Shh! The moviegoing experience is supposed to be quiet

Meagan Good and Michael Ealy star in Screen Gems’ THE INTRUDER. Credit: Serguei Baschlakov. © 2019 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved. **ALL IMAGES ARE PROPERTY OF SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT INC.

Cerritos, CA-How many times have you been to the movies and have seen your moviegoing experience go right out the window and directly into the toilet thanks to a bunch of loudmouthed chatter birds? Well, after attempting to see The Intruder in what should have been a peaceful and lovely time with my wife, I can say that I am now an official of that club.

I’m not too happy about it. Apparently, good manners in public spaces have now gone out of the window for some people. Being uncouth has become a way of life. These individuals show us this when they very selfishly decide to call spoiler shots out loud about the plot of the movie and drop their approval or disapproval letters as if they’re the new and reinvented version of Siskel and Ebert.

This is what I experienced watching The Intruder and trying to take in Amazing Grace, the well-done documentary on Aretha Franklin. You might say I got double for my trouble. And it absolutely sucks.

There is nothing fun about being next door to chatterbox city as you’re sitting in a movie theater holding a bag of popcorn and trying to enjoy the film you paid to watch with your hard-earned cash. It’s disgusting because it shows a lack of respect towards anyone else. These people have no shame in their game.

The Indruder
Michael Ealy, Dennis Quaid, Director Deon Taylor and Meagan Good on the set of Screen Gems’ THE INTRUDER. Credit: Serguei Baschlakov. © 2019 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved. **ALL IMAGES ARE PROPERTY OF SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT INC.

For those of us caught up in their lack of grace at the movies, well, I would suggest that you go back and go get a refund for your inconvenience. If I may add, just leave the building and don’t patronage that particular movie theater again until they can get it right with the paying consumer.

Going to the movies is supposed to be one of those rare times in the middle of our busy-bee lifestyle where we get to chill and relax for a couple of hours as our minds race from reality to a fictional world. Escapism is supposed to be what going to the movies is all about.

My reality on this particular afternoon at the Harkins Theatres Cerritos 16 in Cerritos, California, went from stupefied disbelief to amplified shock at how the two talking heads sitting next to me on the same row went to every means necessary to ruin my day at the movies, and everyone else that just happen to be too nice to say anything about the constant interruptions.

Pardon my expression from the last sentence. There were no interruptions from my out-of-pocket movie co-hosts. Rather, it was more like an unwinding road of cackling verbiage that wouldn’t stop, couldn’t stop. No, I didn’t say anything to my movie pen pals.

The late Aretha Franklin in the documentary, “Amazing Grace.” Credit: 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks

That’s because, after the opening sequence, when the running of the mouths race got started, I had convinced myself that my two neighbors would soon settle down and refrain from disturbing the rest of the theatre. That didn’t happen. In fact, the two chums dialed up their vocal critiques a couple of notches on the decibel rating scale.

It got to the point where it had become ridiculous. At first, the two movie critics seemed content on wrecking my time at the movies by talking in low terms. But by halfway into the film, that changed. We’re talking about people giving a blow-by-blow detail of what’s going to happen in the film.

I was almost tempted to lean over and tell the boo-birds something I would have regretted later. That something certainly would have been a word or two that my mother would not have approved, so I kept my mouth shut. I think my wife may have saved me when she kept grabbing my hands to prevent me from going movie critic AWOL.

When you need an usher, they are nowhere to be found. They were MIA on this day. But that was not the first time I experienced a “we’re going to make your moviegoing experience miserable” clique. It probably won’t be the last, either.

In going to see Amazing Grace at the Rave Cinemas Baldwin Hills Crenshaw 15 + Xtreme Theatres, I had the unfortunate luck of having two choirs entertain me that day; the one that backed up Aretha during her two days of filming Amazing Grace, and the one sitting directly in front of me, and my wife and our daughter.

The hallelujah hiccup gang played movie spoiler with their hand-clapping, screaming and talking to the screen, and heavy foot stomping exuberance. It was just plain willful ignorance on these individuals part to not respect other people’s valued time, space and money. There was so much noise coming from this righteous ensemble that it was more than enough to make you holler. I know I wanted to.

Dennis J. Freeman
About Dennis J. Freeman 1389 Articles
Dennis is a news and sports photojournalist. Dennis has covered and written on issues such as civil rights, education, politics, and social justice. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Daily Breeze, Daily Press, Los Angeles Wave, Los Angeles Sentinel, and other media outlets. Dennis is currently the editor and publisher of News4usonline. He covers the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, and NCAA. Dennis is an alum and graduate of Howard University.

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