Don’t buy a movie ticket, stay home instead

Without any disturbances, watching movies at home is simply better.

Netflix and other alternatives are preferable to movie theaters.

Em Paquette

Netflix and other alternatives are preferable to movie theaters.

I used to love going to the movie theater. I loved the atmosphere of the darkened theater and the excitement that enveloped the room when the screen began to glow. Even mundane things like buying snacks and watching commercials felt like an event. I can still feel some of this magic when I go to see big movies such as Star Wars, but for the most part, the magic has faded.

This change in perspective has been in motion for quite some time. However, I reached my breaking point when I went to go see Isle of Dogs about a month ago. It was a pretty typical experience; I waited in line with my friends to get the tickets, bought overpriced snacks, and made my way to my seat.

Everything was pretty average as the movie started playing, but then I heard the unmistakable sound of snoring behind me. After that everything went downhill. While some audience members tried to wake up the sleeping person respectfully, others started yelling in frustration. Once the guy woke up his nap, he began a loud rant about how rude everyone had been and singled out a guy in my row who had yelled at him. From there they argued back and forth until the usher had to step in and “escort” the two men out of the theater.

Now, this was obviously a very extreme and isolated case and it’s possible that I’m just jaded, but it’s experiences like this that make me wonder why I even put up with going to the theater. I can’t even remember a single time in recent memory where I didn’t have to put up with some kind of annoyance. It feels like there is always at least one person who feels the need to text, talk, or kick my seat and I’m tired of it.

As movies are available for purchase online and DVD only a few months after they hit theaters, I don’t see why I should bother subjecting myself to an experience that has a fifty-fifty chance of being terrible. The only thing that movie theaters have over mediocre home theaters is immediate convenience, and now that streaming is becoming the dominant form of media consumption, it may not have that advantage for much longer.

It’s unfortunate that one of the biggest problems facing the movie theaters is completely out of their control. As much as the ushers may try, they will never be able to stop every texter, talker, or chair kicker. I wish I didn’t hate theaters and I wish even more that the magic of the theater of experience could come back to me, but I think those days are long gone now.