• author
    • Kelvin Wade

    • May 24, 2013 in Columnists

    They did WHAT in the movie theater?

    I love going to the movies. From buying the tickets on Fandango so I don’t have to wait in line, to indulging in the artery-hardening, wallet-draining snacks, to waiting for the movie to start to the previews of coming attractions, all of the pre-show events are as exciting to me as the feature presentation. And doing it with someone by your side is even more fun.

    Still, I’ve had some annoying and downright weird things happen at the movies.

    I recently went to see the hysterically funny and talented Robert Downey Jr. in “Iron Man 3.” My girlfriend Cathi and I tend to sit pretty close to the screen, mainly because most people don’t want to sit that close. That way we don’t have to put up with people walking past us or sitting in front of us, for the most part. But, with the theater half full, this big ball of a man resembling Bluto walked in four kids all under the age of 6 and sat down two rows in front of us.

    Shoot. Me. Now.

    Little kids. Kids have the attention span of Beagles. Squirrel! How soon would a way-over-their-head dialogue scene spur them into recreating a scene from Dora the Explorer in the middle of the movie? Or when would they start with the endless restroom trips? Or forgetting what an “inside voice” is supposed to sound like?

    Another pet peeve happened when a family showed up ten minutes into the movie and decided to sit next to me.      What makes late arrivals so frustrating is that they draw your attention from the movie. It’s not like at home when you can pause the DVR while these people find their seats. Worse, the guy sitting down next to me was holding a tiny baby that looked piping hot from the womb.

    I don’t know why people bring babies and tiny kids to loud, violent movies. I don’t mean to be rude, but if you’ve got babies and can’t find a sitter, then wait for the DVD!

    That being said, Bluto and the late arriving family had very well-behaved kids that didn’t cause a problem, so I give credit where it’s due. But it’s a crapshoot.

    I’ve had some weird theater experiences. There was the time my girlfriend and I went to the movies with only about seven people in the theater. The movie started and an elderly couple entered the theater. Where did they sit? Right next to us. Seven people in the whole theater and they choose to sit next to us. Every so often, the elderly woman’s leg would bump mine and she’d look down as if thinking, “What is that I’m bumping into?” I was afraid to say anything or tap her on the shoulder and say, “Hello, it’s just the large black man sitting next to you!” for fear I’d startle her into a coronary.

    Another time, an older gentleman came into a movie a half hour late and went to sit down next to me. I had my murse (yeah, I carry a murse!) on the seat, so I had to catch this guy with one hand on his ass to prevent him from sitting on it while snatching my murse away with the other. He probably thought he was being accosted. He sat down and then fished a large apple out of his pocket and started crunching away.

    Once during a movie. the theater doors burst open and three black teenage girls entered having a full-voiced conversation. It was the rudest. They were looking for seats and carrying on a conversation like no one was in the theater. In fact, as rude and inconsiderate as it was, my brother and I hoped no one would say anything in the hopes that they’d shut up when they sat down. I know it’s politically incorrect, but I mention their race because I know my people. We knew they weren’t likely to react well to being told to be quiet. And then it happened. Right when they were about to sit down someone yelled, “Would y’all shut the hell up!?!?” Then it was on. A scream fest ensued that drowned out the movie for the next five minutes.

    The funniest thing I’d experienced in a theater was when I noticed a bald, rather corpulent man slouched in a chair in the movie lobby of a multiplex snoring away. I went and sat down in my theater, awaiting my movie, and was surprised to see the bald pudgy man strolling down the aisle in the same auditorium. He sat down near the front of the theater and dropped off to sleep. During the movie, his snoring nearly drowned out the audio. At one point, a phone rang during the movie and snoring guy woke from his slumber and called out, “Hello?” The audience cracked up. But when he dropped off back to sleep and started snoring like a freight train, an audience member got up, nudged him awake and told him to either wake up or get out. Snoring guy woke, but soon went back to sleep and theater management ushered him out to applause.

    Finally, there is this… Years ago, when Cathi and I saw the first Spiderman movie, the theater was packed. Sitting next to her was a large woman in a floral print dress. This woman was badly in need of bathing as her B.O. wafted past Cathi over to me. It was as if she were running some kind of sour bakery under that dress. There’s a smell I don’t want to ever smell, let alone while I’m trying to eat. It forced me to watch the movie with a hand over my face trying to filter the funk. Her son, the kind of doughy, 30-something guy who probably lived in her basement playing video games and eating Funyuns most days, bounded down the aisle with a huge vat of popcorn. Little did we know what we were about to see. His mother held her dress out like some kind of cloth basket and the son dumped the popcorn in her lap! We assumed this was so he could go get a free refill of the bucket. Watching Baby Huey eat buttery popcorn from his stinky mother’s lap was the grossest and weirdest thing we’d ever seen in a theater.

    Yes, I love movies, but I prefer the action be onscreen and not off.

    • LOL

      • Lucy Takeda

      • May 24, 2013 at 5:00 pm
      • Reply

      My best friend and I went to see the movie Holes. There was a sizable group of teenage type boys in line near us. (We’re in our 50’s.). We kind of looked at each other, expecting troublesome teenage behavior. However, when one bumped me on accident, he promptly apologized, and asked what we were going to see. I told him; he stared at us and asked, “Where are your kids?” We said we wanted to see the movie. His eyes got big, and he said, “That is so awesome!”
      We got into the movie, and they sat somewhere near us—which slightly concerned us. Then, a bunch of teenage girls came in, and started talking loudly and tossing popcorn back and forth. I looked at my friend, ( the movie was just starting) and said, “Should I say something, or do you want to, or should we contact an employee?” Just then, another lady in her 40’s or so turned to the girls, and announced,”A piece of popcorn just HIT my mother! STOP NOW!”
      Quiet, appropriate behavior the rest of the film.
      People often ( not always) CAN behave politely with just a little nudging or encouragement.

    • OK, the stinky popcorn lady kinda blew my mind. Whoooeeee!

    • Great column! Our bad experience: sitting next to a woman marinated in smelly Blue Waltz-perfume or a man doused with decades-old cologne.

    Leave a Comment