Posted by: lylescott89 | May 7, 2012

The Movie Going Illiterate

Hey kids,

Back on July 3rd 1996 I was speaking with a co-worker, let’s call him John, and he asked me what I was doing for the Fourth of July.  I told him that I was planning on going to the movies to see Independence Day and then would probably go out for some pizza for dinner.  John laughed and told me that I would never get into see it on its namesake holiday.  He said it would be sold out and I’d be turned away.  I looked at him like he was insane.  Yes, this was before such things as online ticketing or advance sales, but still I had been going to the movies for a very long time at this point and I knew how it worked.  Why did he think that I’d be the one turned away at the box office and not some other shlub?  I could only deduct that John was movie going illiterate.  Just so you know we were able to successfully purchase tickets and get great seats for the show.  It was, however, raining when the film ended, but I’ve never been particularly afraid of flying water so that was no big deal.

I thought about John yesterday when I was at the new Cobb 12 Cinema in Clearwater to see The Avengers.  Adam wanted to try the new theaters so we decided to go there instead of our usual AMC in Oldsmar.  Since I am not a big fan of paying extra for 3D we chose to see it in glorious and wonderful 2D.  (If you ever get the chance to see a film in both formats you will notice that 3D is much dimmer.  I’ll take a brighter and more colorful picture any day of the week.)  They only had a 2D showing in one theater so we felt it was imperative to do two things:

1. Purchase tickets in advance
2. Arrive early for the show

I actually bought the tickets on Friday while I was at the mall for lunch.  Arriving early for a show has never been a problem for me.  I like to stake out the best seats possible and I thoroughly enjoy the pre-show entertainment.  (I do miss the Fantanas. Wanna Fanta! Don’t you wanna?)  Sitting there is not boring to me in any way as I can always people watch if nothing else.  Donna usually reads something and Adam plays on my phone or on his DS.  Everyone is happy.

Yesterday we had tickets in hand for the 2:40 PM show and we arrived shortly before 2:00 PM.  There was a specific line for that particular showing and we got in it.  The previous show was still getting out and the theatre needed to be cleaned.  No problem at all.  I started a little chit chat with another guy in line with his son.  We waited and then a few minutes later they let us in to…another line.  Apparently the idea was to only let a few in at a time by keeping two separate lines: one at the ticket taker stand and another at the actual auditorium that we were to soon be seated in.  Again, no problem.  My people watching skills were at full alert.  At approximately 2:15 PM the usher dropped the rope and allowed us to enter auditorium 12.  It was a massive theatre.  We estimated that it would hold about 300 people.  (While I do not recall the exact number, we were not far off)  We obtained excellent seats along with the guy and his kid and we waited about a minute before the pre-show entertainment began.  Man, these guys are good with their timing.

After holding the seats of my new friend (He needs a name.  Let’s go with Gary) so he could go get some snacks, I left myself to use the facilities.  I hate having to get up during a film to take care of business.  As I stepped back into the theatre I was following a guy and his wife. I followed them down the hallway and was kind of annoyed that they were so big that I could not get around them, but whatever.  I still had time to get back to my seat.  As they made the left and could finally see the seats the guy said “You’ve got to be kidding me”.  Now I knew exactly what he meant and I just rolled my eyes.  He stood there and kept repeating the same phrase.  The upper section of the theatre was virtually full with scattered empty seats.  (One of which was mine, but I knew Donna was not going to hand over my seat so I was not worried)  The lower section was still pretty wide open.  So naturally this guy started yelling at the usher.

“What the hell kind of business are you people running here?  I bought two tickets and now there is no place to sit!”

The usher, who was probably 18 or 19 years old, just stood there and calmly said “Sir, there are seats up there at the top and in this whole lower section.”

This did not please the man and he berated the young usher and Cobb theatres for selling him tickets to a sold out show.  The guy and his wife turned around and angrily stomped out demanding to see a manager.  Now had this man been the least bit movie literate he would not have had this problem.  All he would have had to do was think for about two seconds and he would have already been seated.  Let’s spell it out for him.  Here we have a movie that is a guaranteed blockbuster on its opening weekend.  Get there early.  End of story.   This is not brain surgery.

So as I returned to my seat I continued to watch people enter the theatre.  Some walked in and took their seats, but there were still others that came in with an exasperated look on their faces, just absolutely shocked that there was not a good seat left for them.  I watched as the theatre filled up to the point that there were just two empty seats left in the very front row.  By this point the lights had been lowered and the trailers were playing.  During what ended up being the final trailer, two large women entered, looked up and said “Oh for crying out loud!”  I just wanted to scream at them.  Who the heck arrives at the theatre to see a blockbuster on opening weekend after the coming attractions and expects there to be great seats?  Well, they ended up in the front row.  (Why do they even have that row?)

But that’s not the end of the stupidity.  Anyone familiar with the films featuring Marvel characters knows that there is almost always something after the credits.  Nick Fury was first introduced after the credits rolled in Iron Man.  Thor’s hammer was found after Iron Man 2.  A full trailer for The Avengers was shown after Captain America.   Add to the fact that it was well publicized that there definitely was something to see afterwards and it makes it even more astounding that people started leaving before the lights went up.  For anyone that has not seen it yet and has plans to go I will tell you that there is a very important scene after the first part of the credits roll and before the lights come up.  Some people stayed for that and then left, but I knew there was more waiting after every credit had rolled.  It’s probably one of the funniest things I’ve seen and well worth the wait.  Out of an entirely sold out performance only about 25 of us stayed to see it.  Sad.

I’m glad that I am not part of the movie going illiterate, but then again I am thankful for their existence.  If not for them we’d all arrive at the same time and we don’t need that.  BTW, the movie was excellent.




  1. Always watch the credits. Those people worked hard. They deserve to have their name(s) attempted to be read.

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