We went to the movies today to see "Star Wars - Episode 1" in 3D. Yeah, I'm a geek. Not surprisingly there were kids there - at the noon showing. Guess they're home-schooled, or had the day off, or their moms are bigger geeks than I am and thought it was more important for their kids to see "Star Wars" than go to school, who knows. Whatever the reason, there were kids there, and I know kids will be kids, but honestly, if your kids can't sit still and be quiet during a movie, then perhaps you should just rent the DVD and let them watch it at home. Unfortunately sometimes the problem seems to be more with the parents than with the children. Even more unfortunately, they always seem to sit by us.
Today we had two families with kids sitting behind us, one on my side, the other on Art's side. The kids in the family behind me were little - probably not older than 4, and yes, they talked throughout the film, and yes, it was a little annoying, but they didn't talk that much, and the parents did a good job of keeping them quiet, and before the end of the movie, when I can only presume the kids were getting too fidgety, the parents left early - and quietly. In the end I'd recommend that these parents get a sitter and leave the kids at home the next time they want to go to the movies - I really don't hink they got that much out of the theater/3D experience, and the parents probably didn't enjoy it to the fullest either. And in the case of this movie you don't even have to wait for the DVD, it's already out!
The family that was sitting behind Art was a little different. The kids were older and fairly well behaved - no kicking seats or talking. The problem started about an hour into the movie. Remember than: an HOUR into the movie. All of a sudden we hear popcorn being rattled around. And again. And again. Art turned around to see what was going on. When it happened again he turned around a second time, not wanting to say anything, but hoping that the simple act of turning around would alert whoever was rattling their popcorn around to the fact that it was distracting. And after turning around again the mom hissed to Art: "Turn around and stop looking at my kids!" What? Really???? Then she said "And they sell this popcorn in the theater!" When Art started to respond her reply was "Stop talking, now you're the one creating a disturbance."
Now, just so I'm clear - the mere fact that the theater sells popcorn makes it acceptable to disturb everyone around you? What about slurping the last drop out of my drink? Or rattling the ice in my cup? I think the rattling sound was the MOM dividing up the popcorn among the kids, but why couldn't she have done this earlier, like BEFORE the movie started? Perhaps in order to keep peace among the kids she really DID have to do this in the middle of the movie, but don't you think she'd be aware of the noise, and might have even apologized for her disturbance? Where has common courtesy gone? Have we all been sitting in our living rooms watching DVDs too long? Unfortunately there's no 'pause' button at the theater so we can get up to make a snack or go to the bathroom - or even discuss that last scene. I say if you want to talk through the movie, crunch through your snacks, slurp your drink, talk on your cellphone or discuss what's going to happen next you should just wait for the movie to come out on DVD. If you want that full-on movie experience, the feeling of being IN the scene, surrounded by the sounds of the movie and sometimes even forgetting that you're in a theater, then go, but please, be considerate of others around you!