We Are Not Your Babysitter!

While at a press screening of The Dark Knight the Wednesday night before it opened, the IMAX projector broke two times. There was a delay of about 10 minutes after the first meltdown, then the movie resumed. No such luck the second time. With only around 10-15 minutes left in the movie, the projector could not be brought back to life after the audience was left in suspense for more than a half-hour.

As a consolation, all in attendance (most press screenings these days are open to the public, who generally obtain passes from newspapers, radio stations, or other sponsors) were given vouchers for another movie at any time, including IMAX presentations. Dutifully, I turned right around and exchanged it for the first available Dark Knight showing - 6:00 A.M. on Friday morning, opening day. (The midnight and 3:00 A.M. shows were already sold out.)

So, at 6 in the morning, the audience was all excited about the new movie and abuzz with anticipation. There were also some requests shouted out to turn on the ventilation system, which was, no doubt, not accustomed to working such odd hours.

The movie began... and then there was the dreaded screaming of a baby.

Come on now! It's 6:00 A.M., it's a dark, violent, loud movie, and you're stupid enough - and selfish enough - to bring in a baby?

At one point, it got so bad one audience member shouted out, "Be a good mother!" The offender replied back with a potty mouth and a snotty attitude and it led - during the movie - to a shouting match between this arrogant, selfish mother and the audience!

I personally slammed the biatch as she finally made her way out, to which she yelled out, "Well, I could stay here if you want!"

What a loser. Wisely enough, she didn't come back. And, while she saved money by not getting a babysitter, she ultimately wasted $14 for her IMAX ticket because she didn't get to see the entire movie.

Come on people. Let's not only take back Gotham City, let's take back our movie theatres.

Of course, this issue is nothing new. Only a few weeks earlier, I was most miserably disturbed by an equally inconsiderate and selfish security guard (or friend of the security team) who took an unused press seat behind me during Wanted (an ultra-loud and ultra-violent action movie) and sat his baby crib right behind me, making plenty of disturbances while knocking the back of my seat - and then the wailing started. I even turned around and told the asshole, "You're killing me, man." He didn't even acknowledge me or in any way apologize for the disturbance.

Fortunately, that ridiculous episode was actually interrupted by a fire alarm going off and the entire theatre had to be cleared out. About a half-hour later, when the crowd was allowed back in, it was an opportunity to shuffle the deck and move to the other side of the auditorium.

Well, as my own private consolation, here's a clip I found on The New York Times:

"Moviemakers, I'm told, are wondering why their audiences are smaller of late. No one asked me, but if someone did inquire as to why I don't go to movies so much any more, I'd say it has to do with rudeness and noise." - David H. Newman, A Word to the Audience: Shhhhh!, 10 Dec., 1972.



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