Tuesday, March 07, 2006

More Movie-Going Etiquette

In my very first entry, I addressed some movie-going concerns, and I wanted to tackle yet another.

A few weekends ago Jeanne and I went to see Match Point at the Alamo Quarry Cinemas, in what turned out to be a very small, very crowded auditorium. We arrived as the previews were finishing up and on first glance there appeared to only be corner, front row seats available, which we grabbed. Now this is the kind of theatre seating arrangement which drives me absolutely bonkers and I've had more than one film ruined by having to sit in a such a seat.

Within minutes, I whispered in her ear that I couldn’t do it for two hours at that angle, in those seats. Jeanne, inexplicably to my mind, didn't seem to care one way or the other. She suggested splitting up and each taking single seats, apart from each other, elsewhere in the aud. I only begrudgingly agreed as I really wanted to see the movie "with her" - I think she just wanted to see the movie. (Had it been up to me, we'd have gone and gotten our money back.)

As we headed toward the rear, I spied another couple clearly using four seats between the two of them - they had “unoccupieds” on either side. I quickly and quietly asked the woman if they could move down so we could use two of the seats. She was agitated and annoyed at my request, however they complied, but not without a fair amount of grumbling. It was obvious that she wanted me to know that I was "putting them out".

Now it became an uncomfortable situation, as I then had to sit right next to her. Through my peripheral vision, I kept noticing the bitch eying me, as if she was searching for signs of cooties. It was all I could do keep from turning to her and saying, "Hey - did you pay for two seats or four? [beat] I thought so. I have more right to these two seats than you do, you ignorant seat hog!"

At a certain point in the film, I had to get up to use the facilities. When I returned, she and her male half had SWITCHED PLACES!!!! Can you believe that!?!?! As if I had body odor or I was trying to cop a feel in the dark!!!! Amazing. I hope I ruined their tight-assed viewing of the film because they deserve it for failing to help make my experience a better one.

We all go to the movies to be entertained and have a good time. I always go out of my way to make sure I can assist anyone around me in the pursuit of such a good time. I've been asked countless times to "move down" for similar reasons, and I've always done it, saying "Certainly!" to whomever asks, and I've done it quickly so as not to inconvenience anyone further. It's called common courtesy folks. A movie audience functions as one big unit. Everyone cries and laughs together and everyone pays for a seat and everyone is entitled to have the best movie-going experience possible[1]. When you start to think you're somehow owed more privileges than the rest of the unit, I suggest it's time to stay home and watch DVDs where your fat ass is truly entitled to take up the entire sofa as you force your mate to sit on the cold floor.

[1] The quality of the movies themselves is unfortunately the one thing that's outside of our control.