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Ever have a bad experience at a public showing of a classic film?


infinite1
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I have gone to quite a few movie theatres that have shown classic films and have not enjoyed the experience. Many of the other movie goers were rowdy, laughing at the films and the performances, talking during the movies to each other or on their cell phones. I have to wonder why they came at all if their intent was to mock the film. It got to the point where I gave up and prefer to watch these films in the comfort, peace and quiet of my own home. Have any of you had similar experiences? One of the movies in question was CASABLANCA. Even though I know this film by heart, I went because I wanted to experience watching this film on a big screen and I thought there would be others that felt the same way.   

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I once went to a small revival theatre where they had a screening of one of my favourite films, Warners' The Sea Hawk.

 

There was, however, a giggly loud mouth a row ahead of us who regarded a viewing of an old black and white film as an opportunity for him to show off his "great" verbal gifts with the occasional "witty" one liners that he said aloud to his companion.

 

There was, in particular, a moment in the oppressive slave galley scene in which the goof's "wit" was once again on display for all to hear.

 

At one point, character actor James Stephenson is chained beside Errol Flynn.

 

Stephenson then identifies himself to Flynn, "I'm Abbott."

 

"Abbott?" Flynn responds.

 

"Where's Costello?" the goof in the small theatre then piped up, followed by gales of his own laughter, drowning out the dialogue being exchanged on screen.

 

The only positive about this theatre "wit" came when he stood up to announce that he was going downstairs to purchase a drink in the small lobby below. He disappeared and for a few minutes we were able to watch the film in peace. A few minutes later, though, we could all hear his elephant-sized feet as he started to climb the stairs back to the screening room once again.

 

There was suddenly the sound of a large crash, followed by several thumps on the stairs. A minute or so later the wit appeared in the screening room, looking dischevelled, with a crushed orange carton in his hands.

 

"I fell," we heard him say.

 

Many people in the small theatre, myself included, spent the next minute or so having a great time as we failed to suppress our laughter.

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I once went to a small revival theatre where they had a screening of one of my favourite films, Warners' The Sea Hawk.

 

There was, however, a giggly loud mouth a row ahead of us who regarded a viewing of an old black and white film as an opportunity for him to show off his "great" verbal gifts with the occasional "witty" one liners that he said aloud to his companion.

 

There was, in particular, a moment in the oppressive slave galley scene in which the goof's "wit" was once again on display for all to hear.

 

At one point, character actor James Stephenson is chained beside Errol Flynn.

 

Stephenson then identifies himself to Flynn, "I'm Abbott."

 

"Abbott?" Flynn responds.

 

"Where's Costello?" the goof in the small theatre then piped up, followed by gales of his own laughter, drowning out the dialogue being exchanged on screen.

 

The only positive about this theatre "wit" came when he stood up to announce that he was going downstairs to purchase a drink in the small lobby below. He disappeared and for a few minutes we were able to watch the film in peace. A few minutes later, though, we could all hear his elephant-sized feet as he started to climb the stairs back to the screening room once again.

 

There was suddenly the sound of a large crash, followed by several thumps on the stairs. A minute or so later the wit appeared in the screening room, looking dischevelled, with a crushed orange carton in his hands.

 

"I fell," we heard him say.

 

Many people in the small theatre, myself included, spent the next minute or so having a great time as we failed to suppress our laughter.

 

 

LMREO! Great story. Sometimes there IS justice.............

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I have gone to quite a few movie theatres that have shown classic films and have not enjoyed the experience. Many of the other movie goers were rowdy, laughing at the films and the performances, talking during the movies to each other or on their cell phones. I have to wonder why they came at all if their intent was to mock the film. It got to the point where I gave up and prefer to watch these films in the comfort, peace and quiet of my own home. Have any of you had similar experiences? One of the movies in question was CASABLANCA. Even though I know this film by heart, I went because I wanted to experience watching this film on a big screen and I thought there would be others that felt the same way.   

 

I haven't been to a theater to see a studio-era movie in about 8 years but when I did the audience was great.

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One of the worst was when settling in to see THE WIZARD OF OZ in 3D and some lady with her kids a few rows ahead said, "Ugh this is the OLD movie! I thought we were going to see a NEW movie-it's 3D isn't it?"

 

I see about 40 classic films a year with an audience and much depends on the theater itself. The beautiful vintage Capitol Theater in Rome NY, the audience is spellbound & most of the time respectful of others, even for a kid's movie like JACK & THE BEANSTALK. (although there's ONE lady who loudly laughs through every sci-fi movie....as an usher I can REPRIMAND her and even REMOVE her! Lovely!)

At the Capitol, there is a short "host" introduction and reminders of good theater manners which helps set the tone.

 

Whenever a classic film is showing at the local multiplex, you can bet the audience will be a nightmare with their cel phones, loud talking to each other, etc. I think that is just "the norm" for theater goers these days who simply aren't taught how to behave in public. This is a major reason why I never bother with those TCM streaming movies.

 

My only peeve is I like sitting up front. That means I hear every popcorn cruncher who never learned to chew with their mouths closed!

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One of the worst was when settling in to see THE WIZARD OF OZ in 3D and some lady with her kids a few rows ahead said, "Ugh this is the OLD movie! I thought we were going to see a NEW movie-it's 3D isn't it?"

 

I see about 40 classic films a year with an audience and much depends on the theater itself. The beautiful vintage Capitol Theater in Rome NY, the audience is spellbound & most of the time respectful of others, even for a kid's movie like JACK & THE BEANSTALK. (although there's ONE lady who loudly laughs through every sci-fi movie....as an usher I can REPRIMAND her and even REMOVE her! Lovely!)

At the Capitol, there is a short "host" introduction and reminders of good theater manners which helps set the tone.

 

Whenever a classic film is showing at the local multiplex, you can bet the audience will be a nightmare with their cel phones, loud talking to each other, etc. I think that is just "the norm" for theater goers these days who simply aren't taught how to behave in public. This is a major reason why I never bother with those TCM streaming movies.

 

My only peeve is I like sitting up front. That means I hear every popcorn cruncher who never learned to chew with their mouths closed!

 

 

Most of the theaters I frequent have "reminders" about talking and cellphones before the movie starts, but it doesnt stop people from doing it.........

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Silent dramatic films of which I am a fan can be tricky.   The big screen if the only way to see them but all too often you get some young viewers who want to impress their friends by laughing at ALL of the 'old fashioned' bits in the films.  That tries one's patience.  

On a more humorous level one memorable film attendance was of Jesus Christ Superstar where an elderly lady with the voice of Mrs. Miller felt compelled to sing-along with every tune.  And she belted them out.

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I guess I was lucky.  NEVER had a really bad experience at Detroit's Fox Theater, where these sort of presentaions are done.  The worst experience I can claim is either bad sound, or a not so clean copy.

 

Tom, too bad.  Sounds as if the guy you mentioned only brought along HALF of his "wit" that night.

 

Well, OK, thinking a little more about it, the only bad experience I can come up with goes WAY back to the earlier '80's.

 

You all may recall, that in SOME areas, there'd be an occaisional "resurrection" of FANTASIA in local theaters.  I've seen it twice in these situations.  The trouble was caused by local papers, when advertising these showings, would place a still of Mickey Mouse from "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" segment in the ad.  Too many younger parents, with probably NO knowledge of just what this movie WAS about, would show up, dragging their two, three of four-year-olds along, thinking it was some kind of Disney MICKEY MOUSE cartoon, and of course, after the film was underway, the toddlers, NOT finding animated renditions to classical music all that interesting, would start to whine and fidget, only being outdone by their PARENTS, who LOUDLY "shushed" them time, after time, after time, after......

 

 

Sepiatone

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Most of the theaters I frequent have "reminders" about talking and cellphones before the movie starts, but it doesnt stop people from doing it.........

 

Theaters are in need of an infra red device or something that disables all cell-phone activity electronically within the area of an auditorium. It would force people to leave the auditorium in order to send or receive calls. Let 'em talk in the lobby if they must.

 

If it can be imagined, it can be done.

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Theaters are in need of an infra red device or something that disables all cell-phone activity electronically within the area of an auditorium. It would force people to leave the auditorium in order to send or receive calls. Let 'em talk in the lobby if they must.

 

If it can be imagined, it can be done.

 

 

LOL. More money than the theaters want to spend. Nice idea though.

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Silent dramatic films of which I am a fan can be tricky.   The big screen if the only way to see them but all too often you get some young viewers who want to impress their friends by laughing at ALL of the 'old fashioned' bits in the films.  That tries one's patience.  

On a more humorous level one memorable film attendance was of Jesus Christ Superstar where an elderly lady with the voice of Mrs. Miller felt compelled to sing-along with every tune.  And she belted them out.

That's my pet peeve right there, people who sing along with the music in the movie.  I love musicals and have seen three in the theater-- An American in Paris, Singin' in the Rain and White Christmas.  While I appreciate that someone is a fan of the film and knows the music, I want to hear the star sing, not some bozo behind me.  I've noticed that theaters have started releasing one or two night only "sing-a-long" versions of films.  I've seen a Grease one and a White Christmas one advertised.  That would be my worst nightmare.  I can't even stand watching a concert and having the singer ask the audience sing.  No! I want to hear you sing! Not the stupid crowd.

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I've noticed that theaters have started releasing one or two night only "sing-a-long" versions of films. 

 

Uh oh, sounds like shades of Rocky Horror.....actually a pretty good idea.

 

MrTiki's & my first date was seeing MY FAIR LADY at the Dryden Theater. Some lady next to him sang every song starting quietly then increasing in volume. By the end of the movie I wanted to strangle her. But I empathized-it took lots of self control to keep myself from doing it.

 

What IS it about songs that get in your head and you almost can't help joining in?

 

And I like your idea, darkblue.

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