The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    A night at the movies


    “Please turn your cell phone off.”

    “Throw away your trash.”

    “Remember, no smoking.”

    As you sit in anticipation, waiting for the film to begin, all of these friendly reminders make their way on to the screen.

    Story continues below advertisement

    And then the movie starts, and someone’s phone rings. Um … hello?!

    Some people are oblivious to these little “rules” of the theater. To many, it may seem like common sense, but to others it might take a little persuasion.

    And now, our feature presentation

    Getting to a movie before it starts is recommended. Story lines often depend on background information you most likely learn in the first five minutes.

    Besides, these days movie theaters offer people arriving early plenty of ways to pass the time. What could be more exciting than the suspense of waiting for the next slide to pop-up, giving you the answer to such trifling movie trivia questions as, “John Malkovich, John Cusack, Ving Rhames and Nicolas Cage starred in what movie about a mass prison escape?”

    However, some people just aren’t in tune with these previews.

    Professor Michael Fine watches his fair share of movies in the theaters, and said he can’t stand the “half hour worth of garbage” that precedes the movie.

    “I wish they’d do what they do in Britain: publish the separate times – publish when the previews start and the movies start,” Fine said.

    Sorry, we’re still in the United States. But if you’re a person who isn’t drawn in by the lure of previews, consider this: arriving to a movie before the lights are out is plain convenient.

    Face it – humans were not blessed with night vision, and finding your way around that dark theater won’t be easy. Add in the dizzying effects of the orange light-lined staircase and your odds of getting to a seat safely have taken a nose-dive.

    Finally, it’s simply considerate to get there before the movie starts. Those who walk in late are distracting the viewers ability to catch the pertinent facts of the opening minutes of the movie. You are the reason I am later asking my neighbor what the heck is going on. So, plain and simple, be on time.

    Oh, and if you are dying to know, the answer was “Con Air.”

    Blah blah blah

    So … the movie is well on its way to the climax, when paying close attention to the story line is essential to understanding it. But, all you can hear is the story about some stranger’s life.

    Well, maybe he or she isn’t so much a stranger anymore. The number of times you’ve given this person the death glare has allowed you to memorize his or her mug shot – which, by way, doesn’t seem to faze him or her as the chatter continues on.

    Do you feel bad for this person’s companion? The one who is forced to listen to this gibber-gabber? No – that person is merely provoking this person’s conversation by not telling him or her to be quiet. Please, if you are ever this friend, don’t let this criminal conversation continue.

    With the slimness of my wallet in mind, if I actually paid the $8 to get in and see this movie in the comfort of cinema seating, I would want to be able to see the movie. I did not plan on spending $8 to hear the story of your life. Sorry.

    Although Fine did give movie-goers a little credit, saying the amount of bothersome talking has diminished, he did say when it happens, it hurts.

    “The whole reason I go to movies is to be in a place where I just sit and watch a movie,” Fine said. “It’s just a totally different experience and of course if someone is interrupting you it changes the experience.”

    Another thing on the topic of chatter: commentary. There is always someone in the movie theater who isn’t paying enough attention to know what is going on. Or, maybe they just don’t get it. And then, all you hear is “Who’s that guy?” “Wait, I thought he was dead?” “Wasn’t she dating him?”

    While I pity this person, as he or she is probably another victim of an American disease epidemic – Attention Deficit Disorder – I’d encourage him or her to figure it out on their own. Fight back against ADD! I have faith in you!

    I’m bringing sexy back … yeah!

    Alright, Hollywood, this is for you. Please remember to turn off your cell phone before you come into the movie theater. I realize a lot of you need your love, but others don’t appreciate the distraction.

    Sophomore Pat Jones frequents theaters and said people who use their phones, whether it be for text messaging or talking, are one of his biggest pet peeves.

    “It’s disruptive to the movie,” Jones said. “You pay money to go see a movie and you don’t want to look at someone’s text screen, or hear someone talking to someone else.”

    And, as much as that funky ring tone of yours makes me want to get up and dance, my next thought is that the movie theater isn’t the place. Meet me afterwards and we’ll have a dance party in the lobby.

    So, turn your cell phone off. And I mean turn it off. None of this crazy “vibrate thing.” Even the soft buzzing of your cell phone takes my attention off the movie (again, blame it on ADD).

    Plus, what are you planning on doing when that cell phone vibrates? Are you really going to answer it? You’re going to do one of those things, “Hey – I’m in a movie, hang on, I’ll run out to the hallway.”

    Well, as my mother would say, “Unless someone is bleeding, I don’t want to hear about it.” So, unless it is really an emergency, do you have to answer the phone in the middle of the movie, for which (need I remind you) you paid $8 to see? I think not.

    Do I look like an ottoman?

    You’re watching the movie and everything is going fine. It’s funny, you laugh. It’s sad, you cry. It’s scary, you scream … but then someone’s foot kicks you in the head.

    The person sitting behind you decided you looked like the perfect place to rest their feet. Either that, or there was a spider on the ground.

    I will admit, I do tend to abuse this false ‘ottoman.’ I just want to relax when I am watching a movie – and that means my feet are going on the chairs ahead of me.

    However, here’s a rule of thumb: this is only allowable when there is no one sitting in front of you.

    And this doesn’t just mean directly in front of you – give these people some space. If there is a gap of at least two chairs until someone is sitting there, then you’re fine. If not, please don’t put your feet there.

    Oh, one more thing – keep your shoes on. I don’t want to smell that oh-so-fresh aroma of feet.

    Carry out what you bring in

    This is a simple rule – one that movie ushers all over the country would greatly appreciate.

    Despite the great size of the garbage cans conveniently located at the entrances to the theater, leaving trash on the floor seems more appealing to many people. However, this could also be labeled as pure laziness.

    Next time, when you go to the movies, make sure you spot that giant garbage can waiting by the entrances. That way, you know where your target is when you’re leaving. Hey, make a game of it. The can, the hoop; the trash, the ball. He shoots, he scores!

    Now, if everyone could just comply with this short list, people around the world could enjoy their movie theater experiences to the fullest. It’s not too much to ask, and it’s not too hard to do.

    Wait – one more thing. As unhealthy as that imitation-butter covered movie theater popcorn is, don’t pass it up. As they say, you can’t have a movie without some popped corn … or something.

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    A night at the movies