so we can all avoid the texting, chatting, cussing teenage girls who need to nervously laugh at each others jokes to mask their insecurities. Ahem, I'll get off my soapbox now. Theaters need to do more to remove disruptive moviegoers, even if it means they have to reimburse their ticket cost. I'm thinking about offering my services and starting up a usher contracting firm that takes care of these annoying people. We will be called the Pun-ushers.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:11 p.m. CST

    billy_d_williams and d.vader


    If you guys shared the first two sexual experiences, too, I'm going to be worried.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:11 p.m. CST

    I'd like to ask Michael Mann

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Why it's essential to watch one of his current films that has muffled audio and camcorder quality cinematography on the big screen?

  • April 20, 2011, 3:11 p.m. CST

    boom mic in frame means...

    by Billy_D_Williams

    most movies shot on film are shot with more image than is actually projected...that extra space is for margin of error, in case the boom is too close to frame...the theater is supposed to matte the top and bottom of the frame out for the 1.85:1 ratio...if the projectionist doesn't do his job right, the image will be off center and you sometimes seem the boom mic dipping down into the frame

  • Hence this article.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Billy D

    by D.Vader

    HAH! That frightens me.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:14 p.m. CST

    First-run VOD is a real boost for indie films

    by SoupDragon

    Its still worth remembering that VOD is doing a lot of good in getting indie and foreign films to audiences that would otherwise not get see them theatrically. 13 Assassins and Black Death got a much needed boost from this. And over here in the UK, Ken Loach's latest Route Irish also benefitted. The indie theatrical ditribution network is seriously dwindling in Europe and the US, and something needs to take its place to keep getting smaller films out there.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:14 p.m. CST

    BSB: You are on to something, chief.


    I knew this glorified Remedial English Composition essay was too good to be true.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:14 p.m. CST

    I didn't see my first theater movie until I was 18.

    by sweeneydave

    My parents were against them. My first movie was Toy Story (that's right! I'm going to see Toy Story and mom and dad can't stop me 'cuz I'm 18!). I remember being in awe of the whole Hollywood experience. Movie theaters really do a good job of providing that "at the movies" atmosphere. I loved the smell of popcorn, the giant screen, the little runway lights on the stairs, the anticipation of the audience. I'm 33 now and I still love it.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:15 p.m. CST

    i'm torn on this topic

    by jules windex

    I love going to see a movie in the theater, but I almost always go to the $5 weekday matinees at amc. And these showings are usually attended sparsely, so I don't get the talking/texting assholes as much. But I recently had the chance to go see Super but without hesitation chose to watch it on comcast on demand instead. I personally don't see myself cutting out regular theatergoing though until maybe someday I have kids or something.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:15 p.m. CST

    I miss the good old days.....

    by cookylamoo

    When theaters had balconies where no one bothered you and you could fingerfuck your girlfriend and she reciprocated with a handjob. What was playing on the screen. Who cared?

  • April 20, 2011, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Sweeney, you had a strange childhood it seems

    by D.Vader

    I remember from another TB you saying you weren't allowed to see Star Wars either, so everything you knew about it came from what the other kids had to say.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:16 p.m. CST

    if every theater were like arclight, we wouldn't have a problem

    by Billy_D_Williams

    the sheer awesomeness of that theater cannot be overstated

  • April 20, 2011, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Watching The Hangover when a young family sat down next to us

    by steve

    This Mexican family came in just as the movie started and sat down next to us. About 10 of them, some of them about 2 or 3 years old up to about 12. Really hard to laugh at some guy pretending to jerk off a baby when a real ones sitting next to you. Wanted to punch the parents in the neck

  • April 20, 2011, 3:16 p.m. CST

    I love it even more when I bring my 10 year old son.

    by sweeneydave

    There are certain movies that are a joy to share with just my son - even more so than with the whole family. Taking him to see Zombieland, or Predators, or Avatar, or Tron: Legacy. It feels like we are doing something meaningful. Maybe it's because I couldn't share my love of movies with my own dad.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Billy D

    by D.Vader

    Those are two great films to see for your first theater experiences. They obviously had an impression on us, as we're both in the industry it seems (or at least well versed in it, on your part).

  • Seeing them sit in silence for most of the movie only to erupt in laughter at one of the more inappropriate scenes was hilarious.

  • ...also, my first boner experience. Skin white as snow, lips red as blood, hair black as ebony, breasts... ...sorry, where was I?

  • April 20, 2011, 3:18 p.m. CST

    "When theaters had balconies"


    Damn, I remember that .... they called it the "luxury lounge" where I lived, the seats were bigger and you could smoke! ....... My Dad got through a pack of 20 during Jedi.

  • The dude has so much aftershave on I was physically gagging when he sat down. The movie starts and so does his talking. I mean this dude was repeating everything he saw on the screen and laughing in between. "Oh theres a fly" "Look the flies on her face" "The fly just went into her mouth" I turned around and told him to shut the fuck up. His eyes swelled up, his mouth closed, and he left a few minutes later. My wife thought I was awesome and I got laid after the movie. Actually, that wasnt too bad a movie experience after all. Nice.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Saving Private Ryan

    by Samuel Fulmer

    That was probably one of the best experiences I had. The audience was into it, but wasn't laughing at people getting their limbs blown off. Plus there were many older people in the audience (many I assume were veterans). The picture and sound were top notch as was the film.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:20 p.m. CST

    d. vader

    by Billy_D_Williams

    yes, writer/

  • April 20, 2011, 3:20 p.m. CST

    My son was born the year Fellowship of the Ring

    by sweeneydave

    came out. I loved those books so much that I had DSC + RJG (my future wife) graffiti'd on them in high school. The movies surpassed everything I dreamed for them to be. My son was too young to see them with me in the theater, but he was raised on LOTR anyways. Video games, action figures, LOTS of DVDs. But nothing compares to my anticipation for sharing the upcoming "Hobbit" movie with my son. I've been waiting for this for 10 years.

  • Not so much a negative movie experience but every time I see that movie again I remember my house being burgled when I got home. Sigh.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Billy D

    by D.Vader

    Yes, writer/director. Hmm...

  • April 20, 2011, 3:22 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    Aye. The plotter fools no one.

  • I mean, these guys were monsters. They barely came up for air for two solid hours. Must have weighed 400 lbs each and they just ate and ate and ate. Why go to a movie when all you hear is your mouth chewing food and your heart about to explode?

  • April 20, 2011, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Billy D Vader!


  • April 20, 2011, 3:24 p.m. CST

    The future of movie theatres will be...

    by Dan Halen

    their past. As home theatres get better (and cheaper) the only unique experience theatres will be able to give a ticket buyer is the massive Imax 3D experience. We'll be getting away from the multiplex world of the last generation and returning to an earlier 20th century model of MOVIE PALACES.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Ah fuck he's on to me

    by D.Vader

    I mean us.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Living in Ohio

    by Raggles Wimpole

    For the most part sucks when it comes to lesser-known films getting released, but one thing I do love about living here is that the price of a first-showing ticket on the weekends at my local theater is only $4. I know a lot of people enjoy seeing films with hug crowds, and with something like Transformers or a good horror movie that is a plus, but when it comes to a quieter, calmer film that demands toal concentration, a louder audience makes the viewing experience worse. This is why I like to go to films like Black Swan or There Will Be Blood on the first weekend showing. The majority of the time I am the only one in the theater or there are, at most, 2 or 3 other people & they're all there for the same reason: they like to watch the film in peace without a crying child or annoying teenager talking on their cell phone & ruining the experience. Plus, being there by myself or with a handful of like-minded film-lovers makes me feel like I have the world's largest home theater set-up. And the theater I frequent is a very high-quality theater with an amazing screen & incredible sound system.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:27 p.m. CST


    by Davidhessstation

    A few people brought up families in theaters and that too drives me crazy. I saw a Mexican family take all their children to see Monster once. First off, no child should see any movie called Monster, let alone a dark drama about a gay woman's murder spree and death. I also sat behind a black woman and her three young children during Kill Bill Vol 1. During the animated sequence, the child said to the "Mother"; "Mama, I scared!" to which she replied, "Shut yo motherfuckin ass up!" I think people are just too stupid to go to theaters now. No common sense. Oh and I don't like theaters that have you pick your own seats. What if some asshole on his cell sits right behind you? Then you're fucked!

  • April 20, 2011, 3:27 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    Can't wait for the next VS issue!

  • April 20, 2011, 3:28 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    Forgot to share:

  • April 20, 2011, 3:28 p.m. CST

    We have a theatre like the Arclight in Oklahoma City

    by Sith Witch

    The Warren Theatre rules! Balcony, ushered-seating, alcoholic drinks and food brought to you by waiters at the push of a button, actual warming recliners are the seats you sit in, art deco style both in the lobby and the screening rooms, massive screen, great sound, a "cry-room" for parents to take their younglings (it even has a built-in speaker system and window so you don't have to miss the film), et cetera!

  • April 20, 2011, 3:28 p.m. CST

    My most cherished movie theatre memories...

    by Dan Halen

    E.T.... wept when he died Return of the Jedi... my dad took me for 5th birthday UHF... for a 12 year old the pinnacle of comedy Transformers The Movie... Had no idea it was going to be that cool... and curses! Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.... first movie i saw twice Braveheart... had no idea it was going to be that good Blair Witch Project.... a truly unique, one time only communal experience

  • April 20, 2011, 3:29 p.m. CST

    d. vader

    by Billy_D_Williams

    wow, our names are from the same movie, our first two movie experiences are the same, and we both do the same thing in the industry *cue twilight zone music*

  • April 20, 2011, 3:30 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    Mexicans are being paid too much.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Billy D

    by D.Vader

    You don't by any chance have a goatee, do you? Or wait, at this point in time, a clean-shaven face?

  • April 20, 2011, 3:32 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    I'm telling you right now. That will be me.

  • Happened to me when I saw Mimic years ago. At the time my friend and I knew no better and thought that it was just very poor filmmaking. But, I can't imagine it happening that often now being that all films are digitized and edited on computers before being printed to reel. It would make no sense to keep that stuff in there anymore.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:34 p.m. CST

    d. vader

    by Billy_D_Williams


  • April 20, 2011, 3:35 p.m. CST

    Billy D

    by D.Vader

    Then maybe I'm the evil you since I'm usually clean-shaven, but at this juncture have a Frank Lapidus goatee. You're not originally from the east coast are you?

  • April 20, 2011, 3:36 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    I'm telling you right now. That will be me.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Billy D Vader ... coming in a theater near you!


  • April 20, 2011, 3:36 p.m. CST

    another victim of irelands economic collapse...

    by emeraldboy

    was the lighthouse cinema in smithfield dublin, south inner city. the landlord last summer doubled the lease rates from 100,000 to 200,000 euro. the owners of the lighthouse cinema who were also of the board of directors could not pay the rates so the land lord went to the highcourt in dublin and got a winding up petition and was successful and last friday the lightshouse was shut down for the second time in its history.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Billy D Vader starring in ... The Beast With Two Brokebacks!


  • April 20, 2011, 3:37 p.m. CST

    d. vader

    by Billy_D_Williams

    yes, im originally from the east coast...just gets weirder and weirder

  • April 20, 2011, 3:37 p.m. CST


    by Billy_D_Williams


  • April 20, 2011, 3:39 p.m. CST

    Billy D

    by D.Vader

    Uhhh... which part?

  • April 20, 2011, 3:40 p.m. CST

    d. vader...lets look at the similarities so far...

    by Billy_D_Williams

    screen name from same movie same two movies as first cinema experiences same job in the industry both with goatees both originally from the east coast

  • April 20, 2011, 3:41 p.m. CST

    And you both tend to your bikini area with near-autistic fervor and attention to detail.


  • April 20, 2011, 3:41 p.m. CST

    d. vader, this is prob where the similarities end

    by Billy_D_Williams

    born in south carolina, lived briefly outside boston, then moved to west coast when i was 7

  • April 20, 2011, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Well, Billy D, there's one last thing

    by D.Vader

    I'm from NC. For a second I was afraid you might be someone I actually know.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:43 p.m. CST

    What, Choppah, you don't?

    by D.Vader

  • April 20, 2011, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Cost Benefit Analysis

    by edmusinc

    The problem is a combination of the cost and the quality. A family of 4 paying 15-ish bucks a piece, plus snacks, etc. ends up paying between 80 to 100 bucks to see one movie. That's a LOT of money to see Rio or Mars Needs Moms or Yogi Bear 3D! And notice the time frame of the movies cited by Nordling here. Star Wars 1 was 1999, so was the first Matrix. Hell, it's been 7 years since the LAST Lord of the Rings movie, let alone the first. I'll give you that movies like that make lasting communal memories, but how many times is the head of a household expected to pay 100 bucks to get one solid theatrical experience every 5 plus years?

  • that last part was a joke

  • April 20, 2011, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Hey AHole, like I said

    by D.Vader

    Its a Frank Lapidus goatee.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:48 p.m. CST

    the showtime might make a difference.

    by Bouncy X

    i've literally never had any of this bad experiences i constantly hear and/or read about. my movie experiences are always great. people are fine, regardless of how many or little there are and the sound and picture is always great. but most people's issues seem to be the idiots that can sometimes surround them. well if all you do is attend opening weekend viewings at night, then thats probably one of the reasons. i never go opening night or weekend, always wait til the 2nd week if not later and i always see an afternoon showing on the weekend. and like i said, i never have any complaints. as for the cellphone issue, they should just install some system that kills the signal inside the theaters. i've heard about similar things done in other countries so why not try that. let them use their phone all they want in the lobby and/or restaurant area but the actual theaters should just be a safe zone. but in the end price is the biggest issue. if movies and concessions were still decentl priced. i'm sure more would go regardless of the morons there.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:50 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack


  • April 20, 2011, 3:52 p.m. CST

    i did watch dawson's creek

    by Billy_D_Williams

    at least the first two seasons, back when i was into bad television...but in all seriousness, it was a good show for what it was... i liked dawson's movie obsessions, josh jackson was the shit, and the two girls were hot.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:54 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    I actually saw The Town while in Dublin. You might know the theater - it's the one on O'Connell Street. Thought it would be fun to see an Irish movie in Ireland. Good time.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:55 p.m. CST


    by D.Vader

    "but then again, I am kinda nosey" I think you mean kinda pervy.

  • April 20, 2011, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Carolina representing here as well. Small world.

    by Michael_Jacksons_Ghost

  • April 20, 2011, 4 p.m. CST

    Fuck movie theaters.

    by pikazerox

    Theaters were great once, they aren't anymore. Movies in the comfort of my massive HDTV in full 1080p with my personal freinds and family is a much greater experience than $15 tickets, $8 popcorn, talking teens, TEXTING TEENS, and crying babies.

  • April 20, 2011, 4:01 p.m. CST

    All right, its been fun

    by D.Vader

    But I've got some work to do around the house. One day, Billy D, you and I may trade some film anecdotes and share our projects. But for now I'm too weirded out. I'm gonna go shave.

  • April 20, 2011, 4:02 p.m. CST

    The hell with texting teens. What about texting ADULTS?


    Fuckers should know better, especially because since they're paying their own hard-earned (or collected, har har) money for those two hours in the dark.

  • April 20, 2011, 4:03 p.m. CST

    In my area

    by shran

    The only movie theater experience is the mega-plex-o-rama. I do remember back in the day when my town had two great big downtown theaters with real, honest to goodness balconies. People would go to the movies to have fun and there were little in theater distractions. Folks knew how to behave. Nowdays I only go to the movies for spectacle. I'm just not going to shell out big $$$$ to see people talking to each other. I can rent it and it will look just fine on a 57" screen at home. The prices are too damn high. Most films just don't warrant a $100+ expenditure (I have a family of 6).

  • So, the art house/indie theaters in my town were called the Ritz. Now they're Landmark theaters, but everyone stills calls them the Ritz. So, this former film teacher of mine and I are talking about recent films and he starts saying that he hates the Ritz theaters, that they're too small. Well, where do you go to see art films then, because there are no other options in town? The Ritz is it! (In all fairness, there are 3 Rits locations and all do have at least 1 large screen.) Then I ask him if he has a widescreen HDTV and a Blu-Ray player at home. No and no! I tell him how much I love my home theater set up and how you can actually see the original grain of the film on Blu-Ray. He replies, "blech, who wants to see film grain!" WTF! What kind of film instructor are you? Why did I study film with you?

  • April 20, 2011, 4:05 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    But it turned out to be a good time. The crowd was properly rowdy and reminiscent of my experience with the first movie. It wasn't a bad flick at all. I don't know what was up these guys' asses when they watched it.

  • April 20, 2011, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Saw Scre4m this afternoon....only ONE other person in the theater

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    And it was this gray-haired fiftysomething guy with a limp(!). Still, it was AWESOME to see a horror movie with virtually nobody else in the innappropriate giggling, no cell phone screens flashing in my peripheral vision, no screaming babies...bliss. You want a great experience, see an early-afternoon matinee in the middle of the week. As for legitimately great LARGE-audience experiences, I remember the swell of delighted applause that erupted at the end of Babe in 1995, and I was joining in with the crowd, a big, silly grin of my face. Moments like that are worth braving the multiplex experiencee for. I seriously doubt the theater experience will ever COMPLETELY die out (a movie is still one of the safest choices for a first date or for teenagers wanting to get out of the damn house), but attendance would rise appreciably if the quality of theaters would improve. Just hire an usher to stand by the theater entrance for the entire show to monitor unruly audience members and for technical foul-ups. I shoudn't have to leave the theater and miss a few minutes of the movie just to hunt down an usher to report a disturbance or the picture/sound being all wonky. And anyone who buys theater concessions is a chump. Eat AFTER the fucking movie! I haven't bought popcorn or soda in a movie theater since probably 1993.

  • April 20, 2011, 4:09 p.m. CST

    My greatest movie experience

    by cookylamoo

    I was watching a porn movie and they showed the featured actress walking into the Times Square theater where we were sitting and sitting down to give a a guy a handjob. I looked around. Everyone looked around. It was the perfect fusion of movie and audience.

  • All my music shops are gone. All my book stores are nearly gone. The internet ruins everything. Movie theaters are next, and there's not a god-damned thing that anyone can do about it. Free beats theater experience every damned time. How's that downloading-everything, pay-for-nothing thing working out for you again, kids?

  • April 20, 2011, 4:11 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

  • April 20, 2011, 4:22 p.m. CST

    I really don't see what the problem is with VOD

    by Jeff Ray

    I love movies. I love the experience of going to the movie theater. But "certain people" in the audience have been ruining the overall movie theater experience. So until theaters in force no cell phones and no talking during the movie. People won't be going to the movie theaters anymore. So bottom line... be more fucking respectful to the people around you next time you go to a movie theater. Then filmmakers and studios and theaters wouldn't have to worry about VOD.

  • April 20, 2011, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Nordling's article would have been more valid in 1970

    by Mazzer

    when you could only experience films properly by seeing them in the theater. Today, if you have a large Hi-def setup and big screen... and sit close enough, then the visual experience is superior at home, the sound is superior at home, the company is superior, the seats are better, and the food is way, way better (not to mention the beer.) OK, I know everyone doesn't have a home theater setup, but a lot of people do. As everyone else in the talkback points out, the company of an audience in a theater is way overrated. Not only are THEY distracting, but the disgusting stink of their food is too! As for the theater presentation, it's often a technical disgrace. Yet I don't think that the ticket price is bad -- heck, if you go to a play or concert then the price is MANY times higher than a movie ticket, and often not as entertaining either. It's the cost of their lousy food that annoys me. But all in all, it is no longer a simple argument of "how wonderful it is to experience a movie with an audience". You can do that at home, with your own choice of audience and with superior image and sound in many cases too.

  • April 20, 2011, 4:29 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    I'd rather sit next to Drew, body odor and all.

  • April 20, 2011, 4:29 p.m. CST

    Still Love Theaters, But I've Outgrown the "Audience Experience"

    by Acquanetta

    I used to feel the same as Nordling- especially back in the late 90s. Thanks largely to the rise of internet fandom, I went through a period where every moviegoing experience had to be perfect: The best theater, the biggest screen, opening night, a sold-out crowd, etc. Yet despite my best efforts, I never managed to duplicate anything close to the fond moviegoing memories of my youth. I then slowly began to realize that the majority of those were the result of less-than-ideal circumstances anyway: Cheap theaters, nearly deserted matinees, film prints that had already been in use for weeks- or sometimes months. Even so, the films were better because it was always a personal experience. I never cared what the rest of the world was going to think about a movie, where it would rank with a consensus of critics, or how much money it would rake in before midnight. I guess I've come full circle in a way, since I'd much rather have fewer people in a theater today than the "energy" of a large crowd. If I were to go to a midnight screening today, I'd have nothing in common with the majority of the jackasses there. It would be people who have nostalgia for a year like 2003 and grew up in a world of Rotten Tomatoes and the IMDB.

  • April 20, 2011, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah, I remember seeinf Star Wars first run

    by shran

    as a kid. $5 got me in the theater, a soda, and a package of Red Vines. AND I could stay in my seat between shows and watch ALL the showings. I saw Star Wars 28 times that summer. Best summer of my childhood by far. And I know I wasn't the only kid that did that. There was a whole group of us. And Star Wars STILL went on to be the biggest box-office blockbuster ever. Go figure.

  • April 20, 2011, 4:30 p.m. CST

    I Never, NEVER, see a film after 8pm anymore...

    by Keblar

    and I rarely even see one after 7pm. It's just not worth the frustration and possibility of assault charges anymore; seeing early showings decreases the likelihood that I'll be disturbed by some jackhole who's there just to act like a clown and make his frat bros laugh, or some teenage pro-abortion argument that's trying and impress some Jersey Shore skank that thinks it's cute to be the center of attention, without regard to the of that attention. My days of enjoying a full theater were already declining, but they ended completely at a near capacity late afternoon screening of Matrix 2, at which some shallow gene pool thought it was a reasonable idea to bring her screaming infant into an R rated action film full of deafening explosions, gunshots, and inexplicable rave music. That was the proverbial straw and it's only gone down hill since. I blame the theaters for having zero customer service or customer respect, but I also blame the consumers... we vote with our money folks, and in the end we usually get what we deserve, most people just won't admit culpability. It's much easier to blame someone else and whine than to accept responsibility for our actions. Can WE fix that? Maybe. I don't know. But I try. First step: I NEVER go to a film on opening weekend. "Open Wide?" Fuck You! Second: I take the the time to politely but sternly complain, or even ask for my money back. Hell, if I have to get up and complain because of some bullshit that the Theater didn't put a stop to or failed to prevent from happening, then I'm missing the film, and it's already ruined for me. They're responsible so they owe me. It's either that or they have to clean the blood out of the seats after the melee. Which one seems like the more logical, constructive route?

  • April 20, 2011, 4:32 p.m. CST

    God help us if theaters die off...

    by Andrew Coleman

    Seriously those who complain about theater experiences and rant on about their television and what not, are simply fucking loaner assholes. The only times I see people complain are people who don't have friends to go with. Now I go to theaters alone sometimes but I don't get people who rant about theater experience sucking. I have a top of the line home theater experience and it doesn't even compare to being in a theater. I know Los Angeles will always have theaters because some will be protected as landmarks or whatever. I feel for the rest of the country. They just need to lower prices. This 3D shit and fake IMAX nonsense is a money grab. They should simply put all prices at $6 or $7 bucks no matter on the time. And then some theaters could have special nights with $4 tickets or something. More people would go to the movies that way... Also more movies that deserve big audiences would get them. Look at how things are going, kids movies are the only one's that always roll in big bucks, that's because families always fold their cards and all those movies are in 3D now. If they would just stop the increase in ticket prices and balance things out they would make more money. Society is becoming very depressing as more and more people would rather just sit in their house. I prefer being out with people and having a good time. Oh well I guess.

  • April 20, 2011, 4:46 p.m. CST

    best/worst theater experience

    by jules windex

    Opening midnight of AOTC. Hyped crowd, everyone went crazy at the Yoda fight. Opening night Iron Man 2 was pretty good too. And The Original Kings Of Comedy. It was like I was at a comedy show. Worst ones: Blood Simple(when it was rereleased) 2 middle aged women laughed the whole time even at quiet tense moments; only time I ever was forced to leave was at some flick called Double Take. Bunch of assholes talkin and kickin my seat. Went back out to lobby to ask for a refund and the place was deserted. I coulda stolen the cash registers and all the food!

  • April 20, 2011, 4:51 p.m. CST

    I have a 125-inch HD home viewing experience

    by CoolFrood

    The projector cost $2,000 and give a perfect HD image at 125 inches. My wife and I have 3 kids, so it costs quite a bit for us to go to a theater, but we can really enjoy a good movie on Blu-ray at home anytime. I will go to the theater to see some movies on opening night and for the community experience, but if I want to enjoy the movie, my home watching experience is much, much better than the theater experience.

  • April 20, 2011, 4:54 p.m. CST

    There are no "Bulbs" in 3D Presentation

    by kellyman1970

    3D projectors are ALL digital, there is no bulb. the light is generated by the image, like a TV. I agree, there is nothing like the theatrical experience. I really do dislike digital projections though, 3D or not.

  • April 20, 2011, 4:59 p.m. CST


    by BigSugar

    Not for nothing, but the problem is simply that the industry had its day. Movies were king of the hill for nearly a century, now the internet rules. Movies will never die out entirely, but that $32 billion in revenues is going to start shrinking in a big way as we move into the future. Better quality films or facilities, nicer patrons, cheaper tickets, all these things may yet come to pass, but it won't stem the tide. In those terms, the VOD issue is entirely moot, rearranging the deck chairs (fuck James Cameron). And because of that, I think we'll all get what we want, mainly because the new model will open things up to change. And if we can all agree on anything at all, it's that the industry right now fucking blows.

  • Sounds just like your experience with ROTK. This entire family in front of me was making gay jokes and giggling through the entire move. The SECOND that the credits started to roll, one of them said, "THAT'S IT??" Almost as bad as the old woman who, at the end of Cast Away, looked at me and goes, "Well, that was a whole lot of nothing."

  • I still enjoy going to the movie theaters. Although, I find myself going to fewer and fewer big blockbusters, instead choosing to go to the smaller, independent theaters. It's only at the art house theaters that it's really worth going to the movies anymore. There are a couple of exceptions. I had a great time taking my niece to Toy Story 3, and thankfully there were few distractions during the film.

  • April 20, 2011, 5:15 p.m. CST

    The 'theatrical experience' blows donkey cock

    by SmokingRobot

    Remember sitting in the theater before the show started and having a nice conversation? Now you listen to commericals. Then you WATCH commercials, too many, and too loud. Then you watch 25 minutes of previews, most of which are atrocious. Then the movie starts, and about half the time the studio has had them set the music WAY THE HELL TOO LOUD. All this for ten bucks? Forget it.

  • April 20, 2011, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Joe Kane. That's all you need to know. Imaging Science Foundation.

    by Darth_Kong

  • Gay.

  • The order changes depending on what your priorities are (and even the movie you're watching), but that's what they are. I lived in L.A. for a while and the Arclight as well as many other theaters in L.A., even the ones you wouldn't think would give a shit or look dated all have excellent sound, are clean, and have a great picture. I'm thinking specifically of a podunk one I went to in Marina del Rey and another near USC. New York City (where I work), and New Jersey (where I live and grew up) probably have the worst theaters I've ever experienced. Even the theaters that are supposed to be top-of-the-line for this region aren't a pimple on the ass of the Arclight. NYC seems to actively hate movies and providing a good moviegoing experience from my moviegoing experiences there. Only a few here and there at the Ziegfeld or the Astor stand out as good movie-going memories. The rest have bad projection, filthy theaters, rude patrons, and a general attitude towards the experience as something that only needs to be slightly more upscale than a ride on the tilt-a-whirl at the county fair. So I think if there were more theaters that felt like central meeting places and just had that 'special' amped feeling like the Arclight has (can't replicate being in the middle of the industry, but you can have theaters go into a lottery for props/items from the movie), more people would definitely go. The Arclight has assigned seats and aren't afraid to kick you out of the theater for talking or being rowdy. I went to see Moon there and it was a hushed, almost religious experience... the way I remember it from my youth. That solution kills two birds with one stone - charge a premium that allows you to pay your employees more and maybe have actual security for Friday and Saturday nights and have them kick people being rude, immature, assholes right out of the theater. Let it be known that ruining the experiences for others will not be tolerated. Make people SCARED to look at their fucking cell phones lest they be a pariah for the rest of the theatergoers. As far as cost, I aim this specifically at 3D and the fake imax bullshit that are really putting a silk hat on a pig for many of these movies. It's ridiculous to charge that much of a premium for something when you're not already taking care of the things I mentioned, which are selling a truly special experience by making sure it isn't ruined by teenagers running up and down the aisle, texting, and acting like they're at a football game.

  • April 20, 2011, 5:37 p.m. CST

    1.) VOD will fail and 2.) Maybe we need ushers again.

    by AlienFanatic

    1. Honestly, I think this $30 experiment is doomed to fail. In an age of Netflix, most of us are used to waiting a bit to get the latest movie. Waiting an extra month for a film to move from VOD to DVD will not be a big deal for most of us, and we will gladly either plunk down $20 for the Blu-ray that we can keep, or we'll Netflix it instead. The studios are wildly overcharging for this, and I firmly believe that it will die on the vine. 2. Maybe it's time to rethink the theater experience. The audience is largely left to its own devices, and chaos ensues. If we had ushers again that enforced a "no talking or texting" rule, I think you'd see moviegoers return. If the theater experience REALLY returned to its heydey, where we weren't treated like cattle and shoved into a big, generic box (er "stadium"), perhaps we'd get back a little of that magic we've missed.

  • April 20, 2011, 5:43 p.m. CST

    I will never abandon in theatre - BUT

    by Arteska

    Most of the main probs are covered above...but yeah: The cost is high - particulary for everyone other than hardcores who pretty much see everything and for whom movies are like cigarettes. A movie had better be pretty damn good if you are going to spring upwards of 80-100 bucks when you can rent it for as low as a buck at home 6 months later or own it outright for about $20. The complete lack of civility and common sense in a public performance space is the number one problem. I can only think of ONE experience in the last 2+ years of moviegoing that wasn't marred by dipshits yakking or shining a flashlight in the face of everyone behind them using their phone or pda in the theatre. I swear if I could drop an EMP in every auditorium preshow I would with no remorse. Just a note - the one good show was at a showing that was restricted to age 21+ with assigned seating - though plenty of adults are as bad about texting and PDAing as the twitterkids. Pre-show is insulting and bludgeoning. I just paid a premium to sit in a public performance and now I'm getting mainlined by crotch shot TV ads for upwards of 20 minutes - - - AND/OR an extended featurette showcasing 80% of the movie I just bought a ticket to. I love behind the scenes and promo looks as much as the next fan but there is literally NO thought about what is put up on screens during this time, other than what is being pocketed in exchange for doing so. Presentation is wildly uneven and pathetically unattended to. Thankfully (in my experience) most super premium auditoriums (AMC IMAX 3D) are great IF THE MOVIE WAS MADE FOR IT but most projections are substandard at any price. People have 1080p and booming surround at home you better reward them for thinking you can do better theatre owners. Honestly if people would just shut up and turn off their shit for 120 minutes we'd be halfway there.

  • April 20, 2011, 5:44 p.m. CST

    @ kellyman1970 (LOL!)

    by AlienFanatic

    What? No BULBS in projection? It's all digital? How the hell do you think they get the image to the screen? The current gold standard is LCOS (Liquid Crystal on Substrate). In other words, you bounce a light off the liquid crystal surface and project it out on the screen. The resolution of the LCOS reflector dictates the resolution, which is generally 4K. So yes, they still use bulbs. LOL!

  • April 20, 2011, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Re: Billy_D

    by SK229

    Damn, your assessment of the Arclight is spot-on. You made me want to move back just so I could frequent that theater again. What an amazing place... it is literally a holy, sacred site for the experience of watching a movie and can only be described as such for those who haven't been there. Also, it's not as nice at the Arclight, but one of my favorite movie experiences of all time had to be seeing a new print of Alien at the Egyptian in October 2009. Just fucking awesome... a movie theater is great when you have people there who want to be there because of the movie and the experience and who have respect for the people around them. My wife hadn't seen it in a very long time, so she jumped about a foot off her chair every time something happened and it made the people around us enjoy it and get into it even more, though I'm sure they knew every nook and cranny of the Nostromo.

  • April 20, 2011, 5:52 p.m. CST


    by pills_26

  • April 20, 2011, 5:54 p.m. CST

    "Most films at least break even these days"

    by barneyshouldbeputdown

    This is the most bass-ackwards thing I've read here in a while. No, most films do not at least break even these days. Very few come close to that, in fact. Many studios and distribution companies run a very tight profit margin - generally around 6-10 percent overall, and they're happy to make that (many other industries operate on an even smaller profit margin). I'm all for the theatrical experience - but if you want to be taken seriously, learn something about this industry before you begin to build a (admittedly deserving) treatise upon a faulty premise. I suspect most people who know better stopped reading after that line, recognizing this is coming from a fanboy who only hears things like "Oh, they make it back on DVD and VOD." The reality is far more mundane, a bit grim in fact, and rarely the result of "wonky math."

  • April 20, 2011, 5:56 p.m. CST

    biggest problem no one ever talks about:

    by awardgiver

    KICKING THE BACK OF MY CHAIR! ugh...long live the drafthouse for keeping that from happening.

  • April 20, 2011, 6 p.m. CST


    by Jim Greenwood

    CGI has made it cheap to greenlight any project. Twenty screen multiplexes and hundreds of cable channels have created demand for quantity of content not quality. The result of those two points is that more bad movies are getting greenlit and good ideas for movies are being rushed to the screen without proper gestation. Ideas that once would be discarded, reworked, combined with other ideas to make them stronger are just being thrown up there with no discipline.

  • April 20, 2011, 6:01 p.m. CST

    Thanks alienfanatic...

    by blackmantis

    I was about to respond to that bit of ignorance. Yes, bulbs are still used in LCOS and DLP. I have a DLP projector at home that uses a bulb. Light is bounced off the sensor and projected out the lens, so it's very similar to film, where light is shone through the celluloid.

  • April 20, 2011, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Greetings from Germany

    by Chariowalda_Barbarossa

    I'm kind of shocked by what I'm reading in this talkback. Is it really that bad on your side of the pond? It varies with the seasons, but I'd say in average I go to the movies (in a theatre) every second weekend, often watching two movies in one evening. Often I go alone because my friends don't want to see that many movies. Most screenings on weekend evening prime time are more than half filled, often close to sold out. And I honestly cannot remember the last time a cell phone alarm went off during the movie. For years they've been showing spots reminding people to turn off the cell phones, but, thinking of it, it's been quite some time since I've seen one of those. Don't seem to be necessary anymore. There's no ushers observing the audience, they are not needed. The very idea is... strange, to say the least.Granted, I generally don't see comedies, horror or teenie-targeted movies, maybe that's where our stupid punks are.

  • April 20, 2011, 6:04 p.m. CST

    If moviemakers CARED so much about their art...

    by film11

    ,,,then why do they allow their movies to have so much of the image thrown into the trash by letting VOD (as well as HBO, STARZ and some streaming outlets) crop their movies...leaving them only to be seen by most viewers in that compromised manner forever more? Hypocrites.

  • April 20, 2011, 6:05 p.m. CST

    My Favorite Theater Experience

    by bastian1138

    I flew out to LA to join the Episode II line at Mann's Chinese Theater. What an experience. My friend who was near the front of the line found me (I was further back) and asked me if I wanted to meet Elijah Wood. Yeah, he showed up...and got in line. What a nice person. Going into the theater at show time was amazing. The energy and excitement. The place was absolutely buzzing. My friend got to sit next to Elijah and Sean Astin. I was jealous. Anyways, when the movie began, the roar of the crowd when the logos hit the screen....amazing. That was a brilliant experience and I'm not sure I'll ever see that again.

  • April 20, 2011, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Ahole, I watched 500 Days of Summer as a Valentines Day date

    by D.Vader

    Boy that was a terrible idea.

  • April 20, 2011, 6:26 p.m. CST

    mr ahole ramirez

    by Darth_Kong

    Alright stop bullying me. I'm using the comment section. I like using only the Subject section cause it makes me feel big like Asimovlives. Go ASI! Prometheus news better be coming. I don't care if it's news about how they designed a bar of zero-gravity space soap give me something. I wonder how much of what they've told us about Prometheus is disinfo? It's all a disinfo war nowadays.

  • April 20, 2011, 6:27 p.m. CST

    Certain films would do better as VOD than in theaters

    by GhostDad

    I can't tell you how many movies I've passed on in the last 5 years because they weren't worth the $12-$14 to see in theaters. Obviously, I will go see the big tentpole films in theaters, but smaller films that don't require the theater experience? I'll wait till Netflix instant. I think this format is perfect for dramas and lower budget comedies that would see a wider audience on VOD, stuff that people like me would like to see, but don't aren't in a hurry to rush to the theater over. Also, current movies as VOD would be great for parents. I don't have kids of my own yet, but the people I know who have babies and toddlers haven't been to the movies in years. VOD means you can still see the movie you want to see, but also not have to pay for the sitter, etc. I'm all for it and I hope it happens.

  • April 20, 2011, 6:36 p.m. CST


    by stevepants

    I go to the theater and stream whatever movie I'm at on my iPad.

  • April 20, 2011, 6:45 p.m. CST

    Theater vs. Home = Film vs. Digital

    by snaps_provolone

    It's funny how the argument for going to the theater vs. watching the movie from home is similar to shooting on film vs. digital. Think about it: Theather + film are for purists, who like it "old school," and reminds them of the old days. The way it "should" be. Then you have your home theater + digital crowd that is simply keeping up with the times, and thinking about the most up-to-date logicial choices. Shooting on digital is quicker, easier, and makes for less work. Same with watching movies from home. You save money, can get just about the same quality, and it saves the headache of finding seats and such. Now, in terms of my perspective on this, as usual, I see both sides: Like everyone else, I generally love going to the theater. Maybe it's just me, but people talking in theaters or being on their phones never distracts me if I'm watching a great movie with a crowd that's really into it. I remember all the way back to seeing Jurassic Park in the theaters and being scared out of my mind. I remember seeing Meet the Parents with a sold out house and the place just exploding with laughter. I remember seeing Signs with the audience screaming throughout. I remember the roar of applause in The Dark Knight when the truck flipped over at the midnight screening. I'll always have those memories forever, and if I know a new movie will have a similar reaction, I always try to see it in a sold out theater. Especially things like comedies. There's this newer trend of re-releasing old movies (Airplane! Back to the Future, etc.) for one-time screenings. For me, it was fun watching BTTF in a theater for the first time, and seeing how other people reacted: When they laughed, applauded, etc. So in terms of a "theater" purist, I definitely get it. And when the timing is right, I'll want to see it with an audience. Having said all that, I've also slowly fallen to the dark side: I own a 46" HDTV. I own a 1,000 watt 6-speaker system. I own a PS3 to play BluRays. My living room has dim lighting. To me, the biggest down sides of going to the theater will always be these two issues: Bad movies and cost. A perfect example of this is "Your Highness." I wanted to see it, laughed at the trailers, etc. Then the reviews came out, and the majority of people said it sucked. So at 25 with a busy life, "Your Highness" is an example where I said to myself that I'm not going to pay $30 (tickets, popcorn & drink) to see a movie in theaters that apparently sucks, when I can watch it in a few months at the same quality for 90% cheaper. So while that decision wasn't strictly about money, it was about time/committment and effort. The other issue (or perk) with home theater is this: You can literally watch anything anywhere anytime. Think about it: You can watch movies on your phone, on your computer, on your TV, on your portable media player. A movie theater is just one of 7 or 8 options. It's all about attention spans and comfort. Let's stay a couple is sitting around Friday night, deciding what they want to do tonight. Let's say they're thinking about going to the theater to catch a movie. But then they go through onDemand or HBO or something, and find that a somewhat newer movie is going to be or can be ordered for damn near no cost. They then decide to just stay in and save time. It technically has nothing to do with not liking a theater, but rather because it's simply easier. This whole argument is like something out of Terminator 2: We were destroyed by the technology we created. It's sound stupid, but it's kind of true. Studios, companies, etc. came up with more and more ways to view entertainment and gave more options. Eventually, something was going to give and seem extinct compared to other options. However, I do think that theaters will always be relevant and around. I can't see how a new Spider-Man in a few years will premier on Comcast or something. That'll never happen.

  • April 20, 2011, 6:46 p.m. CST


    by Kirbymanly

    Arclight here in Hollywood is not what it used to be. I went there to see "Scream 4" on Monday afternoon and was treated to three meth-heads talking and yelling through the whole thing. There was also a CLEARLY mentally disabled guy who brought in three suitcases, kept walking backwards to and from his seat and would stand up and raise his arms in the air any time a character was killed. This wasn't the first time I've experienced something like this there in recent years. Homeless guys walking in with garbage bags filled with cans, children running up and down the aisles... That place used to be the best theater to see a movie in L.A. and now it's turned into a regular 'ole AMC. It's come to the point where I pray that the film I want to see plays at the Vista.

  • April 20, 2011, 6:47 p.m. CST


    by Billy_D_Williams

    yes, the arclight is indeed the best theater experience one will ever have...its like the old days, its frequented by respectful movie fans, so you'll never be bothered by talking or texting, the image/sound is unmatched, assigned seats, no commercials, clean auditoriums, live presentation before the film, the list goes on...i feel sorry for people not living in los angeles for this. arclight seriously needs to expand to the major cities, they'd make a shitload.

  • April 20, 2011, 6:49 p.m. CST

    "It's just not like it used to be."

    by Jindy

    When you can outright purchase a movie for less than it would cost to go see it once in a movie theater... why go to the theater? For the 3-D? For the big screen? For the uncomfortable seats (I've never been in a movie theater with seats as comfortable as the ones in my living room)? I do remember seeing the Star Wars special editions and prequels in the theater... I remember people dressing up, showing up waaay too early. That was an experience. But what franchise today has that same type of following that will create the same experience? Harry Potter? Marvel? Not from what I've seen. I see 2 reasons to go out to see a movie: 1) Someplace to go when fulfilling the desire to leave the house; or 2) I just can't wait 4 months to see the movie.

  • i once saw a guy bring a whole fucking plate of food, munching, slurping and chomping for 45 was comedy

  • April 20, 2011, 6:50 p.m. CST


    by schadenfreudian

    "And, in the end, you can always just move to a different seat." While that's true, it sucks to tell people that if someone around them is acting like an asshole, THEY should be the ones to make concessions. How about instead of just tolerating this bullshit, people start acting like they're not a pack of goddamn animals and show a little respect to one another?

  • April 20, 2011, 6:53 p.m. CST

    The Lie-Max Experience!

    by aphextwin

    medium sized screen; (still) crappy small seats; ear-deafening loud sound, which in this case, loudness is being favoured over the actual quality of sound; and oh yeah, you have to pay $3.50 extra for that 'service'.

  • fuck the theater (except for the occasional TRUE IMAX at Universal Citywalk or at the Palms Casino in Vegas)

  • April 20, 2011, 7 p.m. CST

    ah Lie-Max

    by Billy_D_Williams

    yes, the industry's dirty little secret...i was so enraged over this shit when avatar came out, because i kept going to Lie-Max screens and asking for a refund because it was no different than a normal screen...

  • we snuck it in a back pack at the New Beverly, sat in the front row and got drunk, enjoying the hell outta that movie the new beverly cinema is another hollywood treasure, double bills of old classics, modern classics, retrospectives, you often see guys like Tarantino and Edgar Wright chilling there watching movies...

  • April 20, 2011, 7:05 p.m. CST

    Don't forget about the rest of the world...

    by fedalvar

    ...where not everybody has a huge wall size HD TV, and where OnDemand does not exist, and NetFlix is not there yet... I'm from Uruguay, and here theaters are packed most weekends. Why? Cause most theaters are like the Arclight Dome on sunset, they do care about the theatrical experience. (And if I put my feet over the front row sit, someone from the staff will come and give me shit...) After living some time in LosAngeles, I was shocked to realized that most theaters are like Nordling says here, the just don't care (Only with few exceptions, like the arclights) Just my two cents...

  • April 20, 2011, 7:09 p.m. CST

    missing the point

    by stevepants

    I think some people are missing one of the points about the "theater experience". It's not just about seeing it with an audience...Nordling is talking about a "Communal Experience"...something that is shared by more than just you and some of your friends...that's what you cannot replicate at home. Where you're part of something that's larger than what you experience normally. If you don't want that...that's okay, but you can't replicate that at home regardless of the size of your TV.

  • April 20, 2011, 7:12 p.m. CST

    you had me until..

    by pishowda

    you said that commercials prevent you from talking with people. You know you can do that BEFORE the commercials, right?

  • April 20, 2011, 7:14 p.m. CST

    My First theater experience was (I'm OLD)...

    by film11

    The original JACK THE GIANT KILLER. Wasn't even old enough to read, but I never forgot it. (If only it had been 7TH VOYAGE...Yikes!)

  • Would he say it?

  • I go a few times a month, always at the noon Saturday or Sunday show. Even for a new release, the theater is never more than 1/8th full. Not a fucking peep or cell phone from anybody going on over a year now. Except I went to the Fighter(free pass) at night. Full house. Felt like going to the fucking zoo.

  • April 20, 2011, 7:19 p.m. CST

    "i love those people who bring KFC, fast food or other full meals"


    When I saw Independence Day there was a tiny little old lady sat just in front of me and as the movie starts she whipped out what looked like a table cloth placed it over here lap and spent about 50 minutes working her way through what can only be described as a picnic! .... Fucking fruit, chicken legs, bread sticks WITH dips ... a flask of coffee ...... It never ended!!

  • April 20, 2011, 7:19 p.m. CST


    by Billy_D_Williams

    no, he wouldn't say it...QT is pretty fearless and can get belligerent, but he respects his fellow filmmakers. I once knocked over QT's popcorn in the lobby of the fairfax theaters (now close di believe), and he was totally cool about it.

  • April 20, 2011, 7:21 p.m. CST

    The film buisness could dissapear tomorrow and I could give a fuck.

    by Stuntcock Mike

    There's enough movies already released that we haven't seen to last a lifetime.

  • April 20, 2011, 7:25 p.m. CST

    the whole communal experience thing...

    by Billy_D_Williams

    only works when the audience is respectful, and that doesn't happen anymore...humanity is so polarized right now that the douchebags seem to be even more douchey, and the good, respectful ones just dont want to deal with it, so you have less theater attendance...people are fucking fed up...very polarized population right now. i used to experience the good side of the communal thing back in the 80s and 90s.. E.T. and Return of the Jedi are still the best theater experiences i've ever had...followed by Ghost Busters, Jurassic Park, Back To The Future 2, Terminator 2, Independence Day, Face Off and The Matrix...the Matrix was the last time i was truly blown away in the movie theater. It sucks because that can happen more often if Hollywood simply told more original stories and let talented filmmakers do it their'd have a Matrix experience every couple years.

  • April 20, 2011, 7:26 p.m. CST


    by Darth_Kong

    A guy I worked with once had two chicks, not one but two, leave him for QT one night. Left him in the dust. I don't know how you compete against that. I mean you can't.

  • April 20, 2011, 7:28 p.m. CST

    stuncock mike

    by Billy_D_Williams

    i hear ya buddy, sometimes i wish hollywood would just burn to the fucking ground, and a new revolution of rogue studios took its place.

  • April 20, 2011, 7:28 p.m. CST

    stuntcock mike: Only after Prometheus. Good or bad.

    by Darth_Kong

  • April 20, 2011, 7:31 p.m. CST

    Theaters need to take more of a authority role...

    by BlackBriar

    The Theater experience will always win over, viewing it at your home. Some commentators have Anti-Social approach;Can't think that way Calm down, Yes people can be Total Asses! I've seen ushers and security kicking out and quieting people a plenty!

  • April 20, 2011, 7:32 p.m. CST

    "There's enough movies already released that we haven't seen to last a lifetime."


    I can agree with that.

  • April 20, 2011, 7:37 p.m. CST

    If there's anything I've learned being sick in bed these past few days...

    by tbransonlives

    I'm glad I didn't have Sweeneydave's parents growing up.

  • April 20, 2011, 7:39 p.m. CST

    One of my favorite theater experiences was about 15 years ago.

    by Stuntcock Mike

    Seeing Herzog's Nosferatau in some crummy little theater with my ex. They fucked up and had the German only print, no subtitles, nothing. We were the only two people in the place. We didn't talk or anything, just tried to figure out what they were saying. For some reason I look back on that with fondness.

  • April 20, 2011, 7:41 p.m. CST

    I call bullshit - down with movie theaters!!!

    by ninpobugei

    I couldn't possibly disagree more with this essay. I have had my absolute fill of movie theaters, their outrageous prices, their ludicrous, overblown buildings, the recent sky-high price hike, the complete and utter scam of IMAX certified screens, disrespectful people, crying babies, teenagers texting and kicking the back of my seat...blah, blah, blah.</p> <p> Personally, the idea of a communal event is nonsense. It brings NOTHING to the event of watching a film. In fact, by and large, it greatly lessens the whole experience. What is so great about "communal" experiences? Why the tribal need to congregate with complete strangers, most of whom are just rude assholes?</p> <p> In our modern world, the very idea of having to venture out at a set time, pay someone for the ability to watch a film in THEIR venue (as opposed to my own personal venue), pay for overpriced and unhealthy popcorn and other garbage foods, deal with rude people, lines for the bathroom,'s ridiculous! And it's not like you're interacting with other people while watching the film (as you might if you had friends over at your own home). So while it may be communal, it actually prevents people from interacting. That's hardly "communal".</p> <p> To me, this so-called "communal experience" is the very antithesis of the proper film-going experience. And with televisions, home theater speaker systems, 3D televisions, etc., the theaters no longer provide anything you can't provide for yourself.</p> <p> If I were one of the many celebrities founding their own production studios, I would begin to establish strategic partnerships with groups like Netflix, Vudu, and the many on-demand cable providers, and cut the movie theaters out of the equation all together. Run my own trailers on the cable channels and in Netflix and Vudu advertisements. I'd release my films directly to these providers and I'd do it at prices similar to the movie theaters. I guarantee the money would be a landslide and you wouldn't have to pay these providers 50% of the ticket price, as you do with theaters.</p> <p> I'm absolutely appalled by James Cameron and the other directors bending over to take it from the theaters. I lost a great deal of respect for them for this totally bullshit stance. Their time is past; the era of the movie theater is over and I welcome the future of total home-based entertainment.

  • April 20, 2011, 7:41 p.m. CST


    by Stuntcock Mike

    Agreed, throw in the next Bond and Batman and we can happily wipe our asses with Hollywood's demise.

  • April 20, 2011, 7:42 p.m. CST


    by Stuntcock Mike

    You'd think so but it wasn't I'd never do it again though.

  • April 20, 2011, 7:45 p.m. CST

    "Everything burns."


    Yeah, fuck Hollywood. The first CHOPPAH International Pictures production will be an all-nude adaptation of Archie Comics. It will be a musical, and the songs will be written by Tangerine Dream and Meat Loaf.

  • April 20, 2011, 7:48 p.m. CST

    I remember seeing American Psycho in the cinema.

    by Stuntcock Mike

    Some broad got up halfway through and exclaimed loudly "I didn't pay to see a porno!" Some guy(I wish I could say it's me) said, "I did, shut the fuck up." And counting the # of walkouts during the Koteas Kornholing by Spader scene in Cronenberg's Crash. That was enjoyable as well.

  • April 20, 2011, 7:49 p.m. CST

    Billy_D_Williams - you're totally right...

    by ninpobugei

    I also remember having had some excellent theater experiences...TOP GUN, RETURN OF THE JEDI, BATMAN (1989) and THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS...but anymore that feeling is gone. As a point of contention, I'll be 40 in June, so I'm almost exactly the same age as Harry. I just have a very strong "been there, done that" feeling when it comes to movie theaters.</p> <p> The last big movie I saw in the theater was AVATAR (saw it in 3D; what a waste) and walked away completely underwhelmed. Oh, we also gave it one more shot recently and saw INCEPTION. Great movie, underwhelming experience in the theater.</p> <p> Personally, I like my big screens at home...a 50" plasma in the living room and a 42" LCD in the bedroom. I cuddle with my wife or sometimes with some friends, pop some air-popped popcorn and butter (none of that movie theater oily crap), turn down the lights and crank the speakers. Bliss!

  • April 20, 2011, 7:50 p.m. CST

    Fuck yeah Chop, Colin Farrell as Archie.

    by Stuntcock Mike

    Veronica and Betty, prepare to have your chim-chim's reduced to mashed salmon.

  • April 20, 2011, 7:51 p.m. CST

    Ah, I regret not seeing the real Crash in the movies.


    I had been planning to smuggle in a 15-inch dildo to pop out of my pants during that buttsex scene and then to yell out, "Holy fuck that's hot!"

  • April 20, 2011, 7:53 p.m. CST

    Tim Robbins as Jughead.


    He can play him as a sleazy old junky who chronically masturbates in a Burger King dumpster. Asked why, he lives in a dumpster, he can reply (in song, of course): "Because Megan's Law doesn't count dumpsters as reportable addresses!"

  • April 20, 2011, 7:57 p.m. CST

    I did laugh like a retard imitating a hyena during the fondling scene in Fake Crash.


    After There's Something About Mary, I can't take Dillon seriously in a sleazy role.

  • April 20, 2011, 7:58 p.m. CST

    I used to watch movies on Forty Second Street

    by cookylamoo

    And I loved sitting with the black dudes and their dates and yelling at the screen and listening to people trying to warn the chick HONEY, DON'T GO IN THAT ROOM and the screams and people selling joints the guy next to me sleeping on my shoulder. But that was FUN. Sitting through fifty commercials, listening to the babies cry, being chased out as soon as the movie is over is just not funky.

  • You know ... I fucking agree with that. How depressing is that? ....

  • April 20, 2011, 8:26 p.m. CST

    Movie theaters won't be around in ten or fifteen years.

    by Orbots Commander

    The movie business isn't going anywhere, mind you, but the theater business? It's doomed. Nordling, you're only defending a particular distribution method due to nostalgia and ideal memories, but social mores have changed, along with technology, which results in changing audience habits.

  • April 20, 2011, 8:33 p.m. CST

    theater experience

    by peytonallen

    Who in the world would pay $30 to see a movie at home? Especially when you can wait a few more weeks and Netflix it. It’s a desperate grab to replace DVD sales, obviously. Nobody in Hollywood has the foresight to address the real issue. Fake IMAX, 3D, Airwolf and other shit tv series on DVD they’re all band-aids. They work for a while and the movie business is saved.<br> Theaters and studios are going to have to work together to save the theater experience, one that, yes, deserves to be saved. But the business on both sides has to be rethought. <br> Over the next 5-10 years you’re going to see less screens. Theaters will close and that’s not a bad thing. I live in Greensboro, North Carolina and we have four multi-plexes, and a 5th just outside city limits. Why? It’s Greensboro. I’d gladly lose the convenience of choosing the closest theater to one that was properly run. They’re all soulless multi-plexes here. I’d love to see an Arclight, Warren, Alamo, etc. A theater that managed their customers, offered real concessions and valued the theater experience. How many of those places are there? How far in the minority are they?<br> For most of the country the theater experience equates to a buffet line. People are just turned loose and you hope to hell you get a good meal. Cameron and Jackson pushing 40 fps is a joke. 40 fps may blow my mind but the real issue is lost…again.<br> I’m all for fewer screens, more community owned theaters, etc. As I said I’d love to trade all the theater options in for an Arclight with an IMAX. <br> I do think the multi-plex era is ending. The only question is can studios and theaters ride the next wave in time.

  • April 20, 2011, 8:39 p.m. CST

    I cant wait for streaming films into my home on the day of release

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter

    Cinemas as a huge industry have had their day. I will still go see things like LOTR and Avatar on huge screens, but most other things look fine on my 50" HD plasma,. Plus I can smoke :) I CANNOT stand talking, phones, eating, rustling, and any other fucking noise that takes me out of the viewing experience. Frankly, the American experience of whoopin' and a hollerin' is my idea of hell. Cant think of anything worse than someone cheering over a bit that I want to hear. People are banned from talking when they watch a movie at my house, so I basically watch films on my own. Which suits me fine :) Maybe I've never had a proper cinema experience that would change my mind. The best was watching FOTR and when Aragon cuts Lurtz's head off towards the end, a 10 year old kid said "Yes!" quite quietly. That was enough audience participation for me. I like to cheer and whoop at films, as well as provide interesting commentry and observations about what other things the actors have been in. But I do it in the privacy of my own head. I wish other people would do the same.

  • ...when the earthquake rumbling started, the deep bass kicked in - causing some small pieces of plaster from the old, decorative ceiling to drop near my seat. I booked it out of the theater and into the lobby just as a couple packs of cigarettes fell off their display. Pretty freaky for a then-10 year old.

  • April 20, 2011, 8:43 p.m. CST

    peytonallen, agreed on this 40fps tripe.

    by Stuntcock Mike

    What's next, Cameron will be pimping his ex-wives out for gratis handjobs country-wide starting 2015? $95 a ticket.

  • April 20, 2011, 8:44 p.m. CST

    I only go to the theater for certain films

    by jimmy rabbitte

    The last thing I saw in a theater was True Grit; and I waited until it had been out for a while, also, I went on a Tuesday night. It was a great way to enjoy the experience. I can't stand seeing anything on an opening night anymore. People are just too stupid, with the talking and the incessant use of cell phones.<p> Another issue is people who bring their kids, without considering whether the film is right for their kids to be seeing. I'm not talking about sex or violence, I'm talking about the fact that their stupid ten year-olds might not understand fuck-all about what's going on in a film like Inception. They laugh at things that aren't jokes; and have to keep asking what's happening. The people wasted their ticket money; and the little bastards ruined several of the scenes. Why the frig shouldn't I just wait for stuff to come out on Blu-Ray?<p> Having said all that, I will be wanting to see several upcoming films in the theater this summer; but that will require some creativity on my part. The sad fact is, if I can't arrange to go to an off-peak showtime, I'll have to default to waiting for the Blu-Ray. The theater just isn't worth the effort if it's not on my terms; and 99% of the time it just isn't.

  • April 20, 2011, 8:49 p.m. CST

    I did watch The Kings Speech in an Indie theatre recently

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter

    And that was very good. The audience was small and well disciplined. This Arclight sounds like my sort of place. London has a few of them too, like the Greenwich Picturehouse near me. Really, its the end of the multiplex era we're seeing. I think there will always be a niche cinema industry. Fewer multiplexes for the big releases, and lots of smaller indie houses. And same day demand for everyone else for their home theatres. Welcome to the world of tomorrow!

  • April 20, 2011, 8:49 p.m. CST

    Yeah, but some audiences are fun..

    by Mel Garga

    I remember during the latest Rambo installment, Stallone is mowing generic Asians down like ants and the guy down the aisle is on his feet fist-pumping like it's 86' all over again. Magical. And when Arnold vanquished Sub Zero in the Running Man the theater got exceptionally quiet until this asshole who brought his own beer and cigarettes into the room shouts "Alright Arnold!!" and the place explodes in applause. You don't get that experience at home.

  • April 20, 2011, 8:55 p.m. CST

    its 48fps doofuses, not 40fps

    by Billy_D_Williams

    if you cant even get the frame rate correct, you dont deserve to be taken seriously So they're shooting The Hobbit at 48fps 3D instead of the industry standard 24fps (with 30 RED EPIC cameras). I've been hoping for this ever since I saw avatar... 3D is getting a bad rep because it's not being shot properly and viewed properly. In order to resolve the stereoscopic viewing, the frame rate needs to be increased because there is more happening in the image. 24fps 3D is more likely to give people headaches, eye strain and make the image judder like crazy during fast action...I could barely watch the scene in avatar where Jake fights the little demon creatures at night...3D exacerbates the flaws in 24fps photography, which is fine for 2D viewing. Cameron is aware of this, and wanted to shoot avatar at 48fps, but I believe the studio didn't want to. So those who think 3D is some kind of gimmick, or can't stand it, or what have you...take a step back and realize that the problems with 3D are technical, and not aesthetic. It's like judging a prototype...when it's merely there to be tweaked and not judged as the final product. The 3D people have seen so far is maybe 30% of its potential and is simply not being used properly...lets not even get into films that are NOT shot native 3D, but projected 3D anyway. 48 fps cinematography (shot and projected), which I've a sight to have no idea how much better 3D looks at 48 or 60fps...its smoother, clearer, easier on the eyes...and no, it doesn't look like a soap opera. If you go on the Star Tours ride at Disneyland, you'll have an idea of what to expect from the Hobbit, but in 3D. its historic....its the first time in the history of cinema that a major movie isn't being shot and projected at 24fps. Doug Trumbull created quite a stir with his showscan technique back in the 80s, shooting and projecting 65mm film at 60fps. I didn't see it, but apparently it left people completely stunned and unable to speak.

  • April 20, 2011, 9:01 p.m. CST

    Hear, hear!!

    by Mo_Rephus

    Excellent observation, Nordling!! It's just not the same anymore. I remember standing in line in 1979 for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The line was literally wrapped halfway around the entire building. Everyone was in good spirits and talking positively about what we were all about to experience and how much everyone loved Star Trek. I recall the movie playing in theaters for what seemed like forever. Movies weren't that expensive back then and a family could go out to the theater, grab a big bucket of buttered popcorn (back when it actually TASTED GOOD) and enjoy a night out together quite often. My personal peeve besides people with infants (I mean really...why are you not getting a baby sitter?) and the annoying & inconsiderate bastards who don't turn off their cell phones would have to be the highly over priced concessions and the really crappy often stale popcorn. The "butter" tastes more like someone dumped vegetable oil on it and the popcorn itself being air popped? Come on...when I go to the movies and get buttered popcorn the last blasted thing on my mind is healthy food (sorry, Nord). I want good ol' bad for me, popped in oil, super buttery popcorn. I try to eat right regularly, so when I go splurge for a ticket, I want to indulge myself with not so good for me snack items. Anyway, good write up, Nordling. Hopefully someone out there who can will actually read it and think about it.

  • April 20, 2011, 9:04 p.m. CST

    for me its all bluray these days... kinda sad...

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    for the last 5 or 7 years ive been going to the movies less and less - i love movies - im buried in them at home - i have vivid fond memories of going to single screen palaces with curtains, giant stereo speakers behind the screens, domed ceilings and balconies when i was a kid - they turned into dollar shows during the rise of the cineplex - eventually demolished - i have to be dragged to the movies now - a bluray setup with a 52 inch lcd is perfect for me now - my ideal movie going experience nowadays is in the summer (air conditioning), alone during the week and in the early afternoon (no crowds), digital projection on the biggest screen in the theater - the last movie i went to see in a theater was "predators"

  • April 20, 2011, 9:09 p.m. CST

    No desire to go anymore really

    by Marat

    Face it, with the Internet and down loads and streaming video, people won't want to go as much. Cellphones and bad crowds also deter from the enjoyment. There have been a few great cinema experiences for me: Star Wars Special Edition Lord of the Rings Passion of the Christ (despite some woman rocking back and forth next to me it was one of the most "reverent" and quiet crowds I've ever been part of) The best experience was the only midnight showing I've ever been to - Episode 3. All ages packed 3-4 different screens and ours, the last midnight showing was there for one fucking thing - the film. No talking, no bullshit, not even any popcorn noises. That was the single greatest cinema experience I've ever had. If I ever bother going to the cinema again, it will be for the Hobbit films, at midnight. Other than that, I wait for DVD or download.

  • April 20, 2011, 9:16 p.m. CST

    billy d

    by peytonallen

    48 frames per second, sorry, nail me to a cross. The mere fact that you're excited about seeing the Hobbit at 48 fps in 3d and will have about five options of where to see the movie projected that way is laughable. The problem with 3d is its a Golden Calf that's already been slaughtered. The price hikes, the poor conversions, it's an idea that won't fully be saved again until we're able to see it without glasses. I find the fact that people are actually buying 3d tvs quite funny. I don't get it. I loved Beowulf and Avatar but 3d done right is rare. There's too much dysfunction right now between studios and theaters to expect massive amounts of theaters to be ready to show the Hobbit the way Jackson intends over a year from now. 48 fps, Maxivision, showscan...they're not the heart of the solution. Improving the experience, lowering cost, and improve customer service will save enough theaters. That said, IMAX has shown people are starved for something new. I'd love to have one closer to me. Over the years theater screens have gotten smaller. People are reacting to a true theater going experience with IMAX of being overwhelmed. I'm all for 48 frames per second, or 60. But 24 fps is the least of theaters worries right now. Its cute you think otherwise, though.

  • April 20, 2011, 9:20 p.m. CST

    Seventy-nine cents for a box of Banana Walrus Wafers?

    by frank

    That’s ridiculous!

  • April 20, 2011, 9:21 p.m. CST

    Yeah, well Radio is still around isn't it?

    by cookylamoo

    Of course it's all broadcast by one company.

  • April 20, 2011, 9:22 p.m. CST

    jaws, star wars, ce3k, superman, raiders...

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    i remember going to see these many times over and over - they stayed in theaters for entire seasons and sometimes longer - so long that eventually the prints would show wear and the audio would start popping and going out during some scenes - but we loved it - it was magical - the screens were big windows - i miss that - now people are content to watch transformers fighting on their phones

  • April 20, 2011, 9:27 p.m. CST

    loved the article..

    by dengreg31

    We haven't been to a theater in 3 years.. and I can't imagine going back.. Our giant HD tv, cheap popcorn and snacks... and no texting teens, rude talking adults etc... hasta la vista theaters...

  • Home theatre all the way... only exception is a Wednesday morning matinee.

  • April 20, 2011, 9:33 p.m. CST

    It's great to say how GREAT the theater is.. BUT..

    by mcgillj

    Nordling may LIVE in an area with a DECENT theater.. with a REAL 3D capable IMAX beast.. or a theater that caters to older cooler stuff like Alama.. or The Arclight.. Those are EXPERIENCES though... MOST people's MOVIE experience end up.. like me in Scream 4.. with some IDIOTS behind me saying "retard" literally on a 5 minute loop regular as a Swiss clock. or.. how about the lady that brought her CRYING BABY into the movie.. fer crying out lady.. Its Scream 4.. not Elmo! The Arclight hosts things like filmmakers talking about their work.. classic works like Raiders.. BIG theaters have HUGE 3D sceens.. you EXPECT those to be at a premium.. when you get charged 10 bucks.. and have to sit in a seat that looks like someone jizzed all over it, and smells like it too. You can't have a BEER? or.. some GOOD food.. just the 3 types of candy they THINK you should like. and buy? I STILL go to the theater.. to SEE a movie.. but if I had a choice.. I'd STAY the hell home and watch it on my 42" LCD.. its not huge or anything. but the seating is comfortable.. and I can pause the thing.. People's LACK of consideration for OTHERS is what has really KILLED the theatrical experience. You can't enjoy a movie with idiot people surrounding you.. mouth breathers laughing when some guy gets knocked in the nuts, pretty much throwing out sound for 5 minutes for these people to keep laughing and chewing their popcorn as LOUDLY as possible.. while telling their kids to shut up! So... as a single guy.. with NO little mouthbreathers.. and ZERO problem keeping quiet for two hours.. CAN go 2 minutes without playing on my cellphone.. Theaters are for chumps.. IF a filmmaker was coming to TALK about a film.. OR.. if there was some revival of Raiders.. or Star Wars. or Rocky.. I'd BE THERE.. the people there would be FANS.. and respectful of the film.. not the real mix bag you get out in the real world.

  • April 20, 2011, 9:33 p.m. CST

    Good stuff Xen11

    by Mel Garga

    It's funny how your life's memories get divided into pre and post-divorce. I remember my married parents and I waiting in line to see Return of the Jedi. The theater only had two screens and they were both showing it. The building shared a common wall with a McDonald's. Plus, when it comes to movies I can almost always recall where I saw it and who I saw it with. Lots of great memories, even for shitty films.

  • April 20, 2011, 9:34 p.m. CST

    cell phones are killing going to the movies

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    not just them going off and people talking on them - bad enough - but their screens - their glowing screens invade my periphery and sever my connection to the screen - i fucking hate that - i involuntarily look away from the screen to see some douche bag checking his giant glowing smart phone for messages - the craziest thing - i was watching "lost highway" in a theater and about halfway through a baby started crying - an infant - this was after 9pm - people started laughing - then people started getting mad - a person with the baby snapped "it's just a baby!" (like, wtf) - someone yelled back louder and angrier "it shouldnt be here ass hole!" - people cheered - the baby and its "parents" left

  • April 20, 2011, 9:39 p.m. CST


    by DiscoGodfather

    If you're lucky enough to be able to see theatrical movies at a true 15/70 IMAX theater that projects film (usually museums or science centers), it's the only way to watch a movie. I actually got a private tour of the IMAX projection booth at the Henry Ford IMAX Theater in Dearborn, MI. A pretty awesome experience for a total movie geek. Saw "Inception" and "TRON: Legacy" twice in 15/70 IMAX, and in no other theatrical format until BD. And I'm looking forward to seeing the new "Pirates" movie there too, but that's primarily because my girlfriend is hot for Johnny Depp and bringing her to watch 60 foot tall Jack Sparrow in 3D will pretty much guarantee I'll get some that night. Regardless, it's 15/70 IMAX or nothing.

  • April 20, 2011, 9:44 p.m. CST

    I go to at least one movie a week at a theater.

    by antonphd

    I will keep going until they stop having theaters or I die, because I love the theater experience. It is one of the only communal experiences left.

  • April 20, 2011, 9:47 p.m. CST


    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    when i went to see episode one (the second time) a guy a couple seats away pulled a large sack of macdonalds out of his man purse - it was distracting - but it smelled great - i envied him - my regular movie sneak-ins were a dr pepper, a bag of ny deli chips and a bag of peanut m&ms - a couple times i got shushed trying to quietly open the chips - loud metalic bags - they seemed to get louder no matter how slowly and methodically id tear at them - i quickly twisted open my dr pepper just as shaft's opening titles were starting only to have half the soda shoot out and cover my white pants - ruined the movie - looked like a giant piss stain covering my pants afterwards - karma

  • April 20, 2011, 9:50 p.m. CST

    peytonallen, you're an ignorant peon...

    by Billy_D_Williams

    5 theaters? is that a joke. there are thousands of digital projection theaters in the country, and all that is needed is a simply firmware upgrade to project at native you really believe that warner brothers would put hundreds of millions of dollars into a film(s) that would only be playable in 5 theaters??? you really are dumber than i thought. and you're just confirming what i already wrote when you spoke of 3D without glasses...i said we're in the infancy of 3D and to dismiss it because of sub standard techniques is incredibly shortsighted...48fps 3D is part of that massive upgrade needed to make 3D a viable alternative, as right now 24fps makes it look like shit. 3D without glasses is down the road...

  • April 20, 2011, 9:50 p.m. CST


    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    what did you expect? - it was "scream 4"

  • April 20, 2011, 9:57 p.m. CST

    i saw a fight break out in a line to see "jaws"

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    the lobby entrance started to bottle neck - people acted like it was a who concert - kinda traumatic - i was 11 - never saw grown ups fight before that

  • April 20, 2011, 10:06 p.m. CST

    It's matinees for me...

    by art123guy

    ...$5.00. I saw Drive Angry in 3D for $8.00 in a theater alone and loved the hell out of it. You wanna really enjoy a movie, go to the matinee. Fact: For the most part, people suck in theaters. Maybe if I watched old fart movies the crowd would be different, but I don't, and I'm 45. And it's not just kids or teenagers, it's all ages. The problem is people don't give a shit about others around them. Don't believe me? I guess you've never been shopping and had some idiot talking to his wife at the top of his lungs trying to find the right mustard. Like I wanna hear your conversation. Or the dumb bitch in the fast checkout lane who can't pay and talk on the phone at the same time, so obviously she has to stop and talk. If people are ignorant of those around them in a brightly lit store, why would they care about those around them in a dark theater? As jimmyjoe redsky said, it's the fucking glowing screen that I see out of the corner of my eye that pisses me off. If you're more interested in your phone than the movie, get up and leave. Don't ruin the movie for me. I wanna see what I paid for. As crazy as it sounds, I think a large part of it has to do with the fact that we're spoiled. We can watch commercial free movies in our home. So when we go out, we act as if we're still at home only with a bigger screen. I'm going to see Scream 4 tomorrow (for $5) and I PRAY the theater is empty. The theater experience will eventually die, just as record stores did, it's inevitably. If you can get it at home cheaper, why go out?

  • April 20, 2011, 10:12 p.m. CST

    And another thing...

    by art123guy

    ...communal experience? Puh-lease. These are the same people who think social networking on their computer means they are REALLY being social. News Flash: You're in your home ALONE typing (not talking) to who knows what on the other side.

  • April 20, 2011, 10:50 p.m. CST


    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    if the movie theater does eventually die i predict it will return in a slightly different form - not form really but sold more as "an authentic experience" - in the future after cineplexes are gone someone will reintroduce the classic movie palace "experience" - it wont be cheap (only in certain cities), but it will be the real deal - and the kicker is to get in and see the show the patrons have to follow strictly enforced rules (there will be ushers with flash lights) - no talking, phone calls, 3d or any other 21st century bull shit - i honestly think people will line up and follow the rules - this of course will be decades from now

  • April 20, 2011, 10:58 p.m. CST


    by antonphd

    i like to watch movies at matinees when i see them opening day, but otherwise i watch movie mid week when it's not too crowded i stay the HELL away from the theater on saturday and sunday mornings when parents are bringing their kids i used to love to go to the midnight shows with the big rowdy crowds of teenagers and college students and film geeks, but my wife isn't so keen on that much anymore and i'd rather watch a film with her than without her one thing you can't get without a good crowd is the kind of energy you get during the bombing of the big tree in Avatar. when the tree fell you could feel the 9/11 post traumatic rage in the theater during that scene. right then and there was when you could see it in people's eyes, if you looked around like i did the numerous times i watched it, you could see them start step across the line to side with the aliens against humans. young to old i watched this happen. and you felt it. and when later jake yells 'this is our land' you felt the people as a whole group react to that. you can't get that at home. which is what i love about the theater.

  • April 20, 2011, 11:09 p.m. CST


    by jedimast3r some goodwill toward them and lower ticket prices to encourage movie attendance. <p>No? <p>Thought as much. Let me give it to you straight: My wife and family and I have had these discussions over and over again, and not only do we wish that we could get movies at home on demand sooner after release...hell, we want them OPENING DAY. <p>The reasons go beyond just money. I know that if I watch the movie at home on my setup, it's going to look better, sound twice as good, and no idiot with a fat head or height problem is going to obstruct my view. I'm not going to breathe in my tshirt because the people beside me don't know how to shower. I won't have to threaten some dude or a bunch of kids that I'm going to run over them in my truck after the movie because they WON'T SHUT THE FUCK UP. <p>Honestly, you can't fight the future, tech is catching up with the movie industry. Hence, the 3D bullshit...put it in a format that demands more money that differentiates the theater from the home experience. But know what? SOME OF US HATE FUCKING 3D and the RETARDED GLASSES...and if I'm at home with my wife and kids then I know I don't have to deal with this shit. <p>BRING ON SAME DAY ON DEMAND!

  • April 20, 2011, 11:15 p.m. CST

    I saw 'Alien' in August 1979 in Cinerama...

    by zinc_chameleon

    in a packed house, on opening night. A lot of horror fans were there, but nobody knew anything about the Chestburster. The whole audience screamed as one. Yup, Nordling, there's something to be said for theatre. BTW, theatre is a trans-literation of 'theatrou' the ancient Greek term for 'the place where the gods reveal themselves'. The gods will always find new places to reveal themselves....

  • April 20, 2011, 11:55 p.m. CST

    Your Stance on Drive-in's?

    by ScooterJockey

    How does this argument translate to Drive-in Theaters? We're having a bit of trouble with our City wanting to tear down our local Drive-in and put up (of all things!) a Walmart! Over 15,000 fans of the drive-in have congregated on facebook to fight the plan - do you think Drive-in's have had their day, or do you think there's still a place for them in the current market? Check out our page on facebook at: "SavetheCottageViewDrivein" THANKS! -T.

  • April 21, 2011, 12:07 a.m. CST

    TV is better than movies now.

    by SmokingRobot

    'Breaking Bad'. 'Justified'. 'White Collar'. 'Fringe'. And on and on. Hell, even when someone asks Dean why he and Sam fight angels and he says, 'because they're dicks', that's better and more original than most scenes in movies these days.

  • April 21, 2011, 12:14 a.m. CST

    @billy d

    by stevepants

    I totally agree with you on the communal experience thing..I was just pointing out the difference between watching at home with friends as opposed to being in a theater. Personally, I think going to the theater is pretty much balls at this point. I still go, mostly because it's a break from being a dad.

  • April 21, 2011, 12:40 a.m. CST

    I agree

    by VonThunderballs

    I am a huge fan of the theatrical experience. I love the feeling of sitting down and making the movie itself more of an event than just plopping down and watching at home. You can't fit hundreds of like-minded movie nerds into one house. We need theaters to pack into. We need theaters to line up at around midnight the day of release. We need places to watch Repo! and RHPS every fucking week. The best times I had with movies was at the thearer. I was one of those assholes that lined up weeks in advance to see the (crap-tastic) Star Wars Ep. 1. Was it all that great? No, but I wouldn't give up that experience for anything. See you bitches at the Drafthouse!

  • April 21, 2011, 12:57 a.m. CST

    pishowda, talking *before* commercials?

    by Dreamwriter

    You must not have gone to a movie in a while. There is no "before" commercials. In the 20 minutes before a movie's start time, they are blaring commercials, making it hard to talk to anybody. That's followed by 15 minutes of movie trailers, followed by the movie.

  • April 21, 2011, 1:06 a.m. CST

    Global release dates

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    Have lived in Japan for the last 5 years, with a year or so during that time in Hong Kong, and for us outside of the US one of the biggest issues is when there are delayed release dates. In the past before significant internet usage, when video or even DVD releases were 6months to a year (if not longer) after the movie was in the cinema, a delayed release of a movie across the globe was annoying but would not have a significant commercial impact. Today as soon a movie is released in the US on DVD or Blu Ray in no time its available on the internet to be downloaded (yes illegally) across the globe, burnt on to DVDs in some places and sold for next to nothing. You will never ever get rid of piracy in its totality, but by having a delayed release (and I mean significantly delayed by a few months etc) you are pretty much giving up getting money in these markets, and you are telling these markets that you just have to wait and then expecting them to respect you. It’s great to be all high and mighty and say piracy is illegal, it’s wrong, just say no, (yes obvious reference to society’s failed prohibition like attitude towards illegal drug use), but that doesn’t work and as they say the definition of insanity if repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. The distribution model and overall attitude needs to change and in some small ways I see that they are doing this with VOD, providing a service between when the movie is available at the cinema and when it is available on DVD/Blu-ray. The next change that I obviously want to see is how this is applied across the globe. The country specific distributors concept is about as ridiculous as region specific DVDs/Blu-Rays etc that have no place in a modern globally connected world. This goes for television as well. The survival of cinemas will be on how they adapt, and ultimately how they differentiate and sell their product, why should people want to go to the cinema and see a movie instead of watching it at home, if your strongest selling point is that you can see it first, then you really won’t be in business for too much longer. The alternative is the industry can keep saying no, blame piracy for all their woes, and then have the same kind of problems as the music industry did/does.

  • April 21, 2011, 1:20 a.m. CST

    I love going to the theater


    but I often download the divx for $0

  • April 21, 2011, 1:44 a.m. CST

    Top ten movie going experiences...

    by ccchhhrrriiisssm

    Great article! Yes, it is the experience that we are purchasing...and not just a view of a film. Unfortunately, the experience is often contrived now. It shouldn't cost an arm and a leg to watch a bad movie. We sit through 20 minutes of advertisements (and that is AFTER the movie time). It can cost more than $100 for a small family to watch a single film -- and that amount of money can purchase a Blu-Ray player at Target. However, I have had quite a few good experiences at the movies. Here are a few...and why: 10. Spiderman 2 -- I was dating my wife at the time...and it was the first superhero film that she actually enjoyed. The audience loved it. The film was quite an effort by Sam Raimi...and it was greatly appreciated. 9. Saving Private Ryan -- I remember watching it during the opening week with some friends from school. After it was finished, we were some of the last people in the theater. As we were leaving, we saw an old man with one of those "retired military" caps sitting down with his wife who was trying to comfort him. I was moved...watching a man who was a very good war movie. 8. Titanic -- It is funny how many people suddenly claim that they never liked this movie. I remember that film playing on multiple screens at our local theater for at least five MONTHS. When I watched it the first time, I remember seeing several people crying in the movie theater. One lady was literally sobbing. 7. Shrek 2 -- I was dating my wife at the time, and we watched this with her family at a Drive In theater! Yes, there are still a few of those around -- and the experience is fantastic! 6. The Passion of the Christ -- I really don't care about the Mel Gibson fiascos, but that film was very well made retelling of the Christ story. I remember watching it and being greatly moved. One of the biggest party animals in my dorm watched it...and stopped partying (for a few weeks). But, the experience in the theater almost felt...sacred. Weird. 5. Citizen Kane -- I saw this film at the Stanford Theater in Palo Alto, CA. This is a fantastic movie theater that has been restored to its former glory. It even has an original pipe organ from the early days of cinema. I was amazed at how good this old film was...and I was watching it as it would have been seen during its first run. Fantastic! 4. Star Wars: Episode 1 -- The crowds wrapped around the mall for this one! Standing in line was almost as good an experience as the movie! People applauded when the film started...and during each subtle reference to the OT. Whether you like the movie or not is irrelevant...but the film made me think of those days where people supposedly waited in line for the first STAR WARS film. 3. The Sixth Sense -- This was the first truly startling film that I ever watched at a theater. I went to this one with some school friends...and it was the first time that I saw popcorn fly in a theater! When people saw the dead...they were so startled that their $7 bucket of popcorn flew (as if it would protect them from the dead). The movie was an "experience" -- and that experience made the film worth a second price of admission. 2. The Empire Strikes Back Special Edition -- I watched this film...and saw little kids in the theater screaming, "Cool!" Kids left the theater humming the themes of the movie...and acting like they were in a lightsaber fight with Darth Vader. Adults and kids alike were quoting some clever one-liners from the likes of Yoda, Vader, Han Solo, Obi-Wan, C3PO and Luke. Good stuff. It made me realize just how special the OT was...that it converted an entire new generation of children into fans of STAR WARS. It was also very cool to see one of my favorite films on the big screen! 1. Star Trek (2009) -- I saw this film at the movie theater located next to Google's headquarters in Mountain View, CA. The movie was filled with Trekkies and geeks. Some of them were still wearing their name tags and badges from various tech companies here in the Silicon Valley. Their response to the film was great...and I was surprised by the reception to the film. It was a good time...the way a summer film should be. My wife actually liked it too...enough to ask me if I wanted to watch it again a few days later.

  • April 21, 2011, 1:52 a.m. CST

    Remember when ushers made you leave if you didn't shut the hell up?

    by Arcadian Del Sol

    I listened to some fat hillbilly on his phone through half of Hellboy II. I am never going back to a movie theater again. Let them rot.

  • April 21, 2011, 2:01 a.m. CST

    ME!! ME!! NOW!! NOW!! ME!! ME!! NOW!! NOW!!

    by Cheif Brody

    Sad to say...that's the way we humans have evolved. We keep talking about our film experiences from the 70's and 80's...No cell internet...MTV was still playin music took 6 months for a movie to hit VHS at Blockbuster...or longer. <p> Everything must be immediate gratification these days. How many of us are guilty of asking "Where's the goddamn set pics from Captain America, already?!!"..."Where's the trailer for Thor?!"..."Have they started shooting Dark Knight Rises yet?"... <p> We want it...and we want it NOW. Hell...bit torrents of Iron Man 2 leaking out MONTHS before the release date? Half the effects and score not even finished? WTF? <p> We're all a buncha self absorbed, impatient assholes now. <p> 5 times in my life has the audience collectively applauded a movie when the credits rolled: <p> ROCKY. <p> STAR WARS: ANH. <p> ET. <p> RAIDERS. <p> THE MATRIX. <p> Those 5 times are no match for the countless times my theater experience was ruined by talking and cell phones ringing and bad projection and bad sound. Attention spans have gotten shorter and shorter as the years have gone on. <p> I don't see a fix for this...Now, the studios are ONLY concerned about a film's opening weekend. After that, they immediately move on and yell "OK, SEND IT TO NETFLIX! NEXT!". <p> Perhaps it will make filmmakers strive harder to make films that will have a decent theatrical shelf life BEYOND opening weekend. But, considering the re-boot, re-hash, lowest common denominator mentality of today's Hollywood...I don't see that happening any time soon. <p> I need a drink.

  • April 21, 2011, 2:28 a.m. CST

    Human beings are fucking scum

    by CT1

    Unfortunately in our society today, the inherent flaw in the "communal" experience is the FEW assholes that ruin it for everybody is allowed.. it's like hey man its a free country I'm not allowed to punch this stupid fuckhead in his fucking face because he won't SHUT THE FUCK UP. In America, the needs of the many does NOT outweigh the needs of the few.. in fact, it's reversed; we have to CATER to the fucking retards that ruin communal experiences. And yes, people outside of America, the typical stereotype is completely validated in our movietheaters, that the general American is a fucking child that can't sit still or focus for more than 5 goddamn minutes and has to ruin it for everyone else. lmao at the old lady that had a picnic, yeah I had some fat "light in the loafers" dude sit a couple seats away from me during my second Inception viewing, he almost seems mentally deficient, just like one of those gross pedo guys, wearing little running shorts with his hairy nasty thick legs, with dirty sneakers and a stained shirt, like one of those fuckbrains from To Catch A Predator, just some fuckin molester ass looking fellow.. anyways, he had a backpack, and this dude just pulled shit out of there the entire fuckin movie, eatin fuckin sandwiches and chips and candy and a whole host of cupcakes, ding dongs, fuckin zingers, just crumbs fallin all over. He was also so jazzed about being at the movies that he was constantly giggling like a 9 year old boy, at shit that wasn't even supposed to be funny, you know those dumbfucks. "So, a totem.. you need a small object, potentially heavy, something you can have on you all the time that no one else knows." "Like a coin?" "No, it needs to be more unique than that. This is a.. loaded die.. I can't let you touch it, that would defeat the purpose. See, only I know the balance and weight of this particular loaded die. That way, when you look at your totem, you know beyond a doubt you're not in someone else's dream." -giggle-

  • April 21, 2011, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Billy D

    by BlaGyver

    I brought a Chipotle burrito into Shutter Island. It's quiet at least.

  • Second time I saw The Dark Knight in a theatre was on a vacation to Asheville NC. Saw it with a prominently black audience. Now, this is the only time that this stereotype has actually played out in front of me, but the following happened: 1. When the Joker kills Gambol, the audience erupted into "YEAH, YEAH FUCK THAT N**** UP, DO IT, FUCK, DO IT, GET DAT N****" 2. Any serious moment (which, if you didn't know, are frequent in the movie) was broken by laughter and comments. 3. When Dent's face is burning off, the audience members were laughing their asses off. 4. Every time they showed Dent's burnt face, "MAN PUT DAT SHIT AWAY, GROSS, FUCK EWWWW". I mean EVERY FUCKING TIME it was on the screen.

  • April 21, 2011, 5:23 p.m. CST

    chrism, SpiderMan 2

    by BlaGyver

    Was the first superhero movie I ever saw with my dad in theatres. I was just getting out of that phase of puberty where all you watch are really shitty movies and he'd had to sit through his fair share of absolute garbage (Are We There Yet?....god bless him for not walking out). We walked out of the theatre in silence, I was waiting for him to say something. After about a minute and a half of silence he just goes, "...that was amazing." It was just really cool to have that happen, to know that he enjoyed something as much as I did for once.

  • April 21, 2011, 5:24 p.m. CST

    chief brody = 100% correct

    by schadenfreudian

    Unfortunately, he's right. About all of that.

  • April 21, 2011, 5:30 p.m. CST

    cheif brody = 100% correct

    by schadenfreudian

    Unfortunately, he's completely right. About all of that.

  • April 21, 2011, 5:31 p.m. CST

    Sorry about the double post

    by schadenfreudian

    The internet is a fucking dick.

  • April 21, 2011, 5:41 p.m. CST

    Billy D blah blah blah

    by peytonallen

    Do you understand the word infancy? 3d has been around for decades you dumb shit. And it hasn't caught on yet. Yes I think some form of it will be the future. But until it works without glasses (and who knows how far we are from that technology) i think it will be a small market. If 48 fps is part of the answer I am willing to be blown away by the Hobbit. Jackson himself is not sure how many theaters will be able to show 48fps by the time the Hobbit is released. But regardless, there's a heavy backlash against 3d right now. We're miles from making it the norm as Cameron wants. Forget 3d. Let's see the higher frame rates and more films shot in IMAX.

  • April 21, 2011, 5:54 p.m. CST

    "it was distracting - but it smelled great - i envied him"


    Brilliant! .... I've had lots of food envy over the years ... some guy brought a bucket of KFC into Saving Private Ryan, it had just started and I was mildly hungry ..... by the end I wanted to eat my chair!

  • April 21, 2011, 5:58 p.m. CST

    blagyver... not about race, but class...

    by JimmyJoe RedSky


  • April 21, 2011, 6:01 p.m. CST


    by BlaGyver

    Absolutely. I should have clarified more that I am not a judgmental person nor do I buy into stereotypes often. It was just...honestly, it was like something out of a movie or a TV show. I was like " wait, this really happens?"

  • April 21, 2011, 6:26 p.m. CST

    Films used to play longer theatrically due to less theaters & films!

    by The Reluctant Austinite

    When I was a kid there was ONE big first run theater in the Louisville area. There were several small, four screen, second run/grindhouse types of theaters, but only one first run theater with big silver screens. If you lived within an hour radius and you wanted to see a big movie, you went to that theater. We all went to the same theater to see "Star Wars","Close Encounters", "Raiders", "Poltergeist", etc. Now there are at least six or eight major mulitiplexes in the metro Louisville area, all playing the same shit on multiple screens at the same time. Back in the early 80s, "Raiders of the Lost Ark" played in the theater for over a year because it was popular and it took people a while to get around to going to the theater to see it. Now if you want to see a new film you don't need to drive more than 5 to 10 miles (usually less) and there's a show starting every 15 minutes. You hardly even need to check the show times. Also, there are AT LEAST 4 or 5 major releases every week compared to 8 or 10 major releases per year 20 years ago. That's why nothing can play long anymore. There's too much stuff coming out to hold onto anything very long. The audience's attention span is much, much shorter and hunger for something new is much, much greater.

  • April 21, 2011, 6:27 p.m. CST

    My best theater experience(s)

    by Starkiller1

    I went into JURASSIC PARK in 5th grade not knowing anything except that it somehow involved dinosaurs. Blew me away. Seeing A NEW HOPE for the first time on the big screen in '97 was like looking at my entire life from a new perspective. Seeing THE BIG LEBOWSKI with 3 friends, and laughing until we couldn't breathe. It was one of those situations where the rest of the audience was laughing as much at the 4 of us as they were at the movie. Going to see THE MATRIX with a group of friends that got split up, so we ended up in two different theaters, then meeting in the lobby to a chorus of "Holy Shit!" The winner is skipping school and being first in line to buy EPISODE 1 tickets; tailgating, being interviewed by reporters and journalists and being on a few channels that night and the papers the next day, people bringing us coffee and bagels in the morning, and pizzas and drinks in the afternoon, and wanting to take their pictures with us just because we were 1st. The movie was disappointing, but that was still the best. I go to the theater about twice a week, and I will never use this VOD service. Theaters are too expensive, true, but I'm not paying $30 for something that I won't then own. I live in LA, so I live at the Arclight. The people are well-behaved, there are no commercials, and sometimes you spot celebrities sitting behind you. It would be the perfect theater if they had an IMAX. For that, I go to the Rave, or to Universal City. Neither of these theaters is that great, in fact the people at Universal make me wish for the apocalypse, but Rave is a newer and very decent IMAX. After Arclight, though, I hit the Sunset 5 and the Landmark most often. The former is a cheap art house theater that plays indie gems, and the latter has a comparable slate and amenities to Arclight. There's something great about stretching out on a leather couch and watching a great indie with about 20 other people at the Landmark. Basically, if you live in an urban area, then the only place you should be dealing with assholes is at IMAX, and hopefully it's so loud that they don't register. And before I die, I need to go to the Alamo Drafthouse. I hear they're bringing one to LA, so consider me excited.

  • April 21, 2011, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Chief Brody is right and we're all to blame.

    by The Reluctant Austinite

    Harry Knowles has typed many times, "I want it NOW!" or "I want to see it NOW!" and we all love Harry, and all of this rubs off on us. His passion rubs off on us, but it's not always a good thing. I, myself, begged for a picture of Thor as soon as shooting began. I was even PISSED for not getting one. Back in the day, we generally didn't even know a film was made until 2 or 3 weeks before release when the trailers started playing on TV. Sometimes we'd read about it "Starlog" or "Fangoria", but usually we knew nothing about it. Now we know about before it's ever greenlit. We see the script. We see the casting info. By the time it's playing in our local theater there is usually a bootleg circulating around my friends and colleges.

  • April 21, 2011, 6:39 p.m. CST

    blagyver... surprised you never seen this before

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    my first movie with a mostly black audience was "dracual has risen from the grave" - yeah, im that old - the movie terrified me, but the crowd and their lively humor took the edge off - i was greatful for it at the time - i remember seeing "new jack city" with a black crowd, kinda made the movie better - its more often than not a fun experience - it only sucks when certain members of the audience compete with whats on screen rather than respond to it - thats not tolerated for long though - a black audience will tell one of its members to shut the fuck up in short order

  • April 21, 2011, 6:40 p.m. CST

    i misspelled "dracula"

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

  • April 21, 2011, 7:11 p.m. CST

    Get a job you broke bastards

    by PornKing

    Waahhhhh! I can't afford $10 to see a movie, it's too expensive! Guess how much it costs to go to a bar for a couple of hours and drink/shoot pool/play darts? Jesus, get a friggin real job if you can't afford $10 for a movie ticket. No one is holding a gun to your head to buy the $8 tub of popcorn you fatties. I never buy that shit anyway.

  • April 21, 2011, 7:24 p.m. CST

    Go to the cinema! Your witnessing will be kind of astonishing!


    Your witnessing will NOT be kind of astonishing at home. As Palpatine once said: "Only now, at the end, do you understand."

  • April 21, 2011, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Short Sighted Studios

    by akirakid

    I used to work for Blockbuster Video in the 90's and I remember when the window from opening night to debut on video was six months! The problem I see is just flat out greed. Remember how long it took Lucas to put out The Trilogy on VHS? It allowed him to reissue them as "The Special Editions". Movies stayed in theaters because that was the only way to see them. If the studios would just see that they are being shortsighted by rushing the dollar to home viewing, they would delay the home release to six months or even longer. Demand to see the latest flicks would be more. Movies open on 3000 screens. Let's try opening "Amazing Spider-Man" on not even half of that and keep tickets in demand because every show sells out. Let's bring the matinee times back to before 6 pm (my local Regal it's before 3 pm). Let's delay the iTunes release and On Demand dates to 2 months AFTER home video. The studios need to take back control of their product. People want what they can't have. The studios think they are beating piracy by giving in to the public but all they are doing is creating a spoiled bunch of Veruca Salts that demand, "Give it to me, now!" and they are giving in. It's time for the studios to put their collective feet down, draw a line in the sand and stand their ground. Everyone will benefit. The home video market will get a breath of life and movies will stay in theaters longer. Longer cinema dates means that the theaters can lower their prices because they know they will make their money back in the long run. It just seems everyone is only concentrated on the immediate dollar and no one is looking long term. I would actually like to see the studios dismantle their home video divisions entirely and only offer films in theaters but I am a realist.

  • April 21, 2011, 7:43 p.m. CST

    Hell is other people.

    by TheHumanBeingAndFish

    "Avatar" is the only film I've seen theatrically since "Revenge of the Sith", and based on that experience, I suspect that 3D might be the future of theater - partially because it removes the "communal experience" that some people so celebrate. I was blissfully unaware of other audience members while watching that film - nobody was talking, screaming, or using cell phones. Maybe those 3D glasses inhibit that sort of behavior. Thanks to DVD and Blu-Ray, I can now enjoy "Revenge of the Sith" and the like on my comfortable couch, have a glass of wine, being able to pause if desired, and without the presence of subhuman cretins who continuously talk to each other or on their cell phones or *yell* stuff at the screen. As Sartre put it, "Hell is other people". True dat.

  • April 21, 2011, 7:45 p.m. CST

    lol @ pornking

    by jedimast3r

    I have a better job than you'll ever dream of having. For this reason, my home theater experience is better than any "communal experience" could be. <p>Who the hell needs random moron tweeners to clap in unison at Neo or Luke when friends and loved ones can come to my house and enjoy free food, a bad ass home theater setup, and free beer? Every single time we go to the movies with friends for a midnight showing or "event" we always have a story about idiots that are thrown out, a fight that starts, or some way that the picture is broken during the showing. For The Dark Knight, our picture stopped during the Joker's interrogation sequence with Batman. We talk about that, not at how the audience shrieked in surprise at the Joker's antics (which never happened). <p>Do you people really need the approval of strangers to validate and enrich your movie experience? Sounds pretty sad. Moviegoing to me is no longer the norm, it's a very rare experience. Granted, this is my choice.

  • April 21, 2011, 7:49 p.m. CST

    i agree

    by jsfithaca

    i love watching movies in theatres and its mad annoying how pricey its getting

  • texted throughout the entire showing. Mom, Dad and the kids maybe saw 10 minutes of the movie. I would not call this "family time"...more than half the audience talked and took calls on their phones. This is why I go to the movies once a year. The low quality of the picture, sound and the general surroundings are sub standard. Hell I saw "Jaws" in the theater when it first came out and the overall quality was better. We are going to have to face the fact that movies theaters are dying out.

  • April 21, 2011, 8 p.m. CST

    Drive in theaters = communal experience

    by jupiterjim

    The drive in by our house is till known for lousy movies at a great price. I don't mind paying $25.00 for 6 of us to see the latest "transformers" when I know that I can get a beer and grill hot dogs in my truck bed. The kids can run around and you get to meet a lot of interesting folks that you actually have conversations with other than "get off your damn phone I can't hear the movie". The pizza at the snack bar sucks so you have to bring your own. Big deal. Your kids will get out and play with other kids and have a great time. Sorry to hear that they are dying breed.

  • April 21, 2011, 8:10 p.m. CST

    snm1266 and Others:

    by Orbots Commander

    Although I'm sympathetic to your viewpoint, things will never go back to the way the movie industry was back in the 1970's and '80's. Technology and modern social mores/changed audience behavior won't allow it. Even if the studios wished to bring back the six month plus theatrical to home vid window, most halfway non-retarded freshman college students can find a copy of the latest theatrical release online. The studios can make $0 from that by staying away, or offer something to satisfy that demand. The internet and the modern computing era really changed the modern media industry (movies, music and now, finally, big publishing with e-books) forever. That's the way of the world; I'm sure music publishers put up just as big a fight when the hand cranked Victrola changed music listening forever.

  • April 21, 2011, 8:15 p.m. CST

    If you're looking for someone to blame, then blame...

    by Orbots Commander

    ...Microsoft, Intel, Apple and Tim Berners-Lee the founder of the World Wide Web. Once we had the internet then iTunes, Netflix, Napster and all their progeny were inevitable.

  • April 21, 2011, 8:48 p.m. CST

    It takes something very special to get me to the Cinema now

    by Phil Black

    Until they start forcibly ejecting people who use mobile phones (or anything which beeps or flashes), talk loudly, kick seats and loudly crunch popcorn etc. I stay away from cinemas for all but the most special films. And even then I will look for either a midnight preview or go several weeks into the runtime when the theatres are nearly empty.

  • April 21, 2011, 8:51 p.m. CST


    by Billy_D_Williams

    yes, i hear you about Universal Citywalk, a cesspool of ignorant, mouth breathers from the fucking valley or surrounding greater los angeles suburbs...i rarely bother going over the hill to see a movie there unless its IMaX...and god, the teenagers...fucking annoying. i saw Requiem For a Dream at the Sunset 5 in 2000 when i first moved to hollywood....what an experience... and the Landmark is awesome as well....i love the casual home like atmosphere...i went there the firs time and saw Tetro.

  • April 21, 2011, 8:58 p.m. CST

    I guess I'll take hicks over hipsters anyday.

    by The Reluctant Austinite

    The drive-in is a low tech bit of Americana that's just what the doctor ordered on the occasional Summer evening. I don't go to the drive-in to see the latest CGI event film and it's certainly not the place for Merchant Ivory fair, but horror films and action trash are prefect to watch under the stars with friends and some unhealthy consession stand food.

  • April 21, 2011, 9:02 p.m. CST

    Where is this

    by lsrdsc

    Mythical theater that Nordling talks about in his essay? Well behaved audiences? haha How do I get to this place, by Unicorn?

  • April 21, 2011, 9:02 p.m. CST

    Oh, wah-fucking-wah.

    by Subtitles_Off

    It is absolutely NO coincidence that the "theater-going experience" is dying during the era of Blockbusterism. Sorry, kiddies. But, you're out-numbered, and you always have been. Even the nerdiest of you will eventually outgrow superheroes, robots, lens flares and sparkly vampires. That's all Hollywood has really wanted to promote as THE theater-going experience for decades. The rest of us have moved DEFUCK on. James Cameron and Michael Bay? Are you kidding me? Kill it and then whine that it's dead? Ooh, we'll write a letter! That'll show 'em! People watch movies in the fucking palms of their hands! On TVs. On computer monitors. Downloaded in bootlegged bits. Streaming on The theater experience means sitting on fecal-stained seats next to some twenty-year-old who has never seen a decent film. The theater experience means "genre" and a $5 cup of soda pop. The theater experience means Harrison Ford pretending he's twenty years old and George Clooney pretending he isn't a twat. The theater experience can lick me.

  • April 21, 2011, 9:05 p.m. CST


    by Billy_D_Williams

    wow, very good points

  • April 21, 2011, 9:08 p.m. CST


    by Billy_D_Williams

    more good points

  • April 21, 2011, 9:18 p.m. CST

    all this has got me remembering....

    by Billy_D_Williams

    when i DID like going to the movies. i remember being so excited to see Batman Forever (hey, i was fifteen years old) was playing at a decent theater a short bus ride from my house. i made sure to get there early and was first in line...the crowd was sizeable...we all wanted to see how Val Kilmer was going to fare against Keaton's Batman. I remember the audience digging the movie...back then i enjoyed being with an audience for an event film bc i could feel them reacting along with me and it simply made my reactions more intense.... same with Independence Day, everyone laughing at the jokes, terrified of the aliens, cheering the heroes...back then, movies were a religion to me, and the theater was my church, my sanctuary today sixteen years later, i can barely sit near people...i guess back then i was more i cant stand shitty crowds, its just not worth it with the high ticket prices

  • April 21, 2011, 9:21 p.m. CST

    The #1 complaint about theaters is the behavior of others

    by Beezbo

    The worst offenders? Teenagers and kids. Why? Because kids these days behave like animals and fear no consequences of their actions. I can't even imagine theater employees reprimanding unruly audience members - you basically risk your life just saying "Shhhhh." I live in NJ, and NYC crowds are usually great. I've been to the Ziegfeld on opening night of movies like the "Star Wars" films and "Iron Man" and it's a fantastic crowd. All you need are a few bad apples, though, and you really start to regret spending $40 to go see "Due Date" with your wife. One thing that I think has gotten better - texting has all but eliminated cell phone conversations. Still annoying, but better than talking.

  • April 21, 2011, 9:23 p.m. CST

    That would be "loner"

    by Phil Black

    I've got plenty of friends but as I only mix with decent people they also find most cinema "experiences" nigh-on intolerable.

  • April 21, 2011, 9:45 p.m. CST

    Theater Experiences

    by garybuseys_incisors

    One of my fondest movie experiences was just recently at the Alamo here in Austin. My lady and I saw The Muppet Movie at one of the Alamo's Sing/Quote-a-longs. It was very fun. The crowd was great and I forgot how much I loved that movie as a kid. The first time I went to LA I saw 300 with two of my buddies at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood. I was living in the midwest at the time so this was quite the experience. The theater was pretty empty and it was one of the biggest theaters I had been to. Seeing the first Matrix in theaters was an awesome experience. (The Matrix was actually the last VHS I ever bought--yeah I was poor). Seeing the 2nd Matrix film in theaters was even better for me (even though the movie wasn't that great). I was super hyped for it and saw it at the midnight showing. I then saw it the next day with my brother. Great crowds both times. I'm just thankful I have access to the Alamo. Theaters like the Alamo should stay in business for a long time due to the ability to drink there and the classics they play all the time. I will admit I've had some horrible theater experiences. When I saw RoTK it was horribly oversold and they were letting people sit in the aisles. I set next to this morbidly obese gentleman who fell asleep and snored extremely loud the entire time. As far as VoD I think it's a fine idea. Some people don't like the theater experience and that's fine--let them watch it at home for a premium price. I don't see this really taking away from the theater experience all too much. Just reading through this talkback it appears the people for it don't go to the theater anyway.

  • April 21, 2011, 9:46 p.m. CST

    Another thing that's going to kill the theater experience:

    by Orbots Commander

    $4.00 national average per gallon of gasoline. It's actually $5 down in DC. Finance douchebags on CNBC were saying today that a $5 national average is inevitable, but that we can survive it fine, well, because, Wal-Mart sells $60 Blu Ray players or some odd reason.

  • April 22, 2011, 12:39 a.m. CST

    Man, have people become this isolationist and lonely?

    by kidicarus

    Reminds me of a chapter in the book "Affluenza". People want to skip from work straight to the home, lock the door, and turn the boob tube on. Fucks sake, people, communal gatherings are the building block of an integrated community. I love Blu-Ray, but nothing compares to the theatre experience for me, yes, even with the drawbacks.

  • April 22, 2011, 1:16 a.m. CST

    like i said, today, movies and movie theaters are for teenagers

    by Billy_D_Williams

    the target demographic for most movies is teenagers...they have very little taste and almost no standards, so they will put up with smelly, dirty auditoriums, dim, shitty images, blown out speakers, highway-robbery-priced concessions, twenty thousand commercials before the previews, juvenile, plot hole filled, insulting storylines, and so on...they dont have any bills, so they can spend their entire McDonald's burger flipper check on overpriced tickets and concessions...they just want to get out of the house away from their parents with their other mouth breather, future cesspool contributing friends; and spend most of the movie either giggling, talking, texting or fingerbanging/handjobbing...the studios know this and taylor make movies and the theater experience just for these little zombified everyone complaining about the theater experience, realize, that experience is not made for you anymore, you're out of the target demographic.

  • April 22, 2011, 2:25 a.m. CST

    The same people bitching are the ones who killed theatres as well

    by Jimmy Cain

    People like James Cameron and George Lucas with their digital crap and theatres completely dropping film all together. 3D is an excuse for these same idiots to make more money as they continue to say it enhances the theatre experience. In reality, digital is very flat, there is no depth like film so they pull this so-called "revolutionary 3D" b.s. out. I agree about experiencing a film shot in IMAX like the brilliantly shot images of The Dark Knight is a definite must. Digital presentation and projection was to save costs on the post end and eliminate theatre as well as post production jobs. I never understood why the most important step of the movie presentation process was the one treated the shittiest. It was cool when movies played on the big screen for months; man how many times were Raiders and Star Wars were re-released? It was awesome. When are the filmmakers who bitch about money related stuff going to realize they're just as responsible as the greedy studios? It's a great to hear Todd Phillips say if he wanted to make movies for T.V. he would have been a T.V. director or even that Joe Pesci story about Scorsese story about the language in Raging Bull. Pesci said Scorsese was so concerned about the strong language that he felt it may not play well on T.V. Pesci told him, "Hey Marty, I didn't know you were making this for T.V." - that's inspiring until now since Scorsese is part of the 3D shenanigans with his Hugo Cabret. And one more thing, IMAX use to mean 8 stories screens, 15 perf 70mm imagery, now it's mini-max presented in digital. No matter what anyone says, there is no difference between IMAX digital, Technicolor Digital, and Deluxe Digital; it's all the same. The most impressive image in a theatre with digital presentation is the green band card at the head of a trailer. Sharpest part of the whole thing. These idiots killed theatres, killed the experience, and killed cinema.

  • April 22, 2011, 2:40 a.m. CST

    Depressing thread: do all film geeks hate theaters?

    by heroic_duo

    Where are you people going to the movies? I live in Los Angeles, go to the movies once or twice a month, and have a problem maybe once or twice a year, which is no big deal. Seriously, are you so afraid of a communal experience or the sound of someone eating that you don't want to see movies on a movie screen? Like they were intended to be seen? I don't know you geeks anymore. Agoraphobic weirdos.

  • April 22, 2011, 2:55 a.m. CST

    I was in a theater in East St. Louis

    by Roger Moon

    waiting in line for a soda pop and this guy walked in with a severed head, I shit you not, and he plonked that head right on top of the counter and said "Give me a large popcorn and a box of SnoCaps for my friend."

  • April 22, 2011, 2:56 a.m. CST


    by Billy_D_Williams

    your post is filled with ignorant, nostalgic horseshit...dont let nostalgia cloud your mind son. everything evolves, its the nature of reality, and those fighting advancements in cinema just come off looking like bitter old farts

  • April 22, 2011, 2:59 a.m. CST

    There's only one way to watch a movie

    by kwisatzhaderach

    and that's in the theater. No matter what size your screen at home is you're still watching a movie on TV. Seeing Avatar in 3D with a crowd was an awesome experience. <p> Unfortunately Hollywood only has itself to blame for declining attendance numbers though. When you start hiring people like Kurtzman and Orci to write movies then you're shooting yourself in the foot. Too much shit gets made. When you hire talented people to make great movies people will come. "Ooooohhhhhhh, people will come Ray."

  • after a movie has been out for a few weeks, to avoid crowds.

  • .... and that is to significantly lower ticket prices, . Simple as that. The public will tolerate all the bullshit that goes with cinema ( noisy audiences, shitty movies, expensive food) , and continue to go out to watch movies for years to come if tickets are cheap.

  • April 22, 2011, 7:54 a.m. CST

    When has the NOT been talkin in the theaters?

    by nieman

    A lot of the gripes I'm seeing here, "talking, rowdiness, teenagers, babies crying" have always existed. Babies aren't a new thing, neither are teenagers, the only difference is that now you aren't in that crowd. The only new thing is cell phones, however, y'all use cell phones every place else. In line at the market, while at the gym, in board/staff meetings, driving, and most importantly WHILE WATCHING A FILM AT HOME. They are just as much as a distraction there to others around you as in the theaters. You cannot replace the theater going experience. It is the intangibles that make the movie-going experience. If not, its just another mundane that exist. It's more for the social atmosphere than anything. Its an uncontrolled environment, so in addition to having the luxury of your friends/family to have fun with, there are others trying to have the same thing. What about the experience when you go to see a "blockbuster" opening weekend and it's bad. ALl it takes is for the one "THIS FILM WAS TRASH" while everyone's leaving to bring that unanimous laughter

  • April 22, 2011, 8:02 a.m. CST

    dalieldanner, Nordling is Devin Faraci


  • April 22, 2011, 8:15 a.m. CST


    by Series7

    I mean $20 for a special screening with a live orchestra of Metropolis????? I mean how old is that movie? Get the fuck out of here, they should be paying ME to go to that.

  • April 22, 2011, 8:16 a.m. CST

    Also all you Arclight faggots

    by Series7

    Warren Theatres owns your ass.

  • April 22, 2011, 8:42 a.m. CST

    @nieman on babies, teenagers, talkers, etc.....

    by v3d

    Yeah, you're right. Theaters have always had those things. But back in the olden days, when a theater had one screen and a movie might play there for weeks or months, they also had ushers. Big guys in uniforms with flashlights that would walk the aisles at tell anyone making noise to shut the hell up or get the fuck out. I remember seeing people physically removed from theaters. No, in general the modern movie going experience pales in comparison to staying at home watching a film in high definition on my 47" flat screen. I might have to wait 2-3 months for a movie to come out on Blu-Ray, but I still remember Jaws and Star Wars playing for YEARS. So a waiting couple of months to see movie is no big deal.

  • April 22, 2011, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Theaters need to die???

    by akirakid

    For those of us of an advancing age (and I mean over 30), the movie theater isn't just a place to see the latest film and get excited about that piece of cinema. That's what the world of today has trained a different generation to expect. We go to the theater to be transported beyond our own lives and share a communal experience. Going to a movie theater is just as rich of an experience as going to a concert or a sporting event. You get wrapped up in the excitement of the event and you are sharing it with several hundred people that are just as excited. As I said in a previous post, the days of waiting in line to see a movie are past us because studios jam the latest blockbuster (potentially) down our throats by showing it on 25 different screens in 8 different locations in the same city. Wouldn't it be a different experience if you could only see the latest Harry Potter movie in two locations for 5 showings in a day? Modern audiences have changed the face of cinema as their Veruca Salt demands forced the studios to meet them. Theaters don't need to die. They just need to evolve to make them an event again.

  • The difference between a little over 20 years ago and now is that back then, adults and/or the parents of many of these kids were EMBARRASSED to be causing a disruption. Now it's their right. They believe they're in their living room and YOU'RE the asshole if you say anything. I don't remember literally counting the seconds until the thing that would ruin the theater experience would happen, because it hardly ever did. These days, that's how it is... you either go and tune out the cell phones, the talking idiots, the babies in R-rated movies (I remember a screaming baby behind me during The Fourth Kind), and the teenagers hanging out in the aisles, or you stay the fuck home and avoid the hassle. I have to realize going in that it's going to be aggravating and accept it or do things like make a commitment to getting up and moving to another seat when I spot trouble. I mean, I'm no saint, when I was a teenager we'd sometimes make jokes during movies if it was called for or we thought other people might laugh (we had standards, damnit!), but if someone told us to shut it, we would. We knew we were being disruptive and didn't want to hurt anyone. Now, I hear teenagers saying the same shit over and over again during a movie and you can tell they want you to hear their self-conscious bullshit just by the tone of their voice. If you tell them to be quiet, you're hurting their delicate ego, so they feel cornered and have to keep mouthing off. You feel like you're in the fucking twilight zone... there is SO MUCH passive aggression in public spaces these days that it's a wonder more people don't go on fucking berserker rampages, and the movie theater is the creme de la creme when it comes to this shit. Driving would be another place where passive aggression wins the day, and the sane people are called crazy, but that's a whole other topic.

  • April 22, 2011, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Getting a handjob is so much better in a theater

    by Jeffrey

  • April 22, 2011, 10:08 a.m. CST

    There is no integrity to the theatre experience.

    by blackwood

    And yes, I'm talking about sharing space in the dark with other people. I have been a huge -- huge -- fan of going to the movies all my life. There was a point where I would go to the movies at least once a week, just because I liked going to the movies. I would see anything. I like the pomp of it. I like the communal witness thing. I even don't mind the commercials dressed up as trivia. But now I pretty much restrict myself to matinees on likely low-attendance days. A few weeks after a movie comes out, seeing something R at noon on a Sunday with the old farts. Because by and large, old farts don't think they are the most important thing about the theatrical experience and just watch the movie. Theatres will let anyone in to anything. I went to a matinee of the godawful new NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET film, hoping for a quiet experience. But no, a row of tweens gabbed and heckled and snarked and self-impressed the entire way through. I got up and talked to an usher about it -- he suggested I move seats. I told them to shut the fuck up. They were slightly mollified for about ten minutes. I love it when people are engaged in a film -- like when the theatre bursts into spontaneous applause at the credits because they loved what they saw. Laughing together at comedies, holding breath together at horror -- there's something really magical about that experience. But more often than not that's not the experience you get -- you get assholes being loud and inconsiderate, theatres that only care about selling seats and don't give a shit about the quality of the experience, and ridiculous high prices. I go to the theatre less and less. Sorry, Nordling et. al., but you're advocating for an experience that doesn't exist in the wild anymore, and all your pat 'solutions' require a whole lot of things lining up that won't. A letter written by out-of-touch rich filmmakers who all have basement theatres far more decked out that the local cineplex in suburbia, and post on a film-geek site from someone who has access to a 'special' theatre that seemingly values the integrity of experience -- you aren't talking to me, or mine, stranded in the suburbs. You are congratulating yourselves and admonishing the real world. How do you expect that to change things?

  • April 22, 2011, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Oh, are we doing black stories now?

    by Jaster

    In the thousands of times I've gone to the theater here in Madison, WI, I've only witnessed this one time. Maybe it's more prevelant in other cities so perhaps this group was from Milwaukee or Chicago, I don't know. It was fucking bizarre and yes, ruined the movie. It was The Mask with Jim Carrey. It was a few kids like 8-12 or something so age had something to do with it too. There was a lot of "OH NO HE DI'INT!" and stuff liek that. That wasn't all that big of a deal until the dog put the mask on......holy...SHIT! These kids went fucking crazy. You could tell they had been trying to one-up each other throughout the whole film but this was the fucking pinnacle. All of a sudden they got up, started running up and down the aisles laughing their stupid little asses off. Falling down, laughing at that, just complete fucking jackasses. The entire theater, instead of watching the movie, was watching these little assholes doing their obnoxious clown act and wondering what the reprocussions would be for beating the shit out of them. Now here's the dark, nasty underbelly of this story. I was sitting next to my roommate who's a redneck. While this is going on he says, faily audibly, "Fucking n*****s.". I felt horrible and elbowed him because sitting directly in front of us was a mixed race couple who had been sitting their quietly watching the film. I KNOW they heard him and all I could think was, what were they thinking? What was going through their minds having to hear that? If that would have been me and I happened to have a black girl with me I would have climbed over the back of my seat and smashed that fucker's head into the ground over and over until he stopped twitching. No matter what cultural or parental factors go into a fucked-up display like that, it has nothing to do with race. As bad as those kids acted, I was completely ashamed of my roommate. HE was the biggest asshole that day. Those kids were unruly fucktards, but what he did was personal and ugly.

  • April 22, 2011, 10:17 a.m. CST

    They charge too much for their damn movies and 3D is bullshit

    by Gozu

    However, as for the VOD deal, well, that also sounds like a rip-off and I expect that to fail as well. I'll gladly wait for 90% of all films I'm on the fence about to come to DVD or Netflix. The only films I go out of my way to see in a theater are indies I want to throw my support behind (and also support the theaters showing them) or films I'm actually excited about (which is an increasingly small number). As for James Cameron and Robert Zemeckis, fuck you, you're the reason why a family of five has to pay up to $100 to see a 3D movie, not including popcorn and soda. They're all getting what they deserve.

  • April 22, 2011, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Wanna hear the most fucked-up theater story of all time?

    by Jaster

    My ex and her husband at the time used to go down to Chicago every now and then. One day when they were down there they saw in the paper that the Sick & Twisted Film Festival was Cabrini Green. That's right Candyman country! So of course....THEY WENT! You have to understand that her husband is a big, buff biker-type. And she's a self-destructive whirlwind so it makes total sense they would go. Anyway, they sit up in the balcony of this old, grubby falling apart theater. In front of them are these two black "youts" and in front of them is this big gang-banger-lookin' dude. During the film, the teens are doing their thing, laughing and talking loudly, etc. A couple of times the gang-banger guy turns around and tells them to shut the fuck up, but they just keep on going. Out of nowhere, the gang-banger guy gets up, picks one of the teens up and..... TOSSES HIM OVER THE FUCKING BALCONY! The other teen instantly sits down and shuts up. My ex and her husband sit there, frozen with dread. Therre was no cries for help, no screaming, nothing. They thought for sure at any moment the police would come, but nope. They sat there the rest of the running time wondering if that gang-banger would turn around and shoot them both. When the film ended, they went down starirs towards the exit and as they did they passed the kid that got tossed over the side.... He was bent the wrong way over the back of a seat. His spine snappede and him presumably fucking dead. They watched the Chicago Tribune for several days assumign there would be something about it but there never was. I'm NEVER going anywhere near that fucking place.

  • April 22, 2011, 10:36 a.m. CST

    I'm always afraid to tell them to shut up...

    by Jaster

    Not because I'm afraid of a reprisal, but because I'm afraid I'll lose total fucking control and start a knock-down drag-out fight. And that would be WAY more distracting to the rest of the audience trying to watch the movie. In other words I don't want to lower myself to the fuckhead's level.

  • April 22, 2011, 10:49 a.m. CST

    Are movie theaters the next sports arenas?

    by akirakid

    No one seems to be drawing the line between movies and sports. It used to be that the only way to see films was in a theater and the only way to see a sporting event was in the venue that it was being played. TV came along and brought sports to the masses much as the Movie of the Week and HBO/cable television brought the cinema experience home. So now everyone is bitching about the cost of going to the movies? What does it cost to see an NFL game? I'm guessing much more than an average movie ticket and you buy concessions there too. Granted they have beer but that can still set you back a hefty penny. Concerts are the same deal yet I hear no one complaining about the cost of the latest Maroon 5 or Lady Gaga tickets. These are accepted norms. So why is it more acceptable to pay $75 a ticket to see the Steelers or Lady Antebellum? Sure these may be "once in a lifetime" experiences but if you add up the cost of taking the same people to the movies over a 6 month period doesn't it work out to be about the same thing? Why pay that outrageous price to see Britney Spears in concert when there is every possibility that the same concert will be filmed for HBO and seen there for "free" in 4 months? I guess it's all a matter of perspective and what you view as important in your life. I love film but the cost of going and the quality of the films out there have made me extremely cautious. I just can't afford to waste $20 on a film that is only "meh". Hell, I can't even afford a "smartphone"! I, like a lot of America, live on a budget. (For the record, I'm in my early 40's so no jokes about retirement, OK?) Times are tough for a lot of people out there but everyone keeps going to the movies. But if the costs keep rising, movie theaters will become the next sports arenas or Broadway theaters. They'll become a place that you might visit once a year and, hopefully, look back on the experience and talk about it with fondness. I remember seeing touring productions of Broadway musicals. I kept my ticket stubs and programs. I have a book with my movie ticket stubs from the last 10 years. Hopefully, this won't happen and the world will slow down but I doubt it.

  • April 22, 2011, 10:56 a.m. CST


    by BSB

    Those are some crazy stories. I would pay to have seen that. I doubt the mixed couple thought much about your roommate's comment. They probably agreed. I don't condone using the N word out in public but ya gotta admit they were acting like it.

  • April 22, 2011, 10:57 a.m. CST


    by BSB

    I think if a buncha kids were acting up while I'm watching, say, Never Let Me Go or Blue Valentine, then I'd be one pissed off cracker.

  • April 22, 2011, 11:04 a.m. CST


    by BSB

    They just sit there quietly. Even chew quietly.

  • WE'RE the abnormal ones. Next tiime I go to the movie, I'm gonna be kicking chairbacks, texting, whoopin' and hollerin'. Just like everybody else.

  • April 22, 2011, 11:09 a.m. CST


    by BSB

    During Never Let Me Go, when Andrew Garfield gets out of the car and starts screaming ... the entire theater broke out weeping. Except yours truly, who was downright sobbing.

  • April 22, 2011, 11:26 a.m. CST

    My best theater experience.

    by v3d

    The year The Player came out we were experiencing a heat wave. I had an afternoon off and went to a matinee. The theater was new and air conditioned. But the best part was that I was the only person in the entire theater.

  • April 22, 2011, 11:34 a.m. CST

    My worst theater experience.

    by v3d

    After months of being trapped in the house with our newborn my wife and I got her sister to babysit so we could see Spider-Man. We arrived early and took our seats. It was a good crowd. The buzz on this new film was good and people were looking forward to it. So, the previews end and the movie starts. About five minutes into the movie a couple with a huge baby stroller come in with a screaming baby and start dragging it up the aisle and decide to sit about 10 feet from us. You know where this is going. That kid cried the whole FUCKING time! And the couple kept arguing. "I told you we shouldn't have brought the baby". Do you think?! During the movie several people including myself got up and politely asked these assholes if they could please take the baby to the lobby. Of course they felt entitled to ruin everyone's time and rudely refused.

  • April 22, 2011, 11:37 a.m. CST


    by BSB

  • April 22, 2011, 12:40 p.m. CST

    First movie and best experience.

    by Michael Tyree

    First movie: Love Me Tender with Elvis Presley, Debra Paget and Richard Egan. I was only four years old and really didn't get the story but liked the song "...that Elvis man" sang. Really, when I saw my second movie a few months later, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (not the original theater release, of course), that's when I fell in love with movies. I was agog, you might say. Best movie experience: Had to be opening night for Fellowship of the Ring. The fans were fantastic and EVERYONE cheered when Aragorn removed Lurtzs' head. Worst movie experience: Trying to watch M Nights' Signs. Every time the air conditioning came on I was hit by a wave of stench from Pomade Man sitting right in front of me. Honestly, it looked like his hair (piece?) had soaked up a gallon of axle grease and smelled like rancid vat of oil used to cook Chicken McSluggets at McDonalds. It caused my suspension of disbelief mode to quit and, as a result, made me question the intelligence of the (evidently) Dumbest Aliens in the Galaxy. Totally took me out of the experience. Couldn't move as the theater was packed. OK, end of whine-rant.

  • April 22, 2011, 12:49 p.m. CST

    In spite of all that...

    by Michael Tyree

    ...I still love going to the movies. Just pick the right day and time. Never Friday or Saturday, since that's date night, and always late/early showings. Cheaper prices and fewer people. Agree, most audiences in the US are the most ill-mannered and inconsiderate people on the planet. It isn't just da yout of the country either. Some of the most egregious talkers I've experience dare old farts who think they're sitting in their living rooms. Pops: "Honey, I think I have to go to the bathroom." Me: "AARRGGGHHH!! THE STENCH!!! I think you already missed that boat, pops!" Pops: "Ahhh, thank The Good Lord for Depends. Pass me the Goobers, dear."

  • April 22, 2011, 1:18 p.m. CST


    by Orbots Commander

    You're absolutely right: day and date VOD releases for limited release (basically NY and LA) indie films were made for each other. If this happened, I predict a revival of a new wave of smaller but adult focused films. Art house theaters in NYC wouldn't go out of business because film lovers in Minneapolis, Tuledo or Atlanta rented a night of VOD releases of the same film(s). Anyone who argues otherwise, is a Coastal-elitist douche, and I'm speaking as a New Yorker.

  • April 22, 2011, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Re: Rise of Fett

    by SK229

    That story made my day and I couldn't stop laughing just picturing it... then you got to the part with the broken back. Holy shit...

  • April 22, 2011, 1:39 p.m. CST

    rise_of_fett: That theater story is an old Harlan Ellison article

    by Jason Christopher

    I think your ex and her husband are either lying to you or you're just a big Ellison fan. I can't remember what book it came from, but Ellison talked about going to the movies with a friend in New York. They sat in the balcony. A kid in front kept yelling to some friends in the audience below. A big black dude in the back of the balcony told them to shut up. Kid didn't and the big dude tossed him over. The theater was already thick with tension, so this froze everyone. When the film was over and Ellison and his friend were sure everyone else was gone, they peeked over and saw the kid bent and twisted over the seats, unsure whether he was knocked out or dead.

  • April 22, 2011, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Gran Torino was the worst theater experience I've had recently

    by Jason Christopher

    Movie starts and we see Eastwood puttering around, grumbling and doing his old man thing. This heinous beast behind me keeps cackling (yes, cackling) over every line about some ethnicity or gay. She then keeps nudging her pig husband and saying, "Oh my Gawd! That's just like my dad!" The whole theater is full and yet no one will say anything to this waste of flesh. So, I turn around and ask, like a gentlman, if she can be quiet. Give her a fair shake; maybe she's so dopey she doesn't realize what she's doing. Instead, she says 'no' and proceeds to call me 'faggot.' I tell her husband he better shut her fucking trap. Pig Boy says nothing. For the next ten minutes, she kicks my seat and keeps saying 'faggot' and "You deserve to die" and shit like that; things only a sociopath would say. Having worked at that theater for five years as an assistant manager, I was still friendly with the general manager. I dragged him in and watched as he berated the couple, tore up their tickets so they couldn't get a refund and threw them out. The audience, having sat like sheep this whole time, finally come to life and applaud when they are escorted out. Point is, if we as group would tell these random motherfuckers to shut up, the experience would be a lot more enjoyable. But they won't; everyone is so terrified to rock the boat they would rather sit in the dark and listen to some blubbery accident talk about her dad. Most movies aren't worth ten to fourteen bucks a ticket; they lose what little value they have when you have to deal with useless fucks lik that. I lived in Austin for a spell and loved the Alamo. Unfortunately, it is a rarity. People as a whole are spiteful, selfish, mean-spirited little moles who lost whatever little empathy they may have been born with years ago.

  • April 22, 2011, 2:33 p.m. CST


    by Jaster

    I guess she really wasn't at the naked-chick-with-peanut-butter-on-her-snatch party either!

  • April 22, 2011, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Its price and the new technology

    by Homer Sexual

    Obviously family films and blockbusters do well because people need something to do with the kids that everyone can enjoy, so those movies will continue to do well. But the mid budget movies have a hard row to hoe. As an adult with no kids, I have drastically curtailed my moviegoing and price is the main reason. I dont think crowds with the exception of the cell phone lights, are worse than they were 20 or 30 years ago. I like the concessions and bring my own stuff when I feel like it. But it costs a fortune. matinees used to be five bucks, now they are ten and regular movies are almost 14 bucks. Plus, my home system is awesome and most movies will be available to view within a few months of release, so if I dont go in the first two weekends, probably gonna wait to watch it at home. I dont think there is any way around this, though. Fruit for sale? Please! While I agree there should be more to see than animated movies and megablockbusters that are usually like MacDonalds, bland but universal, will keep drawing the opening crowds. But the main audience is teenagers and parents, so thats who the movies are made for. I have seen so many movies in recent years that I really enjoyed, but didnt see in theaters cause the price is too high and I can see it at home in just a few months.

  • April 22, 2011, 2:55 p.m. CST

    When I was in my 20's I would get so pissed off....

    by Jaster

    At the fucking FOCUS! The shit was BLURRY! So I'd go and I'd bitch and 10 minutes later or so I would see the screen swing wildly in and out of focus for about 5 minutes before eventually landing on......right back where it started. It wasn't that I felt cheated out of money. Like we've been saying it was like $5 or whatever. I hated being cheated out of my introduction to a film I had been looking forward to. Film is the most engaging art form ever invented. There just doesn't exist anywhere on earth another experience that can drudge up all your emotions the same way. Granted seeing a really impactful play can get there, maybe even a little more personally at times because it feels more immediate and intimate. But they are more often than not, less realistic than film because of the crappy sets and the fact that they have to nearly yell their lines.

  • April 22, 2011, 3 p.m. CST

    i got a story...

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    i went to see men in black 2 at the loews lincoln square when it came out - in the imax auditorium (when they were kinda new) - i was early and it was packed - me and a friend were looking for 2 seats together but having trouble - as were a lot of people - then we realized an entire row of seats (imax seats) was being held hostage by a couple of people waiting for the rest of their party to arrive - they were waving off people and guarding the seats with sharp tones - i asked one if their party was in the lobby - she said no theyre on there way to the theater - with that my friend and i along with many other strangers just took the seats - the guarders started yelling and calling us all names - we ignored them - no fists were throne - when the rest of the people the seats were being held for showed up (seconds before the trailers) their friends said "these ass holes took your seats" - followed by a very furious "who?" - then "everyone" (girl waves arms motioning to everyone) - someone a few seats down said to the angry late guy "are you going to beat all of us up?" - the angry leader of the late party deflated and we all laughed

  • April 22, 2011, 3:01 p.m. CST

    i meant "thrown" not "throne"

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

  • April 22, 2011, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Yeah I hate those late arrival pig-fuckers

    by Jaster

    If you want a seat....get there early! It's not a difficult fucking equation. Then you got those cocksuckers wandering around in the dark going "Carl?........Carl?.......Is that you?....Where are you?............Carl?" And of course those sons of bitches who discover just as the film is starting that they need to piss and they clambor all over you. Then they come back 1/2 an hour later with WAY too much food in their arms and they're trying to shuffle by you with those cola bombs and nacho cheese fucking napalm. And yet we keep going back. What the fuck else am I going to do, wait 4 months to see Captain America? Not fucking likely!

  • April 22, 2011, 4:22 p.m. CST

    you know


    You don't HAVE to go on opening night. Or on the weekend. The crowds are a lot more tolerable on the weekdays.

  • April 22, 2011, 4:33 p.m. CST

    Sorry, I gotta stuff

    by shran

    popcorn in my face at a movie. I just gotta. And I 'aint gonna bring no popcorn from home. I took the family to Avatar at one of the fake-o imax 3d screens and some lout and his stoner pal took the handicap accessible seats while the theater was half full. Sure enough moments later a wheelchair bound elderly lady arrived with what I took to be her grandkids and asked the "gentlemen" if they could move so the she could watch the movie with the kids. Being the dickheads that they were they refused. The guy next to us, having brought his own family, got up and went to the lobby to report the ass clowns. When the usher or manager who was just outside of puberty came in to rectify the situation the jerks spurned his attempts as well. The manager then said at that point there was nothing he could do and that he couldn't force someone to give up their seats. Once he left, the guy who went to the lobby in the first place and myself decided that we would "escort" the young men to another location. They didn't really like that but since I was at least as big as they were and probably a little meaner and the other dad was WAY bigger than they were and DEFINTELY meaner they really didn't put up too much of a fuss. We never heard any more complaints and the lady and the kids thanked us profusely and gave us the old "God Bless". All in a days work, ma'am. So, yeah, theater management sucks balls. And not in a good way.

  • April 22, 2011, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Does Nordling live in Austin?

    by OutsideChance

    Because if he does I can understand his point, insofar as he gets to see movies at the incredibly awesome Alamo Drafthouse. But for the rest of us outside of TX who have to put up with the asshole audiences at places like Regal Cinemas movie going is more often a PitA than anything else.

  • April 23, 2011, 1:54 a.m. CST


    by Lee Adam

    Regarding your comments about the early days of TV: I'm curious as to whether you speak from experience or if you were even alive during that time. If you weren't, then you wouldn't understand that television of ANY size, shape or color was, in fact, a "cool experience" watching or (if you were lucky enough to afford one) owning a television set. Myself, I wasn't around then. But you can ask older relatives about those days and they'll say the same thing. Any good written history of television would probably agree. For the sake of curiosity: what are your thoughts of the days of "old-time" radio? The days BEFORE TV. Whole families/circles of friends would gather together to listen to not just music, but such programs as THE GREEN HORNET, ABBOTT & COSTELLO, LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE, etc. And we're right back to talking about the shared entertainment experience. Going to the cinema used to be an event. Whole families getting dressed up to watch the latest ZORRO, Errol Flynn or big-time musical picture. Two of my favorite memories of my father are the times we went to local theaters to see CLOSE ENCOUNTERS and STAR WARS during their original runs. Half the fun was listening and taking part in the buzz of the crowds talking while exiting about what they've just seen. We may not NEED cinemas these days, but THIS Talkbacker still considers "going to the movies" a singularly unique social experience. Long may they live. One more thing: I hope you consider yourself fortunate to have the resources to purchase those grand-sounding TVs of which you spoke so highly. "Making your own theater" with the HD projector costing a mere $1000 (per your admonition to those of us lamenting the declining aspects of cinemas) is simply not feasible for average Joes like myself and millions of others. I'll be up in the balcony with my wife, our popcorn and Junior Mints.

  • April 23, 2011, 2:07 a.m. CST

    braindrain - "Drive In theateres are for hicks"

    by Lee Adam

    Bollocks. My family and I are articulate and well-read; one of my treasured childhood memories is the night we all piled into the car (I, of course, in footie pajamas) to go see FANTASIA at the local drive-in (with actual speakers that you hung on the car windows in every parking slot). Sorry. No hicks here.

  • April 23, 2011, 2:25 a.m. CST

    ninpobugei - "I call bullshit - down with movie theaters!!!"

    by Lee Adam

    Wow. You're either LOUSY with agoraphobia or one of most misanthropic people I've ever encountered.

  • April 23, 2011, 8:22 a.m. CST

    Reserved ticket seating

    by akirakid

    One thing that has helped make going to the movies a little more "enjoyable" is that the Muvico chain in my area is experimenting with "pick your seat" ticketing. If you buy your tickets in advance and online, you can choose your seat just like at a concert or theater venue. You arrive at the cinema and pick up your tickets from either the box office or self-help kiosk and your seat numbers are printed right on the ticket. I did this for "Tron Legacy" on Christmas Day when I saw it in 3D. It was great! I got to the theater about 15 minutes before the start of the film, walked in with my ticket, marched up to row "E" and found seats 15 & 16. There was no arguing about saving seats or moving people down to make room for more. This company seems to want to reclaim the movie experience. They have a small amount of their theaters (at least at this location) that have "love seat" style chairs for two, an upstairs bar/lounge, on staff babysitting and (shocker) an arcade! The Regal chain sucks and Rave is a little better but not so much. I really hope Muvico becomes the dominate chain in America or at least sets the new standard that the rest reach for. Yeah, I have to drive 45 minutes to go to Muvico but I would rather do that than "settle" for a half assed experience at my local Regal when my home set up is so much nicer.

  • April 23, 2011, 10:05 a.m. CST

    A dew ideas for the theatres/studios

    by Ninkynonk

    1. Lower the prices - People aren't complaining about it because "they don't have a fucking job", it's simple economics. If you can pay less to go buy a DVD then why would you bother to go to a crowded cinema? This would be the easiest way to to increase movie sales because all it would require is reducing the amount the studio's get in the ticket sale percentage. Since movies make so much on the DVD/Blu-Ray market now anyway, there's little reason to take as much from the cinemas that are struggling to make a profit. 2. Maintenance - as Nordling said. Make sure the projectionists check the bulbs are clean and the picture is clear before running a movie. This would not affect budget at all so there is no reason for this not to be happening already. 3. Advertising - obviously the biggest cash cow for cinema's, but one of the most annoying things for audiences. Eardrum popping and seemingly never-ending commercials for shit. You obviously can't lose this part of your revenue stream but look at alternatives. Go back to slide-type advertising rather than loud commercials. More non-screened advertising like putting ad's on drink cups and popcorn packets. For the big multiplexes, consider long term corporate sponsoring for each theater. Like having Cinema No. 1 is Coke Cinema or some shit and they pay for that. This is not something I really want but it's better than waiting through 15 minutes of commercials and actually forgetting what movie that I came to see. 3. Make rows farther apart - I know you want to pack us in like sardines, but this would stop the annoying and constant nudging and kicking of seats. 4. Food - Again, the cinema's big cash cow, but you have to give the consumers a break sometimes. Even things like meal deals, so parents bringing their kids can get a couple of popcorns and some drinks. 5. Variety - I don't know how the industry works in how cinemas get prints for films and things, plus films tend to degenerate fast I think?? But why show older movies a lot more? Have one screen a week that would show an older film without having some mega re-release crap. Imagine going to the movies and seeing that they are showing Jaws that night? Or Jurassic Park? Or Starship Troopers?

  • April 23, 2011, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Yeah, what Nordling Said.

    by Evil Chicken

    Firstly, Nordling, that was a brilliant article. The motion picture industry is just that, an industry. They are built to make money and technology and our ever increasing short attention spans make turnover of product faster and faster. The trick for the average person buying a ticket is separating the ‘Must See Opening Days’ from the Red Box rentals – the wheat from the chaff. The ART is still there (thank God), it must be or it will simply not sell. Not for nuthin’ but that’s one of the main reasons why AICN is what it is ~ as a consumer of what the movie industry is selling it is just bad business sense to simply buy a ticket to a movie without doing the market research first. You learn to listen to good advice. I have a family of 5 and unless I have a vested interest in a film (i.e. an event picture) I am not taking the troops; it’s just too pricy. Since we are in a confessional frame of mind I am more likely to purchase a single ticket for a matinee showing on opening day. I love the communal experience of a theater but these days I really have to pick and choose such communal experiences. I stand by my opening statement; Nordling, that was a Brilliant Article. Thanks.

  • April 23, 2011, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Very good points, still don't care

    by Jack Burton

    The problem here is our theaters flat out suck. Goodrich Quality Theaters movie going experience are neither "good" nor "rich" and 9 times out of 10 the viewing experience comes in somewhere between mediocre and awful. It is disappointing because when I lived in a real city we had great theaters and would usually take in a movie a week. Since moving to the hell of the midwest (for now) I've basically made do with a decent home theater system. I watch more movies now then I used to, but I'm mostly skip the major releases. Another reason I don't bother with the theater experience, for the most part I don't care about what they are pushing.