Friday, January 06, 2006

$11 nap and the state of Hollywood

With entertainment technology advancing as rapidly as it has over the past 10 years, people are not going to the theater to see movies anymore. Why pay between 7 and 14 dollars to see a movie you can rent three months later and play on your HD surround sound plasma TV?

For me, I will always love going to the movies. I love the idea of a room full of strangers in the dark experiencing the same thing and leaving with completely different thoughts. I love that I can be in a room with hundreds of strangers and forget that they're all there, and be engrossed in the movie. Living in Los Angeles, I'm lucky enough to experience some of the best movie theaters in the world, with the best sound and the best picture quality.

I'm willing to pay $11 regularly to see a movie, because I love seeing movies. I'm also willing to drop $60 in a night at a bar, because I love hanging out with friends and drinking and talking and laughing. What I won't do is combine the two. I will not pay $11 to sit in a theater while a movie is playing and chat with my friends. I assumed most people would agree with me on this. Apparently not.

I know it's trite to talk about people talking during a movie, but last night, Gina and I went to see King Kong. It was a beautiful, exciting movie... however, I was incredibly distracted by the three drunk MIDDLE AGED WOMEN sitting two rows behind me. They talked from the moment they sat down (half way through the previews) until the movie was over. What on EARTH were they talking about for 3 hours straight? And WHY DID THEY COME TO THE MOVIES TO DISCUSS??

I should mention that I'm kind of psycho about anything disturbing me during a movie. I've been known to call off a movie-going night if I know I won't get there in time for the previews. I like to be sitting in my seat a good two to three minutes before the previews start. I don't like anyone around me to talk... at all. Not during the commercials, not during the previews, and CERTAINLY NOT DURING THE MOVIE.

The Cineramadome has been in Hollywood for a long time, but about five years ago, they shut it down and remodeled, adding (I think) 14 theaters. They upped the ticket prices to a whopping $14 on weekends and $11 on weekdays. Why would people pay this much for a movie? Arclight (the new theater complex name) boasted the best sound, the best picture, assigned seating, and ushers that would get rid of anyone who caused annoyance during the movie. This is why I have no problem paying this much money for a movie.

But last night, there were no ushers to tell these women to SHUT UP. And even though throughout the movie, the seven seats in front of them emptied with annoyed patrons finding other seats, these women could NOT TAKE THE HINT.

Also, the woman next to Gina paid $11 to take a nap and snore through half the movie. Awesome.

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