The movie theater experience

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mistymills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Just compiling a bit of a list and could use some help. What do you guys find attractive about seeing a movie in a theater? Do you ever attend events held at movie theaters? Dress up for premieres? What makes a movie theater experience something you can't duplicate at home?
 

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swgeek

Sr Member
I know going to movie theater has gotten a bad rap of late, with all the rude idiots talking, texting, etc... But for me nothing beats going out to the movies. I love the huge screen, the sound system, and with a good movie/audience, the interactive experience of seeing a movie with a bunch of people is great.
 

The Mad Professor

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I tend to go to places like Alamo Drafthouse or Studio Movie Grill where I can enjoy a meal and a beer or glass of wine with my movie. I guess the reason why I like it is because I get the convenience of a restaurant and a movie theater wrapped into one. Sure, it costs an arm and a leg, but the lack of cooking and cleanup combined with the gigantic screen makes up for it.
 

dascoyne

Master Member
I will watch a movie more actively in a theater as opposed to at home where it's so convenient to pause for bathroom breaks, snacks and shopping on the Internet and the movie becomes a passive experience. The problem with passive viewing is that, with willful breaks and divided attention, the narrative gets broken and a lot of the nuance (the non-narrative details such as a suspicious glance or a subtle performance) can be lost.

Classics often require active viewing to fully appreciate. It's a Wonderful Life can be "meh" if you watch it for the first time on a DVD. You don't pay attention to the subtleties that make the film timeless. A couple of years ago, for Christmas, I had my wife watch that film for the first time in a full sized movie theater. She loved it. I honestly feel she wouldn't have been impressed had we watched it at home.
 

GoodGame

Active Member
*Spoiler Alert: This post will become a rant at some point*

I can't stand going to see a movie in the theaters anymore! There are so many inconsiderate a**h**** that I can no longer justify the total cost of having the "experience." For my wife and I to go see a movie at night (because seeing a movie during the day just feels weird, but that's another topic) it's $50.00. In my head, that means that I'm paying someone roughly $25.00/hr. to ruin the experience of seeing a film on the big screen! I can't, for the life of me, understand what compels someone to talk to their friends or take a f***ing phone call during a movie!!! They paid the same amount of money that I've paid to enjoy the showing so why would they want to spend their money for something that could do for free in the comfort of their own home?! I hate talking on the phone as it is, but I'm sure as hell not gonna pay to do it.

The ONLY time I go to theaters anymore is for special engagement events, such as, anniversary releases or press events. These events tend to be wonderful because A) Typically, I've already seen the film, so, the audience interaction isn't distracting and comes from a place of passion as apposed to annoyance, and B) Most others in the theater are true fans of the film and have an appropriate amount of respect for the viewing experience. I can't watch a movie with the general public anymore! And further more, in this day and age, if you tell someone to shut up or get off their phone you risk being shot.

I'm happy watching movies at home and really wouldn't have it any other way. I have a 70" TV and 7.1 Surround Sound and my couch is certainly more forgiving than a theater seat after 2 hours.

Sorry if that was too much, but you hit a nerve with me :)
 

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Cephus

Sr Member
I just don't do it anymore, I see no need to go to a theater where you have rude people talking on the phone, texting, kicking the back of your chair, sticky floors, etc. As such, my wife and I haven't been to a theater since the first Transformers movie came out, and we only stopped there because it was a hot day, we were coming home from a convention and figured it was worth it to sit in air conditioning for a while. As far as I'm concerned, it's worth it to wait the 2 months or so for the movie to come out on Bluray, I can sit in the comfort of my living room with my big screen and THX stereo setup, invite anyone over who wants to see the movie, watch it as many times as I want to, put it on pause if I want to get up, etc.

There's nothing I miss about the theatrical experience at all.
 

JD

Master Member
Damn-kids-GET-OFF-MY-LAWN2.jpg

Well, that's how some of us are sounding in this thread. :)

Truth to be told, there's little that compares to the movie going experience... but, there's also little thing's that ruin that experience very quickly. I generally don't go to "event" showings. But, I love the movies too much to not make regular trip to the theater.

Sunday evening has become my "go to" movie theater time. The crowd is generally lighter than Friday or Saturday, but it can still get busy. Every theater I've been to lately (which is basically two chains: AMC and regional MJR (and 99% of the time it's MJR), makes it very clear to not use your phone and to be quiet during the movie. I will go to find an usher or security to complain (MJR even has an usher walk through at least twice during a show). What I do miss is that a different chain (Star, who gout bought out by AMC) gave out coupons for a free drink or popcorn when you did make a complaint. MJR's staff is pretty damn sad most of the time and does little... and I've ranted and raved via e-mail or through their social sites about somethings but they're management is just terrible for the most part.

It's just unacceptable to talk or use your phone during a movie - and while I hate to miss something by having to get up to complain, sometimes ya gotta do it.

...I don't get what's wrong with going to the theater during the day. If you can make that time work for you... just do it.
 

Wes R

Legendary Member
Honestly in the 90s we'd go to the movies several times a year but the theater stopped keeping the trouble makers out and jacking up the prices so it just wasn't worth it. That theater is now a 3.00 discount place with the cops in the parking lot all the times while down the road there's a new place that's classier and keeps the riffraff out. We always had 2 theaters in town until the 90s and the one was a classy place from at least the 40s but got tore down. Honestly it's just not worth the money anymore for what's being put out. Not to mention I can't handle crowds anymore without anxiety attacks. The place that panders to teens now used to be the big place to go, i saw the SW rereleases there in the 90s and there were folks dressed up.
We still have a local drive thru that opens yearly despite having been for sale for 15 years, problem is it really attracts the bad crowd and like most places just doesn't care as long as they get their cash.
 

Bryancd

Master Member
Just compiling a bit of a list and could use some help. What do you guys find attractive about seeing a movie in a theater? Do you ever attend events held at movie theaters? Dress up for premieres? What makes a movie theater experience something you can't duplicate at home?

We have the Ultra Star Cinema chain out here in the Southwest and it's a nice experience. They have decent food, a bar, a screen with seats that move, digital projection, and an usher that comes in before the start of the film to make an announcement. And they cater to kids for parties, ect. It's nice. Higher end we have full service dinner/bar with reclining seats and fake fur blankets. So I think going to the movies needs to be a complete experience.
 

The Mad Professor

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
*Spoiler Alert: This post will become a rant at some point*

I can't stand going to see a movie in the theaters anymore! There are so many inconsiderate a**h**** that I can no longer justify the total cost of having the "experience." For my wife and I to go see a movie at night (because seeing a movie during the day just feels weird, but that's another topic) it's $50.00. In my head, that means that I'm paying someone roughly $25.00/hr. to ruin the experience of seeing a film on the big screen! I can't, for the life of me, understand what compels someone to talk to their friends or take a f***ing phone call during a movie!!! They paid the same amount of money that I've paid to enjoy the showing so why would they want to spend their money for something that could do for free in the comfort of their own home?! I hate talking on the phone as it is, but I'm sure as hell not gonna pay to do it.

The ONLY time I go to theaters anymore is for special engagement events, such as, anniversary releases or press events. These events tend to be wonderful because A) Typically, I've already seen the film, so, the audience interaction isn't distracting and comes from a place of passion as apposed to annoyance, and B) Most others in the theater are true fans of the film and have an appropriate amount of respect for the viewing experience. I can't watch a movie with the general public anymore! And further more, in this day and age, if you tell someone to shut up or get off their phone you risk being shot.

I'm happy watching movies at home and really wouldn't have it any other way. I have a 70" TV and 7.1 Surround Sound and my couch is certainly more forgiving than a theater seat after 2 hours.

Sorry if that was too much, but you hit a nerve with me :)
Solution: Go to someplace like the Alamo Drafthouse. They are more than happy to throw out disruptive moviegoers and phone users... without a refund. In fact, it's one of the things they take pride in doing and it's part of their advertisement strategies.

Plus, the way they inform you of this policy is just hilarious.
 

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dascoyne

Master Member
I feel like I must be living in the last bastion of civility in the world. In the SF Bay Area from Santa Clara to Emeryville I can't recall anyone disrupting a film with cell phones or talking. Maybe during previews at most. Are other places taken over by teens or something?
 
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Wes R

Legendary Member
Solution: Go to someplace like the Alamo Drafthouse. They are more than happy to throw out disruptive moviegoers and phone users... without a refund. In fact, it's one of the things they take pride in doing and it's part of their advertisement strategies.

Plus, the way they inform you of this policy is just hilarious.
I wish they had more places like this around but aside form on here I've never heard of Alamo. There's an Imax theater about 45 minutes away but that's as close as it gets.
 

mistymills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I've heard people mention that the theater 'experience' is what keeps them going to the actual movie theater, but can you all elaborate a bit on what makes up that experience?

I should probably mention at some point that I am putting together some marketing guidelines for movie theaters; seeing what it is that draws people to the theater as opposed to Redbox or Netflix, so knowing what areas to concentrate on to give people what it is they want. That sort of thing.

Are the add-ons (DBOX seats, luxury seating, IMAX screens, 3D, movie-themed events such as costume contests and things, having a ticket stub as a physical connection to the movie you saw, etc etc) what you would consider perks that are only available at the theater or do they seem like unimportant additions to the experience?
 

jcoffman99

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The only thing that would get me back on a regular basis would be ushers in every screening that would kick out phone users, talkers, vapers, etc.
 

Moviefreak

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I only enjoy the nostalgia factor to theaters anymore. I love going to those one screen theaters from the deco era.
But anymore I just stay home and watch there.
 

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Wes R

Legendary Member
I agree with jcoffman, it's the fact that they don't remove the trouble makers: the talkers, the phone users, the thugs, the people with crying babies. Not to mention the prices and the general atmosphere. Our new theater has has a slightly old fashioned feel. A lot of the 8 screen theaters around are kinda run down or are soulless boxes that are like the walmart of movie theaters. The one in town they took down had the fancy wall decorations and curtains and just had that 1940s/50s feel that make it feel special. It feels like the pride and love of movies that theater owners had died out when these giant chains bought everyone out. I'd probably go to a locally owned place no matter what before going to a local chain owned one.
 

dascoyne

Master Member
The audience can really enhance films - mainly if they're either very good or very bad.
I gotta admit that laughing (or cheering/applauding) together with an audience is generally more fun than in private.
And with really bad movies I've had witty hecklers who brought me to tears laughing.
 

Nth

Well-Known Member
I just don't do it anymore, I see no need to go to a theater where you have rude people talking on the phone, texting, kicking the back of your chair, sticky floors, etc. As such, my wife and I haven't been to a theater since the first Transformers movie came out, and we only stopped there because it was a hot day, we were coming home from a convention and figured it was worth it to sit in air conditioning for a while. As far as I'm concerned, it's worth it to wait the 2 months or so for the movie to come out on Bluray, I can sit in the comfort of my living room with my big screen and THX stereo setup, invite anyone over who wants to see the movie, watch it as many times as I want to, put it on pause if I want to get up, etc.

There's nothing I miss about the theatrical experience at all.
Preach it man, preach it. Nothing I miss either. I've always been of the contention that people will always ruin everything. Just how utterly self absorbed and pig-ignorant people are today, I honestly avoid any and all large congregations of humans whenever possible. I'm willing to pay double to see a movie I really want to see, day one, as long as I can stream it from home. As all the above reasons you mentioned, theatrical releases of movies also tend to be butchered as well. You have to end up waiting for the DVD/Blu Ray release to see the actual intact film. I would however go to the theater to see Blade Runner or Blade Runner 2 on a big screen, otherwise, done with theaters.
 

Cephus

Sr Member
Preach it man, preach it. Nothing I miss either. I've always been of the contention that people will always ruin everything. Just how utterly self absorbed and pig-ignorant people are today, I honestly avoid any and all large congregations of humans whenever possible. I'm willing to pay double to see a movie I really want to see, day one, as long as I can stream it from home. As all the above reasons you mentioned, theatrical releases of movies also tend to be butchered as well. You have to end up waiting for the DVD/Blu Ray release to see the actual intact film. I would however go to the theater to see Blade Runner or Blade Runner 2 on a big screen, otherwise, done with theaters.
I'm patient, I don't mind waiting a couple of months to see a movie, there is nothing, no movie ever that would get me to go into a theater again. I'm patient. I can wait.
 

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