The Last Picture Show

Once upon a time, going to the movie was an event. For those of who grew up here in Franklin, it often meant a trip 20 miles down the road to Nashville. In the 60s and 70s–in the days before multiplexes and cineplexes–the theaters in Green Hills  and Belle Meade were where we saw Disney and the Sound of Music and Mary Poppins.

We had a cinema here too, on Main Street. One year there was a promotion where kids could come for free on Saturday morinings–the only cost was six RC Cola bottle caps. I remember the first time I went…I was probably 8 or 9. The movie was wildly innapropriate–The Pit and the Pendulum. It was horrifying and I bolted out in terror during one of the scariest scenes.

But I got over my fear of movies. Now I’m much more afraid of the people at the movies…the ones sitting around me.

Last night I went to a typical chick flick with two girlfriends. Usually I go to Sunday matinees–this was the first nighttime film I’d been to in a while. From the crowds of kids standing around, you’d have thought it was a Friday or Saturday–not a Tuesday. There were groups of pimply-faced girls wearing way too much cheap makeup…clusters of pimply-faced boys in oversized jeans trying to look tough.  Not sure who they’re trying to look tough for here in this little cocooned pocket of suburbia.

But that’s not the point–this is:

SHUT THE HELL UP AND TURN OFF YOUR PHONES.

For some reason, we can’t go more than five minutes without being connected. We check our home e-mail from work. We check our work e-mail from home. We text. We call. We twit or tweet or whatever it is you call it. We (and when I say “we” here I don’t mean me) answer our phones when we’re using the toilet in public restrooms.

Last night the person to my left checked her phone throughout the movie. The person a few rows in front did the same. For all I know, they were texting each other. What they didn’t seem to realize was that opening their phones was no different from waving a lit flashlight. Every bit as distracting. Every bit as rude.

A group of teenage girls sat behind us. They talked the whole way through–giggling at every onscreen inuendo like a first-grader hearing the word doo-doo.

If I had been by myself, I would’ve asked the girls to be quiet. And I would’ve thrown popcorn at the texters. I’ve done it before. I’ve got great aim.

But I was with two people who are much more tolerant than I, so I kept quiet.

The movies just aren’t fun anymore. I think I’ll sign up with Netflix and stay home.

14 Comments

Filed under General Frippery

14 responses to “The Last Picture Show

  1. Ha. You would hate sitting by me. I’m not a phone checker, at all, but I will talk endlessly if the movie is crap. End. Less. Ly. Quietly. But non stop.

  2. I never go to the movies anymore. My daddy gets the bootlegs. We are a family of crime.

    I agree with you on the incessant texting, phoning, etc. I always think to myself, “What the hell is so fucking important that it can’t wait until you get home?” I mean, nobody is that important that they need to be on-call 24/7. Except maybe the president. Or a doctor. Or a drug dealer.

  3. Rassles–Somehow I’m not surprised. But talk away. I won’t be there.

    Gwen–I keep trying to comment at your place and the word verification thing isn’t loading. Wonder if wordpress and blogger are having some kind of blog superiority contest?

  4. Mother

    FYI – the way to enjoy a movie these days is to go to the first showing -12:30 – 1:30 – no I-Pods, no phones flashing, very little popcorn rattling and certainly no giggling. Ninety percent are senior citizens and they are there to enjoy the show. (and this holds true pretty much on the weekends).

  5. We haven’t been to the movie theater in ages for the very reasons you just described. The last time I went to the theater, a couple sat behind us and the man translated the entire movie for his date. The entire movie. That was the last time I went to the theater. Netflix is my friend.

  6. “For some reason, we can’t go more than five minutes without being connected.”

    I know. It’s madness. We’re headed to an island off the south coast for a week in March – no mobile phone reception, no internet, no TV reception even! I can not wait!

  7. I’m laughing so hard I’m almost crying!!!! I am not at all more tolerant that you … I was praying you being the more extroverted of the three of us you would say something — Cynthia had already asked to move because the girls behind us wouldn’t shut up … all three of us were thinking exactly the same thing …

    I thought well if Cindy doesn’t say something to them, I must be totally blowing this out of proportion — I’m just not used to going to evening movies ….

    HAH guess I was wrong….

    this post made my night.

  8. Kimmer

    So, if we go at 12:30 like your Mother said, does that make us Senior Citizens too??? Geeez. Think I’m gonna just keep my Netflix account.

    FYI….your blog is officially home-page worthy again! Love drinkin’ my morning coffee and enjoying some good humor by a good friend. Keep it comin’!

  9. Hmmm. Who do you think would win in a fight to the death between wordpress and blogspot?

    I’m not sure why the word verification thing isn’t loading. I’m going to shut it off and see if that works. Thanks for the heads up!

  10. Niece Lash

    Finally got to go to the theatre and it was a 2:30 showing on a Friday. Such a PERFECT time to go. No distractions at all!!!

  11. Amy

    This is SOOO true! We live in a small town, that thinks it’s big, so we’ve learned a little trick about movie viewing. We wait until the movie has been in the theater for acouple weeks, then we go, surprisingly, where we live, that means everyone else has seen it. Case and point; this Christmas we went to see Madagascar 2, the 4-6pm (it’s cheaper), and the theater was EMPTY!!! We were the only ones there! Of course my 6 yr old asked if we could run the aisles, I told her “No, just hbecause no one is here, doesn’t mean we don’t follow the rules.” I was informed by my ever helpful husband that htere were no “posted” rules. I quickly informed him that I HAVE THE RULES on file, in my mind, he just needs to ask. 😉

    My favorite line from your blog tonight:

    SHUT THE HELL UP AND TURN OFF YOUR PHONES.

    Yea, that’s what I’m saying all you 11-20 something’s!!! What she said!

    This post will definately hurt my “Worldly Mother of the Year” nomination. But I know, there mothers out there WANTING to scream the same thing.

    Again, Cindy, loved the blog!

    Blessings!
    ~Amy

    P.S. I do have that blog now. I’ve just had too much wine, and it’s too late to give you the address, cuz I can’t remember off the top of my head. It’s called Being Refined on blogger, not too much, yet, but a work in progress. People, really don’t go there, I’m not ready for critique. OK, go, but only comment if it’s nice. Although you all seem nice, okay. Seriously, 2 glasses of wine is too much. G’night.

  12. I’ve been there . . .

    Several months ago, me and a friend went to the opening night of a long-anticipated movie, and it was packed. We ended up sitting the back next to a guy who would NOT stop laughing, long after the joke was over. He must have been high or something. And the phones? Oh my GOD!!! The best was when a cell phone rang during The Passion of the Christ. Co’mon, people! That’s JESUS up there, getting his ass whooped. Show some respect . . .

  13. Well said!
    I went to see a movie the day after Christmas and was delighted to find that most everyone around me had gotten new phones from Santa! And they were helping each other program them, trade numbers and download apps all through the nearly 3 hour movie! I, too, was distracted by the strobe-like flashing of the phone belonging to the gentleman in front of me who needed to continually see if anyone was calling him.
    I am a big fan of Netflix myself!

  14. I haven´t been to the movies in ages and now I remember why.

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