Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Couldn't Hear a Thing Harry Potter Said

Meg and I love going to the movies. We used to go all the time before the kids, and as parents, date nights are often dinner and a movie. Yeah, we're exciting like that.

We're also big Harry Potter fans, and last night we went to see the new movie. I knew there was a problem during the previews. The sound was out of whack. You could barely hear the dialogue, and the background noise was so loud, you literally had to plug your ears. Meg went to report the problem, and was told the audio should adjust when the movie started.  OK, sounded reasonable enough.  Five minutes  into the movie, the sound was still wrong.  I was having a hard time hearing the dialogue, and it was ruining the movie for me. This time I went out to complain. The kid at the concession stand voiced my compliant into his radio, and I heard a response that someone would check it out. Again, sounded reasonable enough.

This was where I started to have a problem. If someone came to check out the sound, they sure as hell didn't do anything about it. We seriously considered leaving and asking for our money back, but ultimately we just couldn't bring ourselves to do it. We've never walked out of a movie before, and we weren't about to start now. Of course, once we decided to stick it out things went from bad to worse. The couple whispering behind us began to sound likes nails on a chalkboard. The guy coughing up a lung seemed to time his outbursts for only the most crucial of dialogue. I hate to admit this, but I began to loathe humanity.

We're not big complainers, but we did talk to a manager afterwards to voice our displeasure. He admitted they'd been having trouble with the sound all day, and he gave us 4 free passes for the inconvenience. He had a giant stack in his hand, so they were obviously expecting trouble. I guess it's nice to get some free movie passes, but quite frankly, I'm not sure I want to go back. Not just to this particular theater, I mean any theater at all.

We have a sweet flat screen TV now, and I would much rather watch movies at home. If I had my way, new releases would be available to download on demand, bypassing theaters altogether. What do you think? Do you still enjoy going to the movies, or are you ready for movie theaters to be a part of the past?


  1. I love movies! However when the sound is off the whole movie effect is off..that sucks! I don't blame you for not wanting to go back so if you don't, now you have 4 movies tickets to give away for

  2. funny - glad you got some free tickets. I'm OK with movies but my wife often has a bar experience, people rustling chips next to her, blocking the view etc. There's not much point going there anymore I guess..

  3. I don't go to movies as often as I used to, but I just went to see Harry Potter yesterday in a VIP section of a brand-new theater. You pay $5 more, but you get an adults-only balcony where you can purchase things at the bar outside to be delivered in. Then there are the huge leather club chairs with good views of the screen. Overall, it was a fun experience. Not something I'd do all the time, but for a movie event like Harry Potter, it was great. Theaters still have their place! Don't let one crappy experience ruin them for you!

  4. I can't let the theaters go just yet. I rarely go to movies anymore, but when I do I still get excited about the experience. I seriously don't want to stay if I'm even late for the previews. That's part of the experience for me. Though I am not a man of confrontation, I am Rambo once the lights go down. If someone is talking, whispering, or playing on their phone..I'm the first one to tell them to please knock it off. Coughing? Can't do anything about that. Perhaps take some cough drops along to pass out? My kids are 5 and 7 and haven't had a ton of experiences in the theaters yet...but the ones they've had have been great. I like the idea of new movies directly on demand. It will lose a bit of the magic though.

  5. I haven't been a movie theater in years. Hate being confined to one spot for a long time and I have an issue with crowds and people sitting too close to me. I'm a real peach on a plane let me tell ya!

  6. I love the romance of the old theater, you know the one with the balcony and the burgundy velvet curtains. But, with a few exceptions, the charm is gone. The franchised multiplexes have created fast food cinema. In today's world, if you want to experience film, especially independent faire, you almost have to build yourself a home theater.

  7. I love watching movies and I would love the theatre too if it weren't for all of those other people and their noises. I do like the $30 popcorn and the $20 candy for some strange reason.

    The other problme with the theatre for me is the fact that they refuse to pause the movie when I need to pee, or rewind it when I miss something important. Also, they frown upon bringing your own pillow and blanket and forget about trying to take up multiple chairs so you can relax.

    I now skip the theatre entirely and just have my daughters bring me home some high-priced popcorn when they go and I order a movie so I can eat it.