Reason 6: Going to the Movies on a Saturday Night Has Become a Fairly Hideous, Repulsive Experience. Art houses and repertory houses are exempt from this observation. Those theaters preserve the moviegoing experience as a fun, rewarding collective activity. But to spend Saturday night going to see a major release at a multiplex can be more stressful than going to work the first Monday after vacation.
This is something I just feel like getting off my chest. Regarding LaSalleís Reason #6, everything he says is true. He is not exaggerating for flippant effect. The experience is exactly this awful. I wonder if the theatre chains and the studios realize exactly how unappetizing the advent of the supercolossal multiplex has made moviegoing for civilized adults, or if they care. I speak with some feeling about this as the smaller, human-sized theatres in my suburban area will closed down early next year because a gigantic new theatre is going up. We have another huge multiplex in our area, and I have had occasion to go there when no other options were available. It is located in one of the enormous shopping areas that have sprung up like kudzu across the landscape (box stores encircling a mammoth parking lot). You have to arrive at least a half hour early Ė more than that at peak attendance times Ė just to find a parking space. You walk what seems to be several miles to the theatre. (In some areas,on a nice evening, youíll get to enjoy the occasional gang fracas breaking out.) You stand in a long line for your tickets. You walk another several miles to get to your movie. If you havenít arrived early enough, you will have to sit very close to the screen, because the smaller sized room equipped with stadium seating doesnít have that many seats at a suitable distance. Also, with the stadium seating, you have to go up steps, which is especially nice for older people and anyone else tired out from the hike to the theatre. Then you must sit through about six or seven previews, a Fandango commercial, etc.
Even as it is, the screen is too big and the sounds are too loud, because theyíre out of proportion to the room. At our little multiplex, if the screen isnít balanced right or the sound is too loud or too soft, you come out to the nearest employee and say so, and the problem is corrected within minutes. At a big multiplex, the problem takes forever to be corrected if it is corrected at all. Truly hideous.