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Maybe it's just my own city, but what's with theaters spending up to 30 minutes on ads,promos and previews before the movies start, yet no longer bother to tell the patrons where the Emergency Exits are or how to reach them?

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2 hours ago, ChelseaNH said:

Everybody's going for the optimal positioning.  You can see this with reserved seating, the seats that go first are all clustered in the middle.

Which would normally make sense, except I usually choose non-optimal seating like the end seats near the front (where I was yesterday).  The other day, I was actually in the last row of the dreaded front section! 

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4 hours ago, ChelseaNH said:

Everybody's going for the optimal positioning.  You can see this with reserved seating, the seats that go first are all clustered in the middle.

The theaters in this area with reserved seating all have tiered seating so there are no heads in your way.  I appreciate that.

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I have a question. The closest AMC Dine In is an hour away, but I'm considering going there for the new Avengers movie. Has anyone been to one, and is it worth the trip?

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15 minutes ago, Captain Carrot said:

I have a question. The closest AMC Dine In is an hour away, but I'm considering going there for the new Avengers movie. Has anyone been to one, and is it worth the trip?

I've never been to an AMC Dine In, but I have been to other movie theaters with dining set ups. I like them. Most of them have similar set ups so you can usually find pictures online for what the theaters look like. For me, the biggest determinant whether to go is the menu. If the menu looks good and isn't too expensive, I'll consider going. I live near an Alamo Drafthouse and usually go if they have a theme menu for a movie. They did for Black Panther.

I don't know if it's worth a 2 hour round trip plus the length of the movie. This is basically 5 hours of your day.

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3 hours ago, HunterHunted said:

I don't know if it's worth a 2 hour round trip plus the length of the movie. This is basically 5 hours of your day.

It's 45 minutes from my office, which is my normal commute home. So, it would only be an additional hour if I went from work to the theater after work. (Which is the only reason I'm considering it, but they really need to build one in south Jersey).

Edited by Captain Carrot

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We have a theater with dining.  My issue is that the servers are serving during the movie.  Worse, they hit you up for payment near the movie's end -- GET OUT OF MY FACE I'M WATCHING THE MOVIE!!!!!!!

So if you're not very tolerant of distractions, not a good choice.

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On 3/22/2018 at 6:05 PM, Captain Carrot said:

I have a question. The closest AMC Dine In is an hour away, but I'm considering going there for the new Avengers movie. Has anyone been to one, and is it worth the trip?

If you go to the AMC site, you can look up the theater and see what features it offers. Reclining seats, bar, IMAX etc. 

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On ‎01‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 11:59 AM, dusang said:

Why do you hate reserved seating?  I think it's so civilized -- I love being able to show up for a movie five minutes before the start and have a good seat, rather than having to plan to arrive early to stand in line to secure a decent seat.

This is exactly why I hate reserved seating - I make the effort to get there more than 5 minutes before the start, I should get the better seat.  Plus, it completely eliminates using the discount coupons my company sells because you can't use those online.  So if I want to use the discount, I have to get there even earlier.  Like an hour earlier.  I don't expect other people to agree with me, however.

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On ‎01‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 6:22 PM, Browncoat said:

I had that happen to me three separate times in the same movie.  I sat down in a nearly empty theater, and someone significantly taller sat right in front of me.  I moved seats, and it happened again!  I had to move twice more before I could actually see the screen, which I needed to do, as the movie was subtitled.

Last night, I found out that my local chain theater is converting to reserved seating.  I'm not a fan!  They've been refurbishing the theaters, and I will admit the new cushy reclining seats with trays and cupholders are nice, but it seems like they lost about 25-30 seats in that particular theater, and as a result of that and the reserved seating, my friends and I had to sit separately.

The only way my friend and I could've avoided being in the front row for Darkest Hour (when we got there at least a half hour ahead of time) was if we sat separately.

On ‎01‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 4:34 PM, Silver Raven said:

The theaters in this area with reserved seating all have tiered seating so there are no heads in your way.  I appreciate that.

In my area, they have some tiered seating, but not the dreaded front section.

I hate the recliners.  They wouldn't be so bad if you could put your feet down without having to bring your head back up, but you can't.

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13 minutes ago, proserpina65 said:

This is exactly why I hate reserved seating - I make the effort to get there more than 5 minutes before the start, I should get the better seat.  Plus, it completely eliminates using the discount coupons my company sells because you can't use those online.  So if I want to use the discount, I have to get there even earlier.  Like an hour earlier.  I don't expect other people to agree with me, however.

I had those discount coupons -- those coupons are an interesting relic, though, since you can't use them online or at a self-serve kiosk.  The most recently upgraded theatre in my area eliminated all but two cash desks -- they are clearly aiming to remove human interaction from the movie-going experience so those coupons are going to have to upgrade or be a thing of the past.

The first time I encountered reserved seating at a movie theatre was in Kenya over 10 years ago, long before I ever saw it here.  It was the absolute norm for all movies but if you went to live theatre it would be open seating -- the exact opposite of our expectations here.  But I loved it there and I love it here.  Especially now that runtimes seem to be getting longer and longer and there's at least 30 minutes of ads before every movie, I'm committing enough of my time to see a film, I would rather spend the hour beforehand having a pleasant meal rather than standing in line hoping for a decent seat.

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30 minutes ago, dusang said:

Especially now that runtimes seem to be getting longer and longer and there's at least 30 minutes of ads before every movie, I'm committing enough of my time to see a film, I would rather spend the hour beforehand having a pleasant meal rather than standing in line hoping for a decent seat.

But around here, unless the movie just came out, the reserved seating is the reason you'd have to stand in line.  The movies I went to see where it was an issue were not new movies.

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I have a love/hate relationship with reserved seating. For movies like Black Panther or Star Wars, it's great, because I don't have time to wait hours in line for seats anymore. But it's annoying for smaller movies or when you just want to go on a whim.

Also, some of my favorite memories are of waiting in line to get seats or arriving super early for movies. The big group of us that waited nine hours outside the theater in Sycamore Mall during finals week in college (I was done with mine) the day Return of the King came out, playing Catchphrase while waiting to get into Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, laughing with my friend as the theater played the same horrible Simply Red song over and over again every time we went for a year (I don't know why we found it so funny, but we did)...wouldn't give those experiences up for anything.

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There must be a very different theater experience where I live than for those of you discussing the reserved/not reserved seating issue above. I'm having to wait in line again now that I have Movie Pass because there isn't a lot of ability to pre-select a seat like there is when purchasing movie tickets online, but the work around is to not see a really popular movie at a reserved seating venue on opening weekend. My longest wait in line so far has been maybe 10 minutes. If I'm dying to see a movie when it's released and I know it's going to be sold out, I can pony up for the ticket price and purchase online, where I'll make my reserved seating selection. Since I generally only do this for Star Wars, I'm making my seat selection 6 weeks or so in advance because that's when I'm buying my tickets. If I couldn't make my seating selection in advance, I wouldn't buy advanced tickets. I wouldn't stand in line to get a good seat; I'm constitutionally not interested in doing that. I'd go later in the week when the crowd was thinner because I'm not paying movie ticket prices for a crappy seat. I'm also not going to arrive more than an hour early in a non-reserved seating situation, and usually the only reason I'd be that early for a show is because the timing of whatever other activities I have that day makes it more feasible to go to the theater instead of going home for 20 minutes only to then go to the theater.

I waited in line for an hour and a half or so for Atomic Blonde because I had a free ticket to an advance screening. I went with friends, and it was fun to hang out with them, but what's even more fun? Hanging out with them in a place that isn't standing in line for a movie.

I guess I'm pretty lucky because there are 5 movie theaters that are extremely convenient for me. I can choose between going to one that does reserved seating or one that doesn't. I've never had problems with reserved seating for smaller movies because they're generally never sold out. I can get a good seat even if I walk up 15 minutes before showtime, which is what I do now that I have Movie Pass, and so don't buy my ticket (and pick my seat) before I even leave for the theater. It's been my experience that most people that go to smaller films do this. The time lag between them picking out their seat on a screen and reaching that seat is a few minutes, so it's essentially changed nothing.

I have also lived in places where the nearest theater was at least 30-40 minutes away, and usually more. Reserved seating is excellent for those situations because I know before I leave the house that I have a ticket and won't arrive to find out its sold out. I also don't have to turn movie watching into a half-day affair, allotting additional hours to the process that those living closer don't have to.

tl;dr: Unless you're talking about the big movies (e.g., Star Wars, the MCU hits) that are going to sell out theaters, my experience is that there's very little difference between movie-going at theaters with advanced seat selection versus those without. Even without buying tickets online and selecting seats ahead of time, I get good seats and generally have a wait time of 10 minutes (and usually much less) in line when buying tickets at the theater upon arrival. My pre-movie arrival time is generally 15-20 minutes before the posted start time.

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On ‎03‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 9:18 AM, afterbite said:

There must be a very different theater experience where I live than for those of you discussing the reserved/not reserved seating issue above. I'm having to wait in line again now that I have Movie Pass because there isn't a lot of ability to pre-select a seat like there is when purchasing movie tickets online, but the work around is to not see a really popular movie at a reserved seating venue on opening weekend. My longest wait in line so far has been maybe 10 minutes. If I'm dying to see a movie when it's released and I know it's going to be sold out, I can pony up for the ticket price and purchase online, where I'll make my reserved seating selection. Since I generally only do this for Star Wars, I'm making my seat selection 6 weeks or so in advance because that's when I'm buying my tickets. If I couldn't make my seating selection in advance, I wouldn't buy advanced tickets. I wouldn't stand in line to get a good seat; I'm constitutionally not interested in doing that. I'd go later in the week when the crowd was thinner because I'm not paying movie ticket prices for a crappy seat. I'm also not going to arrive more than an hour early in a non-reserved seating situation, and usually the only reason I'd be that early for a show is because the timing of whatever other activities I have that day makes it more feasible to go to the theater instead of going home for 20 minutes only to then go to the theater.

The Regal nearest me, which is the theater where I had my awful reserved-seating experience, is all reserved seating, for every movie they are showing at every show time.  You can do it online, but you can't use discount coupons online.  If you go directly to the theater, you have to reserve your seat when you buy your ticket, no matter how early or late you arrive, even if you're the only person buying tickets for that showing; it's stupid and holds up the line, in addition to my previous complaints.

On ‎03‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 9:18 AM, afterbite said:

I've never had problems with reserved seating for smaller movies because they're generally never sold out

Lucky you.  I went to see Darkest Hour a few weeks after it was released.  There were maybe 20 seats left, and the only ones together were in the front row.  It was hell.

It is a very different experience with reserved seating, and not a good difference.

Edited by proserpina65

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And then, of course, when you want to go with friends, but you each want your own reward points, you all have to get there together and stand in line together.  Or, all go together a day ahead, only to find out that that specific theater doesn't have reserve seating and one of you could have saved seats.

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On 3/30/2018 at 5:44 PM, AimingforYoko said:

My only beef with reserved seating is theaters without self-serve kiosks. I don't want to stand in line, that's why I bought my tickets at home.

At my theater, the ticket-taker has a scanner, and you can just scan the square thingy either on your phone or confirmation, if you printed it out. It comes in handy at this theater, because there are ten or twelve screens and two kiosks; both are located outside, and the touch screens don't work very well in our New England winters.

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Here's my beef - if you don't have an upgraded theater with amenities that "justify" a higher ticket price, don't charge premium price for tickets. There's a Regal near me that, with taxes, puts you at about $17 for a regular, non-matinee movie showing. This is way too high in the first place, but compounded by the fact that this theater hasn't received an update in well over a decade. They don't have comfy, reclining chairs. Heck, they don't have chairs that aren't torn and possibly sticky half the time. I'm not entirely sure how they stay in business since there are a couple of much nicer, much cheaper theaters in the vicinity.

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The regal near me only does reserved seating for the major blockbusters and them only for certain showings, mainly imax or IMAX 3d. In fact for Infinity War,  the only have a few reserved for opening night and opening weekend. 

I love the reserved seating. Since I mainly go after work, it actually let's be girls joke, change and possibly meet for appetizers before a show since all I have to do is run in and not worry about seats.

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Honest question around block seating for more than a couple:  What is the point of sitting close together when it is nothing but rude to others to have communication with others during a movie?  I can certainly understand wanting to hang out together prior to the start of a movie, but that can be done outside the actual room where a film is being shown.  Most places have nice public spaces for that very purpose (well, and to sell alcohol or coffee house products).  

I agree with several posters who have expressed annoyance with places which use reserved seating as an inducement to pay online surcharges and/or which void coupon usage.  However, it is a pretty great option to have, in my opinion.

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On ‎04‎/‎07‎/‎2018 at 12:29 AM, Lonesome Rhodes said:

Honest question around block seating for more than a couple:  What is the point of sitting close together when it is nothing but rude to others to have communication with others during a movie? 

I want to sit with my friends while watching a movie, even though we aren't talking during it.  We can talk during the previews and afterwards during the credits.  Plus, when it's a comedy, it's just more fun to laugh together.

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On 4/7/2018 at 12:29 AM, Lonesome Rhodes said:

Honest question around block seating for more than a couple:  What is the point of sitting close together when it is nothing but rude to others to have communication with others during a movie?  I can certainly understand wanting to hang out together prior to the start of a movie, but that can be done outside the actual room where a film is being shown.  Most places have nice public spaces for that very purpose (well, and to sell alcohol or coffee house products).  

I agree with several posters who have expressed annoyance with places which use reserved seating as an inducement to pay online surcharges and/or which void coupon usage.  However, it is a pretty great option to have, in my opinion.

For me it's sharing food. Splitting the popcorn, candy with each other. I also find it easier to keep track of the group when you sit together. My friends and I tend to ride together as we all live fairly close to each other and parking is easier. 

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The advertising/trailers and MPAA warnings should have made this obvious, but just in case...Joker movie too violent for kids, Alamo Drafthouse warns parents:
 

Quote

In a Facebook post Tuesday, the theater chain warned parents that the R-rated film, which opens this weekend, is inappropriate for kids.

"Parental warning (this is not a joke)," the post reads. "Joker is rated R, and for good reason. There's lots of very, very rough language, brutal violence, and overall bad vibes. It's a gritty, dark, and realistic Taxi Driver-esque depiction of one man's descent into madness. It's not for kids, and they won't like it, anyway. (There's no Batman.)"

It shouldn't surprise me what parents will drag their kids to see because they don't do a basic internet search on the content of a film or are too cheap for a babysitter.  I had to bite my tongue hard the time that a coworker relayed how she took her kids (ten and under) to see Ted because it was a talking bear, so it had to be fine for children, right?

Edited by Dejana
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1 hour ago, Dejana said:

It shouldn't surprise me what parents will drag their kids to see because they don't do a basic internet search on the content of a film or are too cheap for a babysitter.  I had to bite my tongue hard the time that a coworker relayed how she took her kids (ten and under) to see Ted because it was a talking bear, so it had to be fine for children, right?

It's not just in theaters either: http://www.actsofgord.com/Chronicles/chapter12.php

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As if having to endure the people (without fail someone within three seats of me or diagonally in front of me) who absolutely can't handle not texting during a movie wasn't bad enough... apparently the newest iWatches have the face display always on, rather than just when you raise your wrist. Considering how distracting it already was when the display came on whenever the person sitting next to me raised their arm to eat popcorn, I can't imagine how infuriating it's going to be as the new models gain market share dealing with the constant peripheral light. Supposedly there's a "theater mode" that dims the light but considering how my eye immediately catches anytime someone starts texting, no matter how "dim" their setting is, I doubt it's going to prevent insufferable distractions in my case.

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20 hours ago, dmeets said:

As if having to endure the people (without fail someone within three seats of me or diagonally in front of me) who absolutely can't handle not texting during a movie wasn't bad enough... apparently the newest iWatches have the face display always on, rather than just when you raise your wrist. Considering how distracting it already was when the display came on whenever the person sitting next to me raised their arm to eat popcorn, I can't imagine how infuriating it's going to be as the new models gain market share dealing with the constant peripheral light. Supposedly there's a "theater mode" that dims the light but considering how my eye immediately catches anytime someone starts texting, no matter how "dim" their setting is, I doubt it's going to prevent insufferable distractions in my case.

Yet another reason to hate the entire concept of IWatches.

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Some Empire cinemas in my neck of the woods have a habit of piping hot-dog/popcorn aromas through their aircon system just prior or during  a film. They also have a tendency to ramp up the heating along with reducing the humidity, so not only do you feel hungry but also quite thirsty. Which equates to you spending a shedload for a dodgy burger and coke at a hugely inflated price!

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5 hours ago, Zola said:

Some Empire cinemas in my neck of the woods have a habit of piping hot-dog/popcorn aromas through their aircon system just prior or during  a film. They also have a tendency to ramp up the heating along with reducing the humidity, so not only do you feel hungry but also quite thirsty. Which equates to you spending a shedload for a dodgy burger and coke at a hugely inflated price!

Umm, that would make me not want to go there anymore.

Or sneak my own shit in.

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Theaters around here allow you to bring in an empty reusable water bottle and fill it at the water fountain.  I do that all the time.

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On 1/11/2018 at 10:48 AM, Blergh said:

Maybe it's just my own city, but what's with theaters spending up to 30 minutes on ads,promos and previews before the movies start, yet no longer bother to tell the patrons where the Emergency Exits are or how to reach them?

You're kidding, right?  How can you possibly miss those halogen-lighted exit signs?  Either they're in your field of view or casting green or red light down on everything in the vicinity.

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16 hours ago, StatisticalOutlier said:

You're kidding, right?  How can you possibly miss those halogen-lighted exit signs?  Either they're in your field of view or casting green or red light down on everything in the vicinity.

Yes, I can SEE them but that doesn't cover the fact that those 30 plus minutes of previews fail to mention  said exit lights- and those who either are functionally illiterate, unable to read English or have NEVER been told what the word 'EXIT' means are being put at risk-and it would only take no more than 15 seconds to put this info out onscreen! 

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13 hours ago, Blergh said:

Yes, I can SEE them but that doesn't cover the fact that those 30 plus minutes of previews fail to mention  said exit lights- and those who either are functionally illiterate, unable to read English or have NEVER been told what the word 'EXIT' means are being put at risk-and it would only take no more than 15 seconds to put this info out onscreen! 

I’ve never been to a theater that told patrons where the exits are. Actually I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere that points out the exits except for planes. 

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1 minute ago, Dani said:

I’ve never been to a theater that told patrons where the exits are. Actually I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere that points out the exits except for planes. 

They USED to do that in movie theaters- at least in the 20th century US! 

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Just now, Blergh said:

They USED to do that in movie theaters- at least in the 20th century US! 

Ok, but I’ve never experienced it and I went to US movie theaters in the 20th century. 

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1 minute ago, Dani said:

Ok, but I’ve never experienced it and I went to US movie theaters in the 20th century. 

In my neck of the woods (in the Southeast US), they did indeed! 

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4 minutes ago, Blergh said:

In my neck of the woods (in the Southeast US), they did indeed! 

I wasn’t doubting you. That’s why I said I’ve never seen it. I thought it was interesting that it was the norm somewhere but a completely foreign idea to me. Out of curiosity, when did they stop? 

Edited by Dani

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9 hours ago, Dani said:

I wasn’t doubting you. That’s why I said I’ve never seen it. I thought it was interesting that it was the norm somewhere but a completely foreign idea to me. Out of curiosity when did that stop? 

AFAIK, sometime around the early 2000's. I think it may have had to do with our local movie theater group [which provided the verbal instructions along with an animated demonstration]  getting bought out by a national chain.

Edited by Blergh · Reason: tense

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I went to a movie with a friend the other week and these horrible teenagers behind us TALKED TO EACH OTHER THE WHOLE TIME. Barely stopped even after someone got a theater employee to tell them off, and sure as hell didn't take the hint when I gave them the stink eye a couple times.

Eventually managed to tune them out but even though it was smart that I didn't engage further, part of me wishes I'd told them off.

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On 11/24/2019 at 10:23 AM, Blergh said:

Yes, I can SEE them but that doesn't cover the fact that those 30 plus minutes of previews fail to mention  said exit lights- and those who either are functionally illiterate, unable to read English or have NEVER been told what the word 'EXIT' means are being put at risk-and it would only take no more than 15 seconds to put this info out onscreen! 

But everyone there figured out how to get to the theater and choose the movie and buy a ticket and find their seat, so I'd say the potential number of people who need the exits explained is quite small, and probably not worth the cost of making something to show during the previews.

That said, the other day I saw a show at a UA/Regal theater, and they had a thing during the previews covering administrative matters, and it mentioned finding the exits.  Of course, this is in Denver, where they're a little skitchy about theater safety.

And at Landmark, they have someone come out in person before the show to welcome people, and the other day, the guy pointed to the exits and even said that they go to the alley.  But at a different Landmark in town, the introducer never mentions the exits.  Probably because, as I said, they flank the screen and are so fucking bright (a HUGE peeve of mine).

But what chain do you go to that they show 30-plus minutes of previews?  I've timed them, and a few years ago, I noticed AMC was pushing 25 minutes, but I think they've reined that in a little and all the major chains I go to are 18-20 minutes from the designated show time; certainly not over 30 minutes.

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3 hours ago, StatisticalOutlier said:

But what chain do you go to that they show 30-plus minutes of previews?  I've timed them, and a few years ago, I noticed AMC was pushing 25 minutes, but I think they've reined that in a little and all the major chains I go to are 18-20 minutes from the designated show time; certainly not over 30 minutes.

Factoring in the pre-preview commercials, I've sat in a theater for 30 minutes in both AMC Theaters & Regal Cinemas.  It would take them less than a minute to point out exits, which yeah, most of us don't need but might be helpful to others.

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On 11/25/2019 at 2:02 PM, proserpina65 said:

Factoring in the pre-preview commercials, I've sat in a theater for 30 minutes in both AMC Theaters & Regal Cinemas. 

Are the pre-preview commercials before the movie's start time? 

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On ‎11‎/‎26‎/‎2019 at 7:31 PM, StatisticalOutlier said:

Are the pre-preview commercials before the movie's start time? 

Some are.  Some are not.  It varies a bit from chain to chain.  But either way, it wouldn't take but a minute to have a promo pointing out the exits at the beginning of the previews.  They have time to tell you to turn off your cell phones and suggest that you visit the concession counter.

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And have one of the Coke polar bears pouring out a glass of water, reminding you to go to the bathroom before the movie starts so you won’t miss anything by going during the movie.

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So, audiences. This article has a video of the reaction to Endgame's biggest and most fanservicey moment. And the comments have an argument about how people should behave in the cinema. What do we like in an audience? At my local cinema, they're generally dead quiet the whole time. A moment like that one, I was certainly screaming with joy, but purely internally. Sometimes I'd like a bit of external reaction.

Yet, it's better than the alternative. I've heard horror stories of people talking over movies, children running amok, and so on. Is there a good medium, or is dead quiet as good as it gets?

Note, I'm not talking Rocky Horror screenings and such. Audience participation is expected there.

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1 hour ago, Anduin said:

So, audiences. This article has a video of the reaction to Endgame's biggest and most fanservicey moment. And the comments have an argument about how people should behave in the cinema. What do we like in an audience? At my local cinema, they're generally dead quiet the whole time. A moment like that one, I was certainly screaming with joy, but purely internally. Sometimes I'd like a bit of external reaction.

Yet, it's better than the alternative. I've heard horror stories of people talking over movies, children running amok, and so on. Is there a good medium, or is dead quiet as good as it gets?

Note, I'm not talking Rocky Horror screenings and such. Audience participation is expected there.

For me, personally, it depends on the movie and the timing of the reactions.  We always went to the Marvel movies one evening on opening weekend because we wanted to hear the excitement of the crowd and to be a part of that.  I think once, we went to an opening weekend screening and it was quieter than the usual Marvel crowds and I was disappointed.  I missed the fun.  Last night, we saw Knives Out and I loved hearing a theater full of laughter.  However, when I went to see Titanic in a crowded theater, a bunch of tweens would scream every time Leo was on screen and I couldn't hear whatever was being said at that moment.  I don't enjoy that kind of thing (it was cute at first, but when the did it through most of the movie, it got old fast).  Talking or texting over the movie is definitely rude, of course. 

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