Note: There are no spoilers in this post. I couldn’t explain to you what was going on anyway due to all the noise in the MOVIE THEATER!
*Shout out to Rebecca Dawn and her post I NEED AN ADULT! TO DO ADULT THINGS LIKE MOVIES! for reminding me I had to write this up.*
A few weeks ago a friend and I decided to go see The Witch. We had both been waiting to see it for months and were finally able to find a time and place that was convenient for both of us. We settled on a “regular” theater, instead of the Alamo Drafthouse, based on the time of the showing.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Alamo Drafthouse***, it is a chain of theaters with strict rules on talking, texting and children. They serve food and alcohol and will not seat you if you arrive late. Basically, they take no shit. If you don’t follow the rules, you get one warning. After that they kick you out. It is the best movie going experience ever. Click here to see what they’re all about. It is also the only place I will now go see a movie.
It was a Saturday. We arrived early for the 5:00PM show, knowing that we wanted concessions and did not want to have to fight for the perfect seats. We sat four rows from the back, in the center. The theater was a just over half full with ADULTS. Which made us very happy because The Witch was a different breed of horror film. It was supposed to smart, thought-provoking and slow building. Translated, that means you needed to pay attention.
The lights dimmed and the movie began. Not five minutes in, a couple walks in with a TODDLER. Two years old at most. To AN R RATED HORROR MOVIE. Almost immediately the child begins to fuss and whispers of stop its, settle downs and be quiets echo through the theater.
This first disruption makes us miss a characters entire speech that I assume was important and foreshadowing. The child quiets as a group of kids, maybe 20 years old at the most, come walking in. It’s about fifteen minutes into the movie at this point so when they make a ruckus while trying to find seats, it’s another disruption.
Not only were there about six of them, but apparently no one ever taught them the concept of silence. The heavy stepper among them shook the rows as they made their way up the stairs. And, of course, they sat directly behind us. Following a game of Musical Chairs they finally settled down. A few moments after that, we were disrupted once again by what sounded like the kids unpacking groceries.
My friend and I just turned to each other in disbelief. We turned our attention back to the screen but had no idea what was going on. The film takes place in the 1600’s which means the dialogue isn’t spoken in 21st century jargon. We were totally lost.
Then the toddler begins to cry for a bottle. And cry for a bottle. And cry for a bottle. And cry for a bottle.
Someone, who was obviously as annoyed as we were, screamed, “someone give that kid a bottle!”. No reaction from the parents but the kid continues to scream. Apparently, no one thought to actually bring a bottle with them.
One woman walked out. Another hollered, “we’re trying to hear this!.” All to no avail. There is no reaction from the parents and even while the child is screaming, there is no action on their part to remove the child from the theater.
Without even saying a word, we both get up and walk out. It was around 40 minutes into the movie, we hadn’t heard more than two sentences and had no idea what was going on.
The manager graciously refunded our money. From the look on his face, it was evident that this happened frequently. He said there was nothing he could do. He couldn’t stop them from bringing the child in. Behind us, several other patrons were also waiting for refunds.
I find this unacceptable.
Have bad manners become the norm?
Is it now acceptable to disrupt a film for the others in the theater.
Alamo Drafthouse has the right idea. No crying babies and no rude teenagers.
Has anyone else experienced this or is just me?
*** And, no, I am not a paid spokesperson for Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.