Your good/bad theater experiences

Discussion in 'Random Thoughts' started by ColtMrFire, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Friend

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    Figured it might be a good idea to give this its own thread since it's not about specific movies but theater going experiences.

    It's my feeling that the theater going experience has severly declined in the past couple decades with the rise of cell phones. There have always been assholes, but our current social media addicted culture seems to have mutated people's good sense and caused an epidemic of asshole. Or maybe it's just that we've grown less tolerant of stuff. Either way, going to the movies has become more of a crapshoot these days, with quality going downhill and ticket prices going uphill.

    On the flip side, some of people's most emotionally positive experiences have happened at the movies. Where the crowd is well behaved and the movie kicked ass. One such experience for me was seeing The Matrix the first time. I remember it pretty well. It's hard to believe now, but the hype for it wasn't that high. I went to a Friday matinee, first show, at theater not far from my house. The trailer was cool but I don't think people were able to reconcile the Keanu factor, who's blank expression and stoic acting weren't super impressive at the time.

    Anyway, I and the few people who were there (it was not very busy) were completely and utterly blown away by the experience. The Matrix is in my top 5 theater going experiences and quite possibly might be number one. I feel like I walked in one person and walked out another. It was just completely mind blowing from beginning to end. IMO the perfect movie and I honestly have not seen a sci-fi movie as good since.

    I was so hyped for it I told all my friends and went again the next night, but to a different theater (the now defunct General Cinema). By this time the word had gotten out and it wa a packed house. I felt like I was in on this great secret as I watched everyone file into the theater having no idea what they were about to witness. There were oohs and aaahs galore. Cheers and claps. The film was even better the second time. Everyone was perfectly behaved and just sat there in awe.

    Honestly I haven't had very many bad theater experiences. Occasionally there would be the kid who wouldn't shut up, the crying baby, but it would usually get taken care of pretty quickly. I'm fortunate in that I live (and work) near an Alamo Drafthouse cinema and we have a strict no talking texting policy, or we show you the door.

    Any negative or positive experiences are welcome.
     
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  2. netforce

    netforce MOT: TSAV

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    I go to the movies often, LA is great for that. The experiences can really vary nowadays, quite a few have bars now to order simple or movie themed cocktails, a bunch offer full reclining chairs, done a few with waiter service, reserved seats seems to be on the rise, and I often take advantage of my local theaters discount days.

    I have a lot of stories of so many negative experiences, off the top of my head. During The Martian, discount movie day at Alhambra Regal, $5 a ticket and opening weekend, sold out. One person in the front of the theater constantly snap chatting the fucking movie. We could see their screen constantly turn on and record some random ass segment. Nobody in your feed cares you spent $5 on a movie ticket, turn off your phone.

    Venom, same theater, $6.45 a ticket, prices went up a little, opening weekend and sold out showing. We had a big group and got in a little late so couldn't sit altogether. One seat short so I opt to sit near the front. Group of teens come in late, won't shut up and have to sit in front of me. They text, they talk, they get shushed multiple times. During the movie, one of them falls asleep and they think its funny to turn on their flashlight in the second row from the front and flash it in his face. That movie was dark and a sudden bright light is blinding. Movie goes on and they decide to vape and blow big clouds. God they were such annoying little shits.

    Halloween (2018), packed theater. We find a small batch of seats for our exact number of our group. Friend sits first and the seat is wet. No other seats are open and he hopes it isn't what he thinks it is. It might have been since that theater had been showing the movie in that theater all day.

    Blade Runner 2049, IMAX theater and one of their woofers was without a doubt blown. Deep bass note part? Farting coming from the speaker.

    Texting happens so often now I often don't really even remember when it happens now. Best experiences I have are special showings like The Room is a blast with a full theater. Plastic spoons getting thrown, people heckling during the movie, pointing out things that don't make sense. Its hilarious.

    A very recent movie I watched that I didn't like probably as a result of the audience, Wandering Earth. That one probably takes the cake.
     
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  3. DEATHxMACHINE

    DEATHxMACHINE Friend

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    The best and most memorable theater experience was my first IMAX to see the third nolan batman movie. The first time the physical impact from sound effected my experience of a film. The sewer fight scene was amazing. Was so visceral to feel every punch Bane landed on Batman. Each blow knocked the wind out me.

    Worst moment but also second best was when i was 5 years old and saw my very first movie in theaters. Freaking Independence Day. The scene when the countdown ends and the aliens blow up New York and the White House scared the living bajezus out of me. Loud explosions and seeing firetrucks and other cars come flying at you on the big screen terrified me. So much so that i asked my father if we could leave. Took 5 years to see the second half of that movie.
     
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  4. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Friend

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    Ha. Sorry to hear that. People like to shit on ID4 but it's actually a great movie. Does everything a popcorn movie should. That was coincidentally my first midnight showing. I slept a little in my car waiting until midnight. ID4 was a juggernaut back then. Back when they still made huge movies that weren't sequels, remakes or based on some comic.
     
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  5. Za Warudo

    Za Warudo Acquaintance

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    I lived near NYC for a long time so I've had too many amazing theater experiences to count. I've been to screenings where the director/actor were present for Q&A. I've even talked to indie legends like Jonas Mekas (RIP) and Ken Jacobs. Some of the most memorable films I saw includes Sunrise (accompanied by a live band), Celine and Julie Go Boating, Satantango, Andrei Rublev, The Mirror, Sombre, Time Regained, and all the avant garde works from Bruce Connor, Nathaniel Dorsky, and Andrew Noren.
     
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  6. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    I sat on a Milk Dud once and it looked like I had pooped myself when I got up.

    But seriously, I go on either Tuesdays or Saturdays at like 10:30am. Not only are movies only $5 for those reclining seats, there are usually at most a half dozen other people there with me. I do bring earplugs with me now, though. Deaf children run the booths now, apparently.
     
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  7. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    I've spent thousands on a decent home theater *. Only a 65" screen (but OLED, at least), 9.1.4 sound, and good electronic reclining chairs for the wife and I. I just cannot stand seeing a movie int he theater now. Can't control the volume. Can't pause. Can skip back when I need to. Can't stand the damn smacking and sucking sound of others eating, or the crinkling of wrappers. I'm willing to wait a few months for the movie to come out on Blu-Ray or streamed in order to avoid the theater. I generally don't care about 3D, so that's not an issue.

    With tickets, snacks, gas, and sometime parking charger, a movie for two can be $50. I've had a decent HT for 10 years. We probably watch 10 movies per year (we generally don't like the 2 hour format to tell a story), so that's a $5000 savings. Plus, we get to use the same system for TV, of which we watch much more than movies.

    My brother cares about movies and got a 1080p projector, a large, portable screen, plus a budget HT sound system (maybe $3k for all of it). he loves it.

    Unless my wife drags me to something, I doubt I will go to a theater ever again.

    * For those that care:
    Yamaha RX-A2050 | LG OLED65B6P | Monitor Audio Gold GX100 mains
    Monitor Audio Gold C350 | Orb ModX surrounds and Atmos overheads | SVS SB13Ultra sub
     
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  8. netforce

    netforce MOT: TSAV

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    So I had an interesting experience with Wandering Earth at AMC Monterey Park. Monterey Park is a very Chinese area and a few friends wanted to go on a Tuesday for $5 day. We had a 7:20 showing, sitting at 7 we found a theater 30%-40% full. We got seats for our group of 3 pretty easy.

    The showing sold out so the Theater was going to be packed. Right next to our seats, a family sat down and takes up an entire seat for just their shopping bags. Periodically through the movie, they rummage through bags to grab food.

    The theater was their second biggest theater and the front right channel wasn't working. Sounded very off balance and to compensate they turned up the volume. Brought IEMs and stuck them in my ears the whole time.

    7:20 rolls around and a full on Chinese argument erupts at the top of the theater. This goes on for like 10 minutes with constant shushing from other people.

    Lots of people in the audience talking, lots texting, people whipping out their phone to record parts of the movie.

    10-15 minutes after the ads start, groups of 5+ people are still coming in and looking up at all the full seats trying to find a 5+ spot for themselves. They sit in the front.

    20 minutes in, I smell super strong popcorn chicken, fish, and curry smells. I would really want to take the smell of popcorn butter over this.

    Movie experience continues to be more of the same the whole time, constant talking and people on their phones. Third act of the film and a couple walks into the theater. They have their phone flashlight on and walk up the stairs, through the seats, down the stairs and then finally sits in the front. Few minutes go by, the guy gets up and walks through the front section, disappears for a few minutes before coming back. Few minutes later the couple leaves.

    I did not enjoy the movie. It was dumb and had a bunch of plot holes. The audience was super distracting. One of my worst movie experiences. Anime movies are interesting experiences though.
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Chinese methods are required to combat Chinese stupidity. You were supposed to put on your Chinese grandma costume, stand up, tell to shut up, and shame them by telling them they were bad examples of Chinese people that bring shame to any person with yellow skin.
     
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  10. Ntbm3

    Ntbm3 Acquaintance

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    Same with me, I have a decent home HT set-up that is every bit as good as movie theaters. Recently upgraded my subs and it brings it to a whole new level!

    No interruptions, eat and drink whatever I want :)
     
  11. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Friend

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    I sold my previous Gungnir Multibit to get a Vizio P55-F1, pretty top LED with local dimming. Not an OLED but one of the best LED I've seen. Except Vizio sucks... I had to return the first one because of a dead dimming zone. And now the replacement is fucked too... Zones flash on and off during complex lighting scenes with lots of movement. Not all the time but probably once every few scenes. Vizio's QC is garbage and they outta be put out to pasture.

    I will probably trade it for a Sony or something. Or maybe there are some good OLED on sale.
     
  12. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Non Voting Friend

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    Best?
    As a kid?
    The Lion King. It just works.
    Gladiator. It was like a kung fu movie in Ancient Rome with a massive budget and tons of Hollywood sanctimonious cheese that couldn’t overpower the raw fact that Gladiator was a 100 million dollar martial arts movie set in Ancient Rome.

    Adult?
    Punisher: Warzone. Hollywood doesn’t make ultraviolent, satisfying sleaze like this anymore for the most part.
    13 Assassins. See above. Samurai sleaze not seen since the 70s and 80s.
    2001, Zulu, and other 70mm classics from real 70mm prints.
    Lawrence of Arabia and Raiders of the Lost Ark in IMAX.
    Herzog and Jorodowsky screenings at art house theaters.
    Kurosawa’s Yojimbo and High and Low in theaters.
    Dead Ringers. Cronenberg is awesome on the big screen and this was the best experience as all the uptight and normal people who didn’t know what they were getting into walked out in the prologue when the creepy little kid Jeremy Ironses try to have sex with the girl next door. Nobody was left to loudly whince or yell at the screen during the what the fuck parts.

    Worst?
    As a kid?
    Titanic. I got bored, fell asleep, and couldn’t figure out the plot.
    Batman Forever.

    Adult?
    The Avengers. This movie sucked, nothing happened, everything looked like shit, there was no action, and the script was worse than 90s cartoons. The theater was too cold, the seating sucked, and stupid people were yelling at the screen.

    Blade Runner 2049. Movie sucked, action didn’t matter, the sound mix was awful with randomly bass gunshots, the ending twist with bubble girl was random and dumb, the plot was dumb as if it was written by an autistic guy who didn’t understand that Harrison Ford had to coerce the robot woman to sleep with him in the first one and first wanted to kill her, Jared Leto hilariously over acting is the most entertaining part of the movie, Dave Bautista farming worms the best real acting and it falls apart during that awful worse than pro wrestling fight, and the Midwestern housewife killer robot was the worst onscreen ubermensch since Kyle Maclachlan in Dune going “My name is a killing word!”. Fuck this.

    Dredd. The first and last 3D movie I’ve ever seen. A good movie but an awful experience.

    The Witch. Oh god. This was hilariously awful and written by a guy who read an encyclopedia article on witchcraft. The screen was overlit and washed out.

    The Wolf of Wall Street and 12 Years a Slave. Uptight people getting up, yelling, and loudly walking out during key scenes. Anyone who read a review knew what they were getting into.

    Dark Knight Rises in a real deal IMAX print with unreserved seating. I bought my ticket Weeks in advance, drove an hour in rush hour, was one of the last people in the theater at a seat where you could actually see the screen, but it was for people in wheelchairs, there was nobody in a wheel chair or disabled so I was told I could sit in the seat. Then after the credits were going and littlefinger was about to get tossed off the plane, some fat redneck whale claimed she was pregnant to take my seat for her and her skinny trailer park husband and they were laughing about it as I and he guy next to me were forced by the staff to get up. I demanded a full refund instead of a pass, got it, and then left to be disappointed by the movie at a normal theater. Never went back to that supposedly good but out of the way theater to see other Hollywood garbage.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
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  13. AndreaR_94

    AndreaR_94 Acquaintance

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    To me, a good theater experience is simply when I don't regret the price of the ticket, so I'll list the bad ones (and most recent):
    -Dragon Trainer 3: the movie was very good, but the audience sucked. There where many kids, of course, but they weren't the main problem: the main problem was this man behind me who answered to every question his nephew asked.
    -Alita: Battle Angel: this one was good too, but there was this guy next to me who commented every scene. Thanks, but I'm watching a movie, not a football match.
    -Captain Marvel: I found the movie boring. It was not that bad, to be honest, but it failed to grasp me. Also, I cringed hard at
    the part about Carol Denvers getting always back on her feet.
     
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  14. Craigo

    Craigo MOT: Mage Audio

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    Independence Day on opening night was probably the best movie theatre experience I've ever had. Everyone was excited to be there and there was a lot of cheering. As an audience we were all cognizant of the shared experience and that was awesome.

    My friend and I went to see the Avengers with Uma Thurman and we both fell asleep twenty minutes in and were awakened by shit blowing up or something toward the end. I just remember waking up and leaving.

    That was probably the worst, next to The Phantom Menace. My friends and I had more fun standing outside the theatre for two hours bitching about what a douche can that movie was.
     
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  15. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Friend

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    Phantom Menace the first time was a blur. I was with a friend and he and his girlfriend were fighting all the way to the theater so it was a big distraction. I was a huge star wars fan and with the super high unrealistic expectations mixed with the weird company I was with made the whole thing anti-climactic. I really didn't know how to feel until I saw it again alone and then came the horror of realizing I'd seen a shitty star wars movie, which seemed impossible. Like the idea of Superman being killed, it just didn't seem possible. As so-so as Return of the Jedi is, it's leaps and bounds better than anything that came after (including the Disney stuff).

    Attack of the Clones was different. I'd moved to LA and lived down the street from the famous Chinese Theater, got my midnight tickets. I think by then fans were in full denial about Lucas and figured Menace was just a fluke... the result of him being out of the game for so long. Clones would be the comeback and right the ship. Plus no more shitty Jake Lloyd, and Jar Jar had a reduced role. Hayden Christensen seemed like a solid casting choice for Anakin. Obi-Wan finally had his beard, etc. It all seemed like it was gonna work.

    And then the movie happened. Utter shit. And to top it off some lunatic fanboy sitting behind me kept screaming "YEAH YODA!!!" at the top of his lungs during his fight scene with Dookie, I mean Dooku.

    By the time Sith came around I think I just wanted it all to be over and was just glad it was only somewhat ass instead of total ass like the other two. That one I saw at the Cinerama Dome not far from the Chinese Theater. The film looked gorgeous though, as they had one of the few 4K projectors at that point.
     
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  16. eastboundofnowhere

    eastboundofnowhere Almost "Made"

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    Phantom Menace was bittersweet. First handjob, but still Phantom Menace. As the relationship unfolded It actually kind of fit. High expectations followed by years of regret. A couple of buddies and I did go see Titanic when we were 16 because everyone else had seen it. I don’t remember who said it but one of s said, “life sucks, nobody loves me.” Basically my only really awesome theater memories are tied to life. Watched We Were Soldiers right before leaving for basic training, I had already signed the paperwork and wasn’t so much inspired as terrified.
     
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  17. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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    In 1997 my dad, his buddy and his two sons, and I all went to see the original Star Wars trilogy in theaters. They showed all three movies in a row, and with free drink and popcorn refills during the intermissions it was an epic 7 hours. Definitely something I will remember forever.

    Worst experience was The Martian. Great movie but the projector was fucked up and was subtly flickering throughout the whole movie, drove me insane. Once I got the Blu Ray I was able to enjoy it at home.

    Another bad one was Clash of the Titans 3D and, besides the movie being terrible, all I could see the entire time was the reflection of the movie from my own glasses on the inside of the 3D glasses. Never went to a 3D movie again.
     
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  18. DigMe

    DigMe Needs a baby bottle

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    Good memories: seeing Return of the Jedi at the drive-in with my dad, The Fifth Element, Silverado with my dad at the 99 cent theater, seeing The Fellowship of the Ring at a really nice Thai theater (they have the best theaters!) after having seen a really lousy bootleg in China. Literally could not make heads or tails of the eye of Sauron on the boot but then when I saw it in the theater was like, “Oooooohh”
    Rumble in the Bronx with a bunch of fellow kungfu movie geeks - it was the first movie starring Jackie Chan to have wide release in the states.

    Bad:went to see Candyman, some fool didn’t know how to spool a projector and it started playing backwards and upside down, they just kept it playing like that. Watching Tip of the Spear and finally having to tell some retiree age folks to please stop having conversations behind us so we could enjoy the movie.

    Funny: Grandmother took me and my cousins to see Ice Pirates and she sent us out with money to buy snacks when the sex scene came on.
     
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  19. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Friend

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    Speaking of sex scenes. My first was Top Gun. My dad took me to see it. I was really young and didn't understand but he asked "can you handle this?" And I nodded. Watched Tom Cruise fake screw Kelly McGillis. I don't remember much else, strangely enough.
     
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  20. Syzygy

    Syzygy Friend

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    I guess one of the worst had to be waiting for 4 hours in line in the parking lot to see Phantom Menace at the midnight showing. Everyone was nice, and it was a warm night, but what a waste of time.

    For me I think the best experiences are when I'm surprised by a good movie. And usually that has to do with not hearing any hype (harder to do these days, since everything's hyped) and arriving at the theater with no real expectations.

    Star Wars (New Hope) was like that for me. I hadn't even heard of it, and had gotten off a plane from my dad's to spend the summer with my mom and she took me straight from the airport to a theater line. I'd never stood in line for a movie before, and hated that part, and complained about it. When she told me it was a space movie, I was like "I don't wanna see it. They all suck, and they're not worth standing in line for." After 2 hours of line the movie was amazing, and changed what space movies could be.

    Others like that were Hunt for Red October, Sixth Sense and Life is Beautiful.

    For the most part, I could care less for the theater experience now that TV's and home sound systems are up to par. Theater prices are ridiculous (and contribute to the pockets of the narcissistic Hollywood crowd). Film production companies (and/or their writers) have no originality left. I'd rather see an old or foreign movie from my couch most of the time.
     
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