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Name Something That Annoys You at the Movie Theater: Children, Talking and Other Things

Updated on November 21, 2016
Courtesy Apple's Eyes Studios
Courtesy Apple's Eyes Studios

What annoys you most at the movie theater?

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People talking. I've experienced this in every variety. Frankly, I don't mind the casual comment, but people talking all the time is so rude, it's almost hard to fathom sometimes. That a person would sit in a crowded movie theater talking with absolutely no sense that they might be bothering those around them is selfishness at its core. My absolute worst experience was sitting in a theater with two other people, one of whom was translating the entire movie in Spanish to the other.

  1. People eating noisily. And I am like the noisiest eater on the planet, but oh my god, sitting in front of somebody who is rustling through one of those giant tubs of popcorn, especially when they already weigh like 500 pounds, is among the most annoying things ever. And movie theaters don't help anything by making every package and food item as loud as possible. Why don't theaters just sell Pop Rocks?
  2. People who talk and state the obvious. It's one thing when people just talk. I can somehow tune that out. What I can't tune out are the patently obvious statements some people make about movies that are so painfully dumb I want to impale myself on the nearest broken armrest. Like the time I was watching "The Fountain" and we see Hugh Jackman in the big hamster ball with the giant tree and the couple behind me goes "It's a tree." Old people are the worst too. Never let anyone tell you that old people have better manners than young people because this is a situation where they don't. If there's something dumb to be said in regard to a movie, an old person is probably saying it. "They're kissing." That's one of my all-time faves too.
  3. People talking and texting on cell phones. There are definitely levels of offense here. It's annoying when people's phones buzz and you can hear it.. Then it's annoying before the movie when everybody is on a cell phone. Then there are the people who forget to turn off their phones and they ring. Then there are the people who pull out their phones to look at them. Then there are the people who just text throughout the movie not realizing that I can see that damn light, you little idget. Finally, there are the people who actually break out their phones and make outgoing calls. I have had this happen in a theater and the guy almost got assaulted. I guess even collectively, we have limits.
  4. People who kick the back of the chair in front of them. Quite honestly, this might be my biggest pet peeve of all. I cannot count the number of times I have watched a movie where the jackass behind me is kicking my chair like they've had too much coffee or something. Absolutely, the most annoying thing in a movie theater. My solution these days is to lean forward and then backward hard enough that I possibly break their foot. Myabe I should try politely asking them to stop first, but it just seems like people should know better.
  5. Sticky floors. Walking through some theaters is like being in a tar pit. Generally, if a theater has sticky floors, you don't want to go into the bathroom. You know it's going to be nasty. And then you realize that you're handling a soda cup and popcorn tub that's been handled by somebody with the cleaning skills of a zoo animal.
  6. People who can't control their children.There are definitely some people who think that because they're in a movie theater and they've paid for their tickets, they can just let their kids run wild. I've been in movies where two and three children are just dashing madly around the theater while the mom or dad ignores it all. The solution is usually to call social services. It's always funny when the movie ends and the children have mysteriously vanished. Incidentally, my first experience as a professional film critic was seeing "Casualties of War" and somebody brought a 5-year-old.
  7. Badly framed projection. Ever watch a movie and notice a black, fuzzy mic hanging down over the actors? For the longest time I thought the cinematographer must just be an idiot, but then I learned that the actual film strip has considerably more picture on it than we can see. It's up to the projectionist to frame it properly and if they're not paying attention or the movie theater is understaffed, sometimes you can see the mic. Of course, this problem will be going away with digital projection.
  8. Super loud movies.Watching some movies is not that dissilimilar from sitting underneath an airplane as it lands (I used to do this, actually). Thus, many movies are better watched with the use of earplugs. One wonders whether the increasing volume in many movies isn't the result of people complaining about other people talking. The movie theater's solution is to just turn up the volume to the point where it's impossible to hear anyone talking. Except that when I leave the movie theater, I can't hear at all.
  9. Crop dusters. Crop dusting is an art that spans well beyond the movie theater and is most prevalent on airplanes. It is the term that stewards use to describe when they fart as they walk down the aisle past their passengers. In a movie theater, it is easy to pass gas because your butt is tucked nicely in a seat and the wafting fumes just kind of go everywhere and there's really no way for the victim to pinpoint who let go. So sometimes you can be watching a movie where somebody around you is farting every few minutes making the theater smell, however temporarily, like a sewer.

This is My Dream Theater (NSFW language)

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