- CHARITY BENEFIT
Here we are, altogether in the darkness with our suspended disbelief and our emotions being played by the director like a conductor leads an orchestra.
I love watching films. Romance, adventure, documentaries, action, animation… I love it all! It’s the stuff dreams are made of. Cinema has incredible power.
We buy our tickets and popcorn, take a seat in the dark, and are collectively transported into another world, place or time. It’s magic.
There are a million reasons we love the movies. Film is the liveliest and most all encompassing of the arts. Writing, acting, special effects, cinematography, music, art direction, set design, wardrobe, hair and make up, sometimes exotic destinations, it’s such a mammoth undertaking! Big pictures usually involve large groups of people all with different specialties, coming together under one direction to bring us a story to escape into, for a relatively short period of time. When you consider it took months, even years to make a movie, the hour and forty minutes or so of running time deserves our respect.
As New Yorkers we have an extra special relationship with the movies. New York is home to the Tribeca film festival, launching pad and birthplace to some of the greatest acting talent and a place where movies are made.
So why is it that my recent experiences at the movie theatre have become unbearable?
If I want to be a couch potato, curl up in bed, put my feet on the sofa, make my own snacks and rent a movie so I can press pause every time I want to refill my glass of wine or comment to my viewing companions that’s fine, I’m at home.
A trip to the cinema is not the cheep thrill it once was. I can go to hundreds of little places in the big apple and get dinner for two for almost the same price. And with home theatre technology becoming cheaper by the year and more accessible to the masses Movie Cinemas will have to make more of an effort to compete for our dollar. It is urgent. The movie going experience is becoming increasingly unpleasant.
My last trip to the movies was at the Regal Union Square Stadium 14, to see HUGO 3D, a beautifully told story about our dreams, longing, and the birth of cinema, watched through the lenses of the latest in 3D technology. Unfortunately the movie was spoiled by the guy sitting behind me with running commentary to his wife and kid. I felt like turning around and telling him to shut the @#$! up, but I couldn’t because I’m the ‘etiquette lady.’ Even my best ‘look of death’ seamed to go ignored. Not only was he ruining my experience, but revealed himself as a wind bag to the woman with him and taught his kid that other people don’t matter and he can be as rude as he wants in public. As my mother would say, “no finishing school.”
Between, the loud crunching because people don’t know how to eat with their mouth closed, the feet next to my head wresting on the chair next to me, the cell phones, buzzing, texting, whispering, even talking out loud, it has become increasingly disagreeable to go to the picture show.
When you look at some of the country’s most famous cinema houses like the Loews Paradise on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx or The Ziegfeld Theatre in Manhattan, it is evident that a trip to the cinema was heaven for masses of people, old, young, rich, broke, almost everyone could go to the movies for a short escape and a big Hollywood production of an experience. If you were lucky, maybe even a double feature with a cartoon and a newsreel to boot.
Now the newsreels are left to my taxi ride (which is about the same price as a movie ticket). Instead of a pre- show cartoon there is a wealth of advertisements and coming attractions, most of which also leave something to be desired.
There used to be uniformed ushers with flashlights that would escort you to your seat or throw out people who couldn’t behave themselves.
Tickets are now around 12 dollars, 15 dollars for 3D and IMAX. Cinemas are struggling to stay open. Today, with the world economic crisis, we need the cinema escape more than ever. What’s my solution? Charge a dollar more, hire people that would be thrilled to have a job as an usher, like film students or senior citizens. Serve fresh popcorn and post the rules of conduct in the lobby, at the ticket counter and on the screen.
Rules of Conduct:
- Feet on the floor, this is not your living room
- No loud crunching, chew with your mouth closed you are a person not a cow.
- No talking during the film, it’s beyond rude
- No electronics; It’s selfish and makes you seem like you were raised by the wolves being featured in “The Grey”
-No littering and do not abandon your chewing gum.
Note: You’re still allowed to hold hands.
This new, clean environment is now perfect for a romantic date night out.