Movie Theater Experiences

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
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scubadonc
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#776 Post by scubadonc » Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:24 am

Here in Wyoming, our theaters used to have a Cinema Club. You could buy a season pass and go see a new "art house" movie every Wednesday for 8 or 9 weeks. Most of the selections were pretty tame and approachable which resulted in the Cinema Club becoming more of a social gathering for elderly folks. Then, they screened Mulholland Drive. Folks were leaving pretty much constantly through it, but the Watts/Harring sex scene caused an exodus. Of the original 200+ attendees, only about a dozen saw it through.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#777 Post by hearthesilence » Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:24 am

Man, pretty conservative crowd! I saw this with a friend of mine at a theater in Illinois around the time it came out - packed audience but we were the only people there under 60 (maybe 50) by an enormous margin. Not a single person left, but to this day, the effect the film had on the audience gives us a chuckle. Clearly open to it, but definitely a bit thrown by some bits here and there. And I do remember most people laughing at the beginning of that sex scene when Watts asks "have you ever done anything like this before?" and Harring says "I don't remember."

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Dr Amicus
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#778 Post by Dr Amicus » Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:34 am

I remember seeing Goodfellas when it opened with some friends. We were sitting behind a pair of elderly nuns - who greeted each violent moment and example of multiple sweariness with a "tut-tut" or a "oh, no no no no no".

Thanks to the UK certification system, I've never seen kids taken in to an excessively inappropriate film. However, when I went to see revivals of Lawrence of Arabia and 2001 in London (at expensive cinemas, in 70mm), on both occasions a mother had taken young children (around 7ish I'd say) who were clearly bored senseless ("Mummy, is that Lawrence of Arabia"? each time somebody new turned up on screen for the former, "What's going on? This is rubbish and doesn't make sense" for the latter). In neither case did they last beyond the intermission...

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tenia
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#779 Post by tenia » Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:46 pm

I saw Bad Santa in theaters when it was released, and the first 2 rows were packed with kids (about 8 to 12 yo) (it was a Saturday 2.30pm screening). I never knew when they left exactly because the movie captivated me quick enough, but I don't think they lasted much longer than the drunk vomiting Santa Claus of the opening credits.

Lawrence of Arabia makes me remember : I saw last year Doctor Zhivago in theaters, with the musical opening to black, intermission, and black closing.
The lights go off, the music starts, and of course, the screen is black. After about 30 sec, I start hearing people getting noisy : many people were thinking there was an issue with the picture. I told my GF who also was unaware about how it was normal and stuff, but other people clearly had no clue.
The worst is that a few viewers started going out of their seats to climb back the stairs and go ask about it to the staff, but of course, it's when they reached the top of the stairs that the opening ended and the opening credits started rolling on... And here goes people running again in the aisles, but this time back to their seats...

It's fascinating how people would go see a movie like Doctor Zhivago on a Friday evening sold out screening (it was during Lyons' Lumière Festival) and have so little clue about what they're into.

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Big Ben
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#780 Post by Big Ben » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:12 pm

I realize this may be a dumb question but can a child not get into an 18 rated film in the UK? Here in the US as long as a child is accompanied by an adult they can get into just about anything barring the theater has no rules. I say this because a theater in the capitol here has a "No Children After 6 Rule" for R rated films. And a young boy was sitting near me when I went to see Fury Road.

Moral of my story is to check the film out before you take your kids.

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MichaelB
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#781 Post by MichaelB » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:23 pm

Children can get into 12A films if accompanied by an adult, but 15 and 18 films are strictly for those ages and above.

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colinr0380
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#782 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:30 pm

The 18 rating in the UK is 'no one under 18 permitted'. Its the same with the 15 and 12 rating (although the cinema has a 12A rating that came in with the first Spider-Man film to allow younger kids in if accompanied by an adult. Mark Kermode often says its like a 'mature 8 and over'. Its rather fortuitous that 'Advisory' rating arrived just in time for the later, darker Harry Potters to allow parents to judge for themselves whether they would take their children to them! :wink: )

That's why its a bit of an imperfect match with the US system where R means adults or accompanied minors. The worst area is that the US PG-13 category can encompass anything in the UK from our PG rating through 12 (which is 'kind of' the PG-13 equivalent) and even go into the 15 category (such as a lot of the 'PG-13' horror films). R rated films are generally 15s here unless they're particularly violent or sexual. And while an 18 rating would seem about equivalent (though more restrictive) than the R category, that actually can encompass a wider range of adult-oriented material, for example a lot of the NC-17 films would probably pass at an 18.

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#783 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:46 pm

tenia wrote:Lawrence of Arabia makes me remember : I saw last year Doctor Zhivago in theaters, with the musical opening to black, intermission, and black closing.
The lights go off, the music starts, and of course, the screen is black. After about 30 sec, I start hearing people getting noisy : many people were thinking there was an issue with the picture.
When I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first time on 70mm back in 2009, the intro confused some people too. After a minute, someone yelled "Picture" which was quickly followed by an audience member responding with "It's the overture, dumbass".

Since 2012, I go to the theater at least once a week, but usually more. At this point, I have many strange stories about near fights, trashtalk, odd laughter, plastic bag rustling and even seeing people get banned from a theater.

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tenia
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#784 Post by tenia » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:57 pm

The Elegant Dandy Fop wrote:an audience member responding with "It's the overture, dumbass".
I was actually quite amazed nobody did so. I suppose they were like me too busy quietly laughing about these clueless people, but also wondering more deeply about these clueless persons potentially having taken the place (it was sold out) of more open persons who thus haven't been able to get a ticket (and other existensial questions).


As for the French rating system, it's a weird one : it's strict about the age, but almost no theatre check ages for movies with a 12+ rating (so it's basically only enforced for 16+ and 18+), and we also have additional advisory warnings which are basically useless. For instance, you can have a 12+ rating + a warning, but the movie still is 12+. Shortbus was 16 + warning. La vie d'Adèle 12 + warning. I have no idea what triggers the additional warning.
Also, the 18+ is actually some kind of variant of our former X rating, and is stricter about advertising and marketing, not because of the higher age requirement, but because of where it's coming from (the X rating was prohibiting advertising, especially on TV, during the day, and this had been retained for the 18+ rating).

(and of course, there's the Promouvoir story...).

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Big Ben
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#785 Post by Big Ben » Thu Nov 24, 2016 2:19 pm

Thanks for all the info guys. It appears no one would have even gotten in in the UK as High Plains Drifter has a well deserved "18" there.

Back to the screening and the experience itself I have a bit more to add. When the Q&A started after the film a man, maybe seventy, blurts out "WHEN DID ALL THE SEX AND VIOLENCE ENTER THESE PICTURES?" This was followed by incredibly odd questions pertaining to the rape scene by an elderly gentleman who couldn't seem to grasp that Eastwood identified it as such. This incredibly awkward conversation seemed to go on forever. While I feel the film is dated in certain aspects (A remake could remove certain scenes and nothing of importance would be lost) I felt a majority of the questions came from a stunned and incredibly non-amused audience. No one seemed to be prepared for what had been shown to them.

mother sky
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#786 Post by mother sky » Thu Nov 24, 2016 3:06 pm

I have never seen more walkouts at a film than during "City of God", including parents who thought it would be a good idea to bring their kids to a gritty, bloody gangster film that features grueling to watch scenes of violence against children. The scene where a child is offered the choice of being shot in the hand or the foot was where a good portion of the audience reached their breaking point.

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tenia
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#787 Post by tenia » Thu Nov 24, 2016 4:34 pm

It remains fascinating to me that people are still willing to go out to the theaters (which, sometimes, isn't exactly nearby, it can be a 30 min drive) and pay a ticket to see a movie they don't seem to know anything about it, or at least enough to know if it might be worth doing the trip.

It reminds me of my mom who went to see Burton's Sweeney Todd despite disliking Burton movies, Johnny Depp and musicals (and gloomy gore-ish movies too). Guess what : she didn't like Sweeney Todd at all. Why did she even bother ?

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Cremildo
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#788 Post by Cremildo » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:43 pm

tenia wrote:It reminds me of my mom who went to see Burton's Sweeney Todd despite disliking Burton movies, Johnny Depp and musicals (and gloomy gore-ish movies too). Guess what : she didn't like Sweeney Todd at all. Why did she even bother ?
You didn't ask her? #-o

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tenia
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#789 Post by tenia » Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:41 pm

Cremildo wrote:
tenia wrote:It reminds me of my mom who went to see Burton's Sweeney Todd despite disliking Burton movies, Johnny Depp and musicals (and gloomy gore-ish movies too). Guess what : she didn't like Sweeney Todd at all. Why did she even bother ?
You didn't ask her? #-o
I actually did, and she has no better answer than pure peer pressure : it was the highest profile movie that week so she just followed.

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D50
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#790 Post by D50 » Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:16 pm

I have no problem with people walking out of a film they don't like. It means the trailer didn't spoil it. And maybe the reviewer didn't either.

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The Narrator Returns
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#791 Post by The Narrator Returns » Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:06 am

My screening of Loving had maybe the most obnoxious audience I've ever been in. There were people half-laughing at things that were absolutely not funny (unless it's hilarious that the Lovings are crushed that the South views their children as bastards), but I've at least come to expect that when seeing movies with elderly audiences. What I didn't expect, however, was one person, at no less than three points in the movie, making grotesque and loud snoring noises (these were short and infrequent enough that I'm not entirely sure this person was even sleeping). And at least one other audience member thought this was funny and laughed at the loudest of them!

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RossyG
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#792 Post by RossyG » Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:59 am

I remember a screening of the Jack Nicholson film Wolf. I was more timid in those days so fumed silently as one drunken/drugged (?) audience member at the back kept making remarks. It was nothing funny; just stuff like "awwww, man" or "that's well out of order" to things occurring onscreen. At first he was met with silence, and then the audience started laughing at him, which of course encouraged him.

I've virtually no memory of that film whatsoever, but about twenty years later I still remember my anger. For me, a cinema trip is a forty mile train trip so there's the fare plus the ticket price, totally wasted in this case and many others.

I listened to the League of Gentlemen commentary on Theatre of Blood a few days ago and, during a conversation about fidgeting cinema audiences, Reece Shearsmith says "The cinema is the worst place to see a film."

It struck a chord with me. Of course it should be the best place, but thanks to selfish audiences and - nowadays - poor presentation, it usually isn't.

Shame...

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#793 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:05 pm

Does anyone ever have dreams about movie theaters? I've been having them lately.

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Drucker
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#794 Post by Drucker » Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:08 pm

No but I do have dreams where I am about to enter a record store that I never knew existed (generally near work) but never make it in :lol:

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#795 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:51 pm

RossyG wrote:I listened to the League of Gentlemen commentary on Theatre of Blood a few days ago and, during a conversation about fidgeting cinema audiences, Reece Shearsmith says "The cinema is the worst place to see a film."

It struck a chord with me. Of course it should be the best place, but thanks to selfish audiences and - nowadays - poor presentation, it usually isn't.
I can't disagree with this more. I almost feel like the home video market spoiled the experience of what cinema is from a collective experience of watching a film in a theater, crowded or empty, to a more passive activity you do at home on a smaller screen. The sound, the size of the image, the forced upright position you sit in are all part of the clasic cinema experience and the enormity of watching something like 2001: A Space Odyssey on streaming to watching a 70mm print is enormously different. Even going to a small art house cinema that seats fifty people and watching a 2k projected version of whatever new film is out is still to me a more exciting experience. Maybe I'm speaking from a different point of view as I personally would rather see a beaten up 35mm print of a film over watching it on my laptop. How spoiled is everyone that one fidgeting guy can ruin a movie experience? Politely ask them to stop or just focus on the movie. If the movie is good, you won't even notice it.

Not to complain about the home video market either. I mean, it was only thirty years ago that to watch classics of cinema in their original aspect ratio was difficult. I feel like it set precedent of new standards of quality.

I go to the movies multiple times a week and watch new art house films, Hollywood films, older films being programmed at revival houses and even Korean and Hong Kong films at theaters located in those respective communities. I would say 98% of the time it's a pleasant experience and the audience is respectful. And even if someone bugs me, I usually forget.

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#796 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 3:05 pm

Drucker wrote:No but I do have dreams where I am about to enter a record store that I never knew existed (generally near work) but never make it in :lol:
Mine is about a hidden theater alongside the one that's in my old hometown. They've actually been getting annoying lately. Last one I was being bitched out by someone about snacks before I woke up.

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D50
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#797 Post by D50 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:19 pm

Just back from Jackie at an AMC theater and the music was way too loud. Painfully loud - almost fingers in the ears. Trailers didn't yield a clue, as I don't mind missing trailers to tell someone, but I sat through it waiting for an employee to pop their head in and wouldn't you know it, not one did. Told the manager and he starts out with he'll let the studio know - yeah, right.

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theseventhseal
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#798 Post by theseventhseal » Thu Dec 29, 2016 5:47 pm

The Elegant Dandy Fop wrote:
RossyG wrote:I listened to the League of Gentlemen commentary on Theatre of Blood a few days ago and, during a conversation about fidgeting cinema audiences, Reece Shearsmith says "The cinema is the worst place to see a film."

It struck a chord with me. Of course it should be the best place, but thanks to selfish audiences and - nowadays - poor presentation, it usually isn't.
I can't disagree with this more. I almost feel like the home video market spoiled the experience of what cinema is from a collective experience of watching a film in a theater, crowded or empty, to a more passive activity you do at home on a smaller screen. The sound, the size of the image, the forced upright position you sit in are all part of the clasic cinema experience and the enormity of watching something like 2001: A Space Odyssey on streaming to watching a 70mm print is enormously different. Even going to a small art house cinema that seats fifty people and watching a 2k projected version of whatever new film is out is still to me a more exciting experience. Maybe I'm speaking from a different point of view as I personally would rather see a beaten up 35mm print of a film over watching it on my laptop. How spoiled is everyone that one fidgeting guy can ruin a movie experience? Politely ask them to stop or just focus on the movie. If the movie is good, you won't even notice it.

Not to complain about the home video market either. I mean, it was only thirty years ago that to watch classics of cinema in their original aspect ratio was difficult. I feel like it set precedent of new standards of quality.

I go to the movies multiple times a week and watch new art house films, Hollywood films, older films being programmed at revival houses and even Korean and Hong Kong films at theaters located in those respective communities. I would say 98% of the time it's a pleasant experience and the audience is respectful. And even if someone bugs me, I usually forget.
I used to believe this, but I don't anymore. As the most recent example I watched 'The Revenant" on my 32" Sony LED and had a mystical experience watching that film. From the first stedicam shot walking up the creek, to the visions, the glorious landscape I felt transported and wrapped in that world on the screen. Never gave a single consideration to the size or clarity of the screen; it was the FILM that carried me into the director's vision. In the same was a black and white Dorothea Lang photograph or Diana Arbus photograph can mesmerize you in a 5x7" print ON A PAGE. A well made film doesn't need the trapping of a full size cinema to be magical.

Harry Caul
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#799 Post by Harry Caul » Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:31 pm

Being a huge film fan, I used to go to the movie theater several times a week - to see both art-house films & the more regular mainstream flicks.

However, rising ticket prices, a-hole patrons, the hassle/logistics of actually going to the theater, having to reserve seats ahead of time, etc. have resulted in the whole experience being an extreme turn-off. Now, I may go to the theater once a year, if that.
scubadonc wrote:Here in Wyoming, our theaters used to have a Cinema Club. You could buy a season pass and go see a new "art house" movie every Wednesday for 8 or 9 weeks. Most of the selections were pretty tame and approachable which resulted in the Cinema Club becoming more of a social gathering for elderly folks. Then, they screened Mulholland Drive. Folks were leaving pretty much constantly through it, but the Watts/Harring sex scene caused an exodus. Of the original 200+ attendees, only about a dozen saw it through.
Very amusing. Being a big Lynch fan, I saw Mulholland Drive @ the theater twice - once at an art-house theater shortly after it was released in Fall 2001, and a second time @ a more mainstream theater when it was released there a couple of months later. The first time, the audience were more serious film fans and were fairly silent throughout most of the film - barring a couple of chuckles when Justin Theroux met the "cowboy" in that one somewhat funny scene. The second time (@ the more mainstream theater) a guy behind me laughed through much of the film, especially the scene(s) when: Namoi Watts kissed that much older guy during the screen test; the Watts/Harring love scene; and the scene with the '50's-era singers.
mother sky wrote:I have never seen more walkouts at a film than during "City of God", including parents who thought it would be a good idea to bring their kids to a gritty, bloody gangster film that features grueling to watch scenes of violence against children. The scene where a child is offered the choice of being shot in the hand or the foot was where a good portion of the audience reached their breaking point.
Yes, City of God was hard to watch for many adults, let alone kids. This reminds me: I remember seeing the 2003 bloody re-make of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in the theater. There were two disruptions during the film: A couple thought it was a good idea to bring their fairly large family (including a small crying baby) to this extremely disturbing film; and, a young woman kept leaving the theater to talk on her cell phone; and shortly after, coming back. This happened 4-5 times during the course of the movie.

beamish13
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#800 Post by beamish13 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:11 pm

I saw Mulholland Dr at the Laemmle's now-closed Santa Monica location, and I remember many patrons who were upset with the ending and scoffed at it, but I didn't see any walkouts.

The same theatre exhibited Princess Mononoke several years earlier, and it was fun to see parents have to rush their children out before 20 minutes had elapsed.

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