I Feel Like I’m Adding to the Problem

I love going to the movie theater.  Even as a child I loved the concept that I had to go to a very special large and poorly lit building in order to see fantasies, actions, and horrors through the lens of someone else is an experience that I never want to lose.  It’s also something that I hope to pass onto my children someday should they ever decide to actually exist.  I enjoy watching a movie in the comfort of my own home of course, but the experience of buying the ticket on release day, the permeating smell of delicious popcorn, and the theater full of strangers that share at least one common interest with me is something that I never want to give up.  The problem is that it is no secret that the movie theater industry is on their way out, and I feel that I’m part of the problem.

Let’s start with the counterpoint (because this is an ineffective argument).  There are a number of extremely solid reasons why someone wouldn’t want to go to a movie theater to see a movie.  Relaxing at home in front of the TV without dealing with the hassle of having to wrangle up friends or loved ones to go with you and driving everyone to the local multiplex is just one good reason.  Add in the constantly rising ticket prices as well as the overpriced concessions and you’re looking at a night out that involves popcorn, a drink, and a two hour movie that could run you around 20 dollars easily just for one person.  Ordering a slightly older film OnDemand or via you video game console for five dollars is an extremely tempting alternative.  Also you need to take into account that someone in the audience could ruin the entire film for you by being loud and obnoxious and there is really nothing you can do about it and no way could you have foreseen that.  I completely understand that it makes more sense financially and psychologically to stay at home and I am the first to admit that I do this much more often then I head out to the theater.

My theater attendance, for someone that writes in the neighborhood of 2000 words a week about horror movies is extremely poor.  Mostly this is because I work second shift until 11pm every night, often work weekends, and don’t have a theater within 40 miles that even shows movies past 11pm.  Sure that makes it hard to get to a show, but just like everyone else in the normal world I have two days off a week where I can do whatever I want, but I still rarely go to the theater.  Not because I don’t want to, but because I don’t want to go alone.  Many people I know aren’t usually keen on going to a movie on the Wednesday night that I have off and they would rather wait till the weekend when I’m working.  I could always suck it up and go by myself but for a young mildly attractive guy, you can only do that so many times before you start to get down on yourself.

There are so many seemingly great horror movies that are coming out that I want to see including Apollo 18, Super 8, Fright Night, The Thing, The Cabin in the Woods, 11-11-11, and Red State but the reality is that I will only see one or two of those if I’m lucky if I continue down the same path that I am currently going down.  The truth is that I don’t want to do that, and it’s time that I make an effort to finally put my money where my mouth is and do what I can to support movie theaters.  Even if it’s a week or two after the release date, I’ve got to be better at getting myself to the theater and experiencing these films exactly like they were intended to be seen.  So I’m making a pledge to myself now in front of all of you that I’m trying to be a better movie patron.

Before you even get a chance to ask, no I don’t receive any special treatment.  I don’t get invited to advanced screenings of films, I don’t receive screener copies of movies in advance, and I don’t know anyone at all in the movie industry.  I don’t have connections and this in turn leaves me in the exact same position as everyone else which in a way I really do enjoy.  Sure it would be nice to see advance screenings of films, but I feel that may lead me to favor movies, studios, and filmmakers which would skew my perception of the films I’m watching and thus cause a disservice to you.  Everyone who writes about films put s their personal spin on their words, and that is inevitable.  It comes down to what critic or writer your opinions tend to agree with and what they feel about a movie.  If I don’t take myself to the theater, or ya know buy a 10 dollar movie that is released OnDemand first (like I did with Hobo With  A Shotgun) then I’ve lost touch with the people I write for, and therefore I’ve failed a s a writer before I’ve even committed a word to the page.

Sure it would be easy to blame this lack of advanced screenings, my job (I have to make money to survive and pay rent, right?) or to blame other people (No one wants to go to the theater with me) but the excuses run dry eventually.  I’m the person telling you that you should support the theater chains and I can rarely bring myself to get there.  I realize how hypocritical I am being and I can try to be a better example and sit right beside you in the 1pm screening of Cabin in the Woods the day it comes out.  It’s time to do what I preach, so I guess I’ll see you at the movies.

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