I love going to the movies. I know, IÃve said that many times. But IÃm saying it again because IÃm getting the sense that I may be the only one.
I didnÃt always think that was true.
A time not too long ago, I had the crazy notion that there were others in the world who shared my fondness for a matinee, or an evening out, in a dark auditorium with neon lights draping the entrance. Those thoughts would be re-affirmed when I could share laughter, suspense, inspiration or true emotion with a group of strangers. Or, when I could sit through an entire film without a cell phone going off, a group of kids making fun of the movie, one of those darn red-light thingies shining under the nostril of a character on the screen or two people talking.
But that, apparently, is ancient history.
Yes, this is a rant.
I thought I was safe seeing The Banger Sisters Friday afternoon. I arrived about 15 minutes early, sat in the front row and waited for the film to begin. But then, three elderly women entered the theater as the lights were going down and the Ã¬pre-show entertainmentÃ® began.
Their chatter, as they ascended the staircase in the dark, was somewhat excusable. I mean, it was dark and, well, theyÃre old. But their talking continued through the previews. It was like the peanut gallery up there.
It was OK, though. I had already seen all of the previews, and I was willing to let it slide. Plus, theyÃre old, and thereÃs still a chance theyÃll stop when the movie started.
Then the movie started. But when Goldie Hawn, whose character can be summed up in the one word of Ã¬slut,Ã® said something provocative, the banter began. Shrieks of Ã¬ohhhÃ® and Ã¬ahhhÃ® could be heard throughout the room.
Look, old people arenÃt the only ones who make disruptions during movies. My grandmother doesnÃt talk when she walks into the theater. But why is it that some of them just donÃt stop?
I gave the glance. I did the turnaround. I even stared. (Of course, by this point the movie was ruined for me.) Then I did the obnoxious Ã¬ShhhhhhhhÃ® Ã± something I donÃt like doing, kind of like shooting the middle finger in traffic; itÃs just not nice Ã± and still to no avail. Some mutter came from under their breath to the effect of, Ã¬Who does this guy think he is?Ã®
They didnÃt let up. I couldnÃt stand it.
And then, about an hour in, I lost it. I stood up, turned around and said it. The words Ã¬shutÃ® and Ã¬upÃ® left my lips Ã± and I never felt better.
HereÃs the thing (oh, by the way, they still didnÃt stop)Ã± it was beyond rude. This isnÃt your living room. This is a public place where a sustained period of quiet time is expected. Age doesnÃt play a factor here. Who are you to talk and ruin my movie?
ItÃs not a matter of courtesy. Rather, itÃs a sign of intelligence. Ã¬Ohhh, itÃs dark in here, I guess I should be quiet.Ã®
I am not the quiet police. IÃm just a guy who loves going to the movies.
I just hope IÃm not the only one.
Contact Will Albritton at firstname.lastname@example.org