Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Old Ways

When I was a kid, there was probably no bigger treat than a trip to the movies. It was rare that we could afford that kind of extravagance, so spending a few hours in a theatre - all velvety and exotic and lacking any kind of practicality - was a bit like a mini-Christmas. It didn't hurt that I loved movies (still do). I never cared what was playing. So long as there was a story in Technicolor, I was engaged.

The idea of the movie theatre, even now, enchants me. I love that you get to sit in the dark, lose yourself up on the screen, and have a shared experience with everyone else in the room. Opening night for the first Lord Of The Rings, a midnight showing of Rocky Horror, a new Disney classic - these are the times for magic.

But I've come to realize that I almost dread going to movie theatres anymore. It's not the expense. It's not the nostalgia for long-gone opulence now replaced with sad pastel neon and carpeted walls. It's not even the parade of commercials that turn my popcorn cold while I wait for Coming Attractions.

It's people - those wretched assholes who are somehow unaware of the most basic of movie-going equations:

Movie.Theater not_equal Living.Room

I'm tired of the idiot with stunted attention span whose cellphone display shines out as a beacon to warn all those around them, "I have important text messages that must be addressed NOW!". I'm tired of the confused couple who cannot fathom what they are seeing on the screen, and simply must deconstruct the plot for the benefit of all around them. I'm tired of the young people who need to claim their row (and mine) for socializing and resting weary feet on whatever seems handy - their rude bravado made more possible by their numbers and the presence of the opposite sex.

I say bring back the Usher. Beat back the cretins using a crimson jacket and a flashlight. Since I'll pay a couple bucks more to see a 3D movie, I'll probably pay a couple bucks more for someone to stand vigilant against the forces of Incivility.

Until then, the magic is tough to find in the dark. And I'll thank my stars for DVDs.


G. Harrison said...


I too yearn for the days of civility and would pay extra so that ushers with flashlights and cudgels could roam the aisles. Cudgels made from broken hockey sticks should suffice for now, but I foresee they'll need to be bigger in coming years. I say thank goodness for TVO movies on Saturday night!



Sonny Drysdale said...

"I hate rudeness in a man. I won't tolerate it."

So said Captain Call in 'Lonesome Dove' after delivering a shit-kicking to a moron who was loudly talking in the seat behind the Captain whilst Miss Lillie Langtree was singing at some Opera House in the ol' West.

Words to live by and be a'feared of. They build character.

Kid Dork said...

We don't see ushers anymore simply because there is simply too high a risk of said usher being shot/stabbed/smacked for simply doing their job. Back in the Seventies and Eighties, we feared the usher, because they would surely throw your sorry ass out the door if you misbehaved. Now, at the very least they would be told to 'fuck off'.

I'm like you, CL. I loved going the movies, loved that feeling of being somewhere else more magical for a brief two hours. But like Dylan wanted to say, 'The times, they are a-getting filled with a lot more assholes'

David said...

I'll never forget how grown-up I felt when my parents took us to see the 2nd Pink Panther movie. Made us dress up and everything.

I don't know when my DVD-trained children will be ready for that.

Sonny Drysdale said...

Are we still on for Friday? I thought we were all going to the midnight screening at the New Yorker of 'The Runaways'?

Crazylegs said...

Sonny - The plans have changed. We're all heading over to the International Cinema. There's a Swedish film-fest tonight!

Anonymous said...