What happened to the movie going experience? There was a time when I worked for Lucas Films THX and I would go to movies on opening night and report back on the experience at the theater. That means I would look at everything from the amount of popcorn on the floor to if there were enough paper towels in the bathroom. The reason for this is that it is all part of the movie going experience. A producer/director/movie studio doesn't want you to hate their movie because the theater sucked. Unfortunately, those days are over for me and the movie going experience.
Tonight Leanne and I went to see Shrek the Third. What can I say about it other than it was a good movie and pretty funny. Leanne liked the second one best and I still prefer the first. Having said that it was a good third movie. There were no Ewoks to ruin it. ;-)
Shrek the Third focuses on Shrek trying to replace the king of Far Far Away with a high school loser Arthur, or Artie as he likes to be called. Shrek goes out to find Artie and bring him back, but the evil Prince Charming has other plans for the kingdom. I won't go into details, and I won't spoil the ending for those of you that may not have seen it yet. Just know that your dollars will be well spent to see the movie.
The question remains, how much should you spend to see the movie? Actually this pertains to my initial question of; What happened to the movie going experience? As I believe they go hand in hand. We paid full price to see this movie tonight, and we even bought out tickets on Fandango so that we wouldn't have to stand in line. There was no line, but I really detest those people that have to work the booth. The theater that we went to was Century 16 at Shoreline in Mountain View. It is the closest to where we live, and they actually got a digital projector and had this movie on in digital.
A word about digital projection. There is no loss in clarity over multiple viewing's. Sometimes a film will deteriorate after being shown numerous times, and there's always the chance that the film wasn't developed properly. All of this goes away with digital projection. The film looked beautiful and the fact that it was digital projection was a factor in deciding to see the movie.
Would I pay that much to see it if I had it to do all over again? Probably not. The theater was filthy. It was as if the cleaning staff took the week off. The main lobby had garbage everywhere, and they only had one concession stand open. There was very little popcorn remaining in the trough, not that we had any, and the hot dogs looked like someone put them out but forgot to turn the heating element on. It was disgusting.
The theater itself had sticky floors and popcorn strewn everywhere. They were playing music when we arrived but they had the volume so low that Leanne was startled when the projector came on at full volume. Also the lighting was overly dim for the pre-movie "find your seat" session.
To sum it up, if I had it to do over I would have waited for this to come out on DVD before seeing it. The movie itself was good and I would have paid the same amount to see it, but the movie going experience was so terrible it made me think twice about seeing anything else in the near future.