General Question

rockfan's avatar

Last time you saw a movie when the theater was extremely busy? Did the large crowds dampen your experience?

Asked by rockfan (12965points) June 30th, 2017 from iPhone

Babies crying? Loud candy wrappers making noise in the middle of the film? Annoying teenagers? People constantly walking out of their seats? Cellphones?

Reason I’m asking this question is because I travelled to Iowa last month for a family reunion and saw Wonder Woman on a weekend night. It was a sold out showing. To my amazement, people ate their snacks quietly, children behaved politely and I didn’t hear anyone talk during the film (besides laughter and audible gasps because of what was happening on screen).

I saw another Saturday night showing with a packed theater after I got home from my trip. It honestly felt like I was in an alternate reality. Half the audience acted as though they were in their living room and almost everyone ate food like it was their last meal. I understand why people love eating popcorn during a movie (I do too) but nachos and crinkly wrappers drive me up the wall.

I live in the south, and I’m beginning to think the level of common courtesy of some people is a regional thing. Your thoughts?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

33 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

I make a habit now of waiting a week or two after the movie shows up, then attending the theater at 10 or 11 am on a weekday.

PullMyFinger's avatar

It’s a regional thing, I’m pretty sure. Growing up and into young adulthood in the NYC area, I can’t remember even once having to “remind” anyone that nobody wants to be distracted by their constant comments and conversation.

Around here (Central FL), I couldn’t count the number of times that I’ve had to ask people to (ahem) please quiet down, then they look at me like I have two heads.

For a long time, I just assumed that thoughtless stupidity was rampant everywhere, but while visiting Brooklyn about four years ago, we saw ‘Lincoln’, and there wasn’t an empty seat in the theater. I noticed that nobody made a sound throughout the entire film.

So yeah, I think that people “get it” in some areas, but in others….not so much….

(Just like knowing / not knowing what the hell the left lane is for….)

zenvelo's avatar

Saw Wonder Woman at the mall multiplex near me on the weekend it came out. Packed, we were late and sat way down front.

But once the movie started, no chatter, no extraneous noise, just a few times when the crowd exclaimed.

Mariah's avatar

No such thing as an uncrowded movie theater around Boston where I am. Last movie I saw in theaters was the live action Beauty and the Beast. Old lady next to me gets a call on her cell phone, picks it up, and has a ten minute conversation during the movie. Totally blew my mind. Was annoying, but definitely didn’t ruin the experience for me or anything.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Large crowds dampen my experience on everything, like @stanleybmanly the wife and I tend to wait till the me firsts have seen it, then usually go midday.
When the crowds are low.

tinyfaery's avatar

Nope. I am a snob and now refuse to go to any movie theater that isn’t the Arclight. You pick your seats before the movie and the cost is a few dollars more, but people do not do annoying things. Paying the few bucks extra is worth it for me. Plus, they have alcohol.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

It absolutely depends on the film. If I’m watching a film that attracts a younger crowd, there will often be more people getting up and moving around, messing about with their phones and the likes. If it’s a much older crowd, there are often people talking. Some older people seem to need to talk about the film while they are watching it!

Thankfully, most of the films I want to see don’t attract a huge crowd. I’m happiest when there are a handful of people in the cinema.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I go to theatres for the crowds, so I don’t find them off-putting. If I wanted to watch a movie in silence, I’d stay home.

rockfan's avatar


Depends on the movie for me. There’s no way I want to see a comedy with a small amount of people, but I’d actually pay an extra 5 dollars to see films like Arrival and Manchester By the Sea with no other people in the theater except my friend or significant other

JLeslie's avatar

Nope. As long as I am able to get a seat not at the extreme front, I’m good. I can’t remember the last time that happened to me. I also can’t remember the last time I had a bad experience at a theatre because people made noise. I don’t think I can remember any time.

I prefer to have elbow room, and the place not packed to the hilt, but if the place is full that’s fine too.

What has bothered me is after the movie when the lights come on and people have left trash everywhere! That used to happen when I lived in Tennessee. It bothers me for 15 seconds, but still it bothered me.

Also, in Tennessee, too often the sound was outrageously loud. If I didn’t have my earplugs with me I was really annoyed. Stuffing napkins in my ears.

In southeast Florida the cinema is often freezing cold. Not a big deal as long as I remembered my cardigan.

So, in conclusion, the people have always been the least of the problem during the movie.

dabbler's avatar

This is the reason why I almost never go to the movie house, too much distractions from the rest of the crowd.
Last time I enjoyed a movie in a cinema it was tuesday mid-day in suburban Pittsburgh, and there were only eight people in the whole thing including the party of four I was in.
That was great, not sustainable as a business model maybe, but a nice viewing experience.

Pachy's avatar

Yes. When I was younger and more resilient, I loved watching movies on the big screen, but nowadays I feel claustrophobic in large audiences and distracted by the constant talking around me and general rudeness I encounter. Also I find theater sound systems overwhelming, seats uncomfortable, and of course ticket and refreshment prices ridiculously high.

Thank goodness for my huge flat screen TV and streaming services!

jca's avatar

I don’t prefer to go when the crowds make every seat filled. I like when I’m not sitting next to a stranger, if I can avoid it. I like to be able to put my jacket and handbag on the seat next to me and not feel like I’m disturbing someone if I move a little.

I think the last time I went to the movies when it was packed was to see “The Jungle Book.” That was probably two summers ago.

When I go to the movies, I go to two places in Connecticut. One is a small indie theater and one is a large multiplex. Both theaters, the crowds are pretty respectful with noise, phones, etc. Still, when people might chat it grates on my nerves and I’ll turn around briefly and hope they take the hint if they’re chatting excessively. I don’t usually encounter small kids at the movies just because of the types of movies I see. People’s rustling their food is annoying too but I try to sit pretty close to the front so I usually am away from food noises, and for that reason, I don’t usually hear the chatterboxes either.

filmfann's avatar

I saw Wonder Woman yesterday, in a half filled cinema, and this older couple behind me kept making comments like they were home. It was very annoying!

Coloma's avatar

I almost always go to afternoon matinees so my local theater is rarely crowded. Often there are only a handful of people in the theater. I prefer less people but am tolerant of crowds as well.
Sometimes the larger crowds make for a fun round of applause at the end of a good film.

Aethelwine's avatar

I hate crowds so I wait two weeks after a movie is released. The most annoying thing these days are people who look at their phone during the film. The light from the phone is so distracting.

I love being one of few people in a theater. Even better is having the theater to myself.

filmfann's avatar

@jonsblonde Last month I watched a movie in a theater with only one other person in it.
Great fun!

Sunshinegirl11's avatar

Hello! I saw wonderwoman too and I loved it! The theater was completely silent which was a bit strange.

A couple days later I saw the new transformers and there were a group of teenage boys who talked the whole time and were cheering the whole time as well.

I think it depends on what movie you see and the age group it attracts. I am pretty good at tuning people out so it didn’t bother me, but my family was pretty annoyed with the people who were loud, which is understandable.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I generally go to the theater (when I do go) during an early showing on a weekday, so there’s often not many other people in the auditorium with me. However, I saw Star Wars: the Force Awakens and there was a fair amount of people there. A lot of teenagers. Surprisingly (at least to me) the teenagers were all quiet, respectful, not fooling with their cell phones. The obnoxious distracting people were the older couple sitting behind me, who chatted through the movie like they were in their living room. (And they thought that Kylo Ren’s real name being Ben was the most amusing goddamn thing in the world (apparently unaware of the reference behind that name).)

Fuck, I hate old people who think they have a right to behave however they wish just because they’re the oldest in the room.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

^ I agree. When people are talking in a cinema, it’s usually an older couple. Older women seem to be the worst.

PullMyFinger's avatar

Sometimes yes, sometimes no, @Earthbound Misfit.

Many times, it is just some adolescent nitwit who finds pleasure in repeating every line in the movie:

ACTOR: “Say what you want…..tomorrow’s another day…”
NITWIT: “HA HAAAAA…..Say what you want…..tomorrow’s another day” !!

And yes, you are right…age does not come close to always meaning wisdom. While watching the movie ‘Warhorse’ a few years ago, some elderly clam right behind us for some reason felt the need to comment on almost everything she saw on the screen…...

“OHHHH !! Oh my God…...LOOK AT THAT SNOW…..!!!

Two other quiet adults sat on either side of her, and not ONCE did they make any effort to get her to shut the hell up….

Coloma's avatar

^ elderly clam..,, LOL

jca's avatar

If I’m near people and they’re talking as if they’re in their living room, I’d not hesitate to ask them to please stop talking.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I have shhhd people on occasions. I think I’ve only actually told someone off once. That was a young person who was using their phone through the film, and then right at one of the most poignant points in the film (Million Dollar Baby), decided to actually take a call and start talking. I lost it (well, as much as I ever loose it publicly). I was very cross.

Coloma's avatar

I get annoyed sometimes by the snack wrapper crinklers, they should make silent packaging for film snacks. haha

Pachy's avatar

Worse than a group of teenage fanboys(girls), @Earthbound_Misfit?

By the way, I once politely shushed two sassy young woman behind me who were yelling at the screen and was treated to 15 minutes of cursing (which included the lovely word “tightass), also at the top of their lungs. I don’t shush anymore. These days, that can get you shot.

PullMyFinger's avatar

As you know, Pachy, that kind of horseshit behavior is not going away anytime soon.

Where we’ve lived for 27 years, for almost all of that time you could drive north for two miles on a two-way street (with no passing allowed), and rarely if ever have someone race up from behind and get right on your bumper, trying to “push” you to drive faster.

These days, it happens at least twice a week. I’ve been doing 5 MPH over the posted 35 MPH speed limit for decades, and the local (hiding) cops are always fine with that. But lately some douchebag ‘millennials’ feel the need to push everyone to go even faster ( I of course always slow down to 5 MPH under the limit).

When we reach the main highway I turn left, and as he’s passing me going straight, gives ME ‘the finger’, as though I am the shithead in this pathetic interaction.

Why suddenly now ??....Because these spoiled, ‘Fast and Furious’-watching, street-thug wannabe ‘millennials’ are all getting their driver’s licenses, that’s why…..

Coloma's avatar

Just took my little friend to see Despicable Me lll. For a matinee full of kids the house was really quiet and well behaved. Hilarious movie!

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

@Pachy, I don’t think it’s an ‘either/or’ situation. A couple of old dears nattering about everything happening in the film is just as distracting a couple of young women carrying on behind you.

I don’t tend to go and see many ‘popcorn’ films like the Fast and Furious, so I’m often not watching films that attract a young, rowdy crowd. Similarly, I don’t go and see many kids films at the cinema. I have seen many of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, all the Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings films etc. but for those types of films, I agree with @dappled_leaves, the audience participation is fun. When the crowd ooohs or ahhs or laughs when things happen on the screen, it adds to the film experience.

However, if you’re watching a film like Still Life or Spotlight and the old ladies in the next row are saying “what’s he doing now?”, “ohhh I wasn’t expecting that!”, it’s freaking annoying and distracting. I like to lose myself in what’s happening on the screen.

Similarly, if you’re watching a film like Million Dollar Baby that attracts a diverse audience, someone playing with their phone, taking calls(seriously!), or repeatedly changing seats would be very distracting. It’s not a film where you want audience interaction. You want to become engaged with what’s happening on the screen and the film sound.

rockfan's avatar

In the theater right now and an elderly couple are munching on their popcorn loudly, but it probably has to do with their hearing.

LornaLove's avatar

Be grateful that you didn’t attend the opening premier of the 50 Shades of Gray debacle of a movie. At the Glasgow opening, a few drunk women (as there are bars/pubs in our movie houses) hit a guy on the head with a glass and an ambulance was called.

I’d stick to the annoying cell phone users and snack crunching crowd any day!
(I don’t think that they were submissive material personally!)

Coloma's avatar

My local Regal Cinema had an alcohol license application poster in the window today, i was shocked! I really don’‘t think booze should be served in theaters. If you can’t watch a movie without drinking then just stay home and watch a DVD.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

LOL @LornaLove, that’s a bit dominant of the woman isn’t it? I think that’s taking things to the extreme – perhaps they got a bit over-excited?

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther