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When The Movie Starts, Shut Your Mouth

By ZS Roe

I love going to the movies. Forget the popcorn, pop, hotdog, and nachos—the movie is all I need. With a well told story on a giant screen and similarly minded movie lovers near at hand, I couldn’t be happier. Truly.

Well … not always. The best way to ruin my night at the theatre is to talk during the movie. But, seriously, if you want to talk, then stay home. If you have something to say, then write a letter or send an email or make a blog post. If I’m at the movies, then I paid my hard-earned money to see that movie, and not to hear your running commentary, despite however clever you may believe it to be.

Recently, theatre chains have started playing reminders before their films, asking audience members to turn off their cell-phones and refrain from talking. It was a good first step, and I suspect it made some improvements, but there remained the dedicated few who made it their duty to ruin as many movies as they could. Some theatre chains, however, have now taken it a step further.

Keep quiet ... seriously, shut up.

Over the years, I’ve seen many movies in many different theatres. From giant multiplexes to tiny screens on the second floor of a bookstore, I’ve enjoyed going to them all. Lately, however, one particular chain is starting to stand above the rest.

For a long while, I went mostly to Cineplex Entertainment theatres. Trouble is, the nearest Cineplex screen is at the local mall here in Cambridge, Ontario. This means that nearly every movie I went to was overcrowded by teenagers and douche bags—a talkative bunch if ever there was one.

And so, of late, I’ve been heading into Kitchener whenever I want to see the latest Hollywood release, but not at a Cineplex Entertainment theatre. Good God, no. These days I spend my money at Empire Theatres. Their theatres are less crowded and offer a much better movie going experience.

For instance, when I went and saw 21 Jump Street this past weekend, the movie began not with a projected message reminding patrons to keep quiet, but with a real live actual person. He introduced himself as our host, welcomed us to the movie, and kindly reminded people to turn off their cell-phones and not talk during the movie. He then went on to explain that he would be in and out during the movie should we have any questions, concerns, or complaints. Oh, and if he needed to throw someone out, he would.

At the very moment he spoke those words, I smiled a wide goofy grin. No longer would douche bags and loud mouths reign supreme. Now, even meek and mild moviegoers such as myself could have a good time out on the town.  After all, nothing says “we mean business” like an actual person actually saying it.

And for that, Empire Theatres can have my money. They deserve it.

Opinion is a bi-monthly column of just that, my opinion.  While opinions are like noses and everyone has one, mine are especially snotty.  Please leave a comment or question—all opinions are welcome, and all contributions are greatly appreciated.  If you like what you read here, please subscribe.


One thought on “When The Movie Starts, Shut Your Mouth

  1. I could not agree more with this post! One of the most annoying things I have found in my life so far is people talking during a film, especially at the cinema: a place designed for people to go and WATCH movies, not talk through them.
    It’s great to know I’m not alone in this!

    Posted by themovieuniverse | March 22, 2012, 7:05 am

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