Why I will stop going to movie theaters.

I love movies. I even enjoy most movies that are generally considered bad, even really bad. Ever since I could, I have gone to the movie theater almost every weekend. Almost every date I've been on has a movie theater in there somewhere. You get the idea, I've been to a lot of movies. This is all quickly coming to an end.

Lately I find myself considering if I really want to go to the theater to see the movie or just wait it out and see the DVD. It's not that movies are getting worse. It's not that ticket prices are going up even though they have more than doubled in the time I've been buying them. It's not the food or the rude kid that insists on serving you with some sort of 'tude. It's you. Yes. You.

You and all the other people in the audience. You, who come to the movies and don't use the bathroom before settling in for what is at least 2 hours. I know some people can't make the 2 hours, please sit near the edge and be quiet while doing your coming and going. You, who not only get food but feel like that free refill on your gigantic soda is worth butting your way out of the theater (usually with some noise about how there was too much ice) and then butting your way right back in. That crap is bad for you, relax, watch the movie. And while we are on the topic of food: You, who don't know how to eat a bite of popcorn without broadcasting that chewing noise. Now I have a personal tick when it comes to chewing, principally that when I hear it I want to use two ice picks for ear plugs. But you seem to think that while your in the dark you can forget the simple politeness of chewing with your mouth closed. You, who buys the bag of Permanently Shut and Makes a ton of Noise (R) candy and proceeds to do battle with it half way through the flick. You've bought the stuff before, you know it's a pain to open and doing so makes more noise than John McClain blowing up Nakatomi Plaza so do us all a favor and open before the movie starts. You, who sits at the back and thinks he's adding something by shouting jokes about the movie I'm currently watching. I've got a special name for you. I could go on and on. I've tolerated all of that until now because (say it with me now) I love movies.

What has changed all of this is that we now have the affordable technology that allows us to have that movie theater experience at home. Surround sound is pretty standard on any audio system and large flat panel TVs are also becoming very affordable. In short, I get all of the positive of getting an immersive movie experience without having all the down side of, well, you.

Movie Theater,

I bid you a fond adieu. We have had some good times but I have grown to not like you anymore. I'm sure we will meet occasionally at those summer events that also have Will Smith or Stephen Spielberg on the guest list. When we do, please do not see it as me taking you back, simply an acceptance that you have your place in the world.


**Note that all references to you probably do not actually pertain to you.
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