Treating People Like Criminals Doesn't Help The Movie Going Experience

from the and-they-wonder-why-no-one-goes dept

For years, both theater owners and the movie industry have complained that people aren’t going to the theaters because of online file sharing. To most people, however, it seems pretty obvious that it’s the theater-going experience that’s the problem. Combining all the boring remakes, with high prices, crowded theaters, sticky floors, screaming babies, half an hour of commercials and (of course) ringing mobile phones — sometimes it’s a tough sell as to why you’d want to bother. On top of that, of course, you have cheaper home theater equipment, and plenty of other options for your entertainment dollars. None of these things have anything to do with file sharing of movies. And, yet, the industry still doesn’t get it. This isn’t particularly new (we’ve been hearing stories like this for a while now), but with many preview showings, the theaters are searching all patrons and forcing them to give up their mobile phones. Then, during the entire screening, security guards are constantly scanning the audience, making themselves very obvious, but making patrons feel like they’re under surveillance. As someone who went through the process (and ignored the search at the beginning) notes, this doesn’t make them want to go back to the movies again any time soon. In their attempt to stop the “piracy,” it seems the industry has made the movie going experience even worse. Which one is more likely to have an actual impact on how many people go to the theater?

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Treating People Like Criminals Doesn't Help The Movie Going Experience”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Another Coward says:

Re: Re: What if People Like It?

WRT high resolution home theatre providing a better experience than a traditional theatre –I’d opine that’s just not true, for multiple reasons.
A long-winded example: I’ve watched the ‘2001’ DVD on my HDTV Sharp LCD projector many times, thinking it looked great. But back when they re-released it in theatres a couple of years ago, suddenly the detail was so great that I saw all these new things. I could make out the livery on the orbiting satellites at the beginning of the space sequence. I could make out tiny brand names imprinted on the space shuttle kitchen appliances like ‘Whirlpool’. In the case of the satellites, missing the livery (China, USA, and Russia, I believe) probably makes you miss a crucial plot point — these are not just random satellites orbiting Earth, they’re orbiting bombs.
My guess is that even with the best DVD player and projector, you’d never see those details at home — I just don’t think the bits are on the DVD, they’re lost between adjacent scan lines.
Geek issues aside, there are baser pleasures to be had in a real theatre. A good, well-run traditional house with behaving patrons like, say, the Ziegfeld in NYC, provides a huge, immersive field-of-view that you’d be hard-pressed to create at home. Plus, sometimes you just want the group experience. When I saw “Jurassic Park” at a packed Ziegfeld on opening night, the first dino sighting sent gasps through the theatre; just remembering that still gives me a thrill.
Or when I was a kid seeing “Play Misty for Me” in a packed house. The first time Jessica Walter lunged at Clint Eastwood with that huge knife, everyone screamed, flew out of their seats, then giggled self-consciously — what a great shared moment.
Last — sometimes you just want an excuse to get out of the house.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: What if People Like It?

I turn my cell off, becuase my mom taught me not to be a rude idiot.

Still, some minimum-wage security lamer says he’s gonna take my phone (it’s a Treo) for me, and i can maybe get it back at the end of the showing, I’m thinking that I’ll go harass the manager for a refund.

I don’t trust them to treat my equipment like I do (precious), and I also don’t want to trust them to return it to me in pristine condition immediately after the film.

I think the manager would be hearing from me immediately, and I’ll be firm but forceful until I get a refund; an apology would go a long way to actually having me ever come back to the theatre.

allan says:

Re: What if People Like It?

people don’t like it. i hate it. who the heck goes to the movies during broad daylight? movies were meant to be observed at night. it goes back to the 50’s. i remember getting my first blowjob watching pirates of the carribean on the 3rd row at cinema saver. thats how things should be. everyone is minding their own business, whilst someone next to them is getting a hummer. plus these movies suck. pg-13 pretty much screwed the movie industry. the last good movie i saw “Gladiator” worth every penny i spent from driving to watch it, to taking my girl home after in and out burger.

Valvilis says:


I file share AND I still go to movies. And I’ve afterwards bought several movies that I’ve downloaded. One of the biggest groups of file sharers are college students, who download out of need as much as anything else. $15 evening show tickets aren’t in everyone’s budget. Add in buying a date’s ticket and some snacks, and you’re out half of your part-time jobs pay for the week. Just more of the same old controversy, with all of the rhetoric coming from those who know the least about the situation. What can you do?

Lola says:

Re: Re: Screening Search

I’ve been to lots of preview screenings of movies before their release date- some popular, some obscure. Security has been stepped up as of late. For highly anticipated Sin City guards were confiscated cell phones, serching handbags, and patting people down. But because our party knew the people hosting the screening we were ushered through without a search- WTF? It makes me think that they are doing this simply to make themselves feel better not to stop any real piracy. How does taking away a cell phone that can record manybe two minutes of bad video help, when you are waiving us “trustworthy” people through with god knows what concealed in our bags? None of us are pirating anything, but if this happend to us it must be happening all over the country.

Cap'n Jeff says:

Re: Honestly...

As a college student, I defy the model and don’t fileshare. At all. Ever. Partly it’s out of respecting copyrights, and partly it’s that I have a Mac and can’t do the whole I2Hub thing. Aside from that, I don’t wanna get sued, which is a very real fear, as one of my friends settled with RIAA for $5000 last week. Anyway, I use Netflix, because I can watch 20 movies a month or so for less than $18. So for the price of 2 tickets, I see twenty movies, on my own schedule. Granted, they’re not on the big screen, but I have a pretty badass sound system. The one exception is the Rocky Horror Picture Show, which has to be seen live. I go to that one pretty often…

Steven says:

Re: Re: Re: Most people...

The mainstream society doesn’t take the time and effort to learn how/actually download movies. They just spend the couple bucks to watch it.

They need to learn that it’s not worth spending more money than what you’re losing to stop stealing. It doesn’t work to pay a security guard $12 an hour to prevent a loss of $8 an hour via stealing.

They upset me greatly.

brshoemak says:

Re: Honestly...

“college students, who download out of need as much as anything else”

WTF?? ‘out of need’? you don’t NEED downloaded movies and music. i’ve only been out of college for a year and was living off of rice and salt for a lot of that time. i downloaded movies and music like everyone else but i wasn’t going to go hungry if i couldn’t get a good clean of Kill Bill from Suprnova (bittorrent)

I fully agree with everything being said about movie theaters being ridiculously overpriced but don’t say a college student NEEDS downloaded movies, that just adds fuel to the MPAA’s fire. Anyway, you always have Netflix and some microwave popcorn – your place is a more intimate setting for a date than a theater anyway.

rabidearz says:

I miss the good ole days.

The theatres where I live have been renovating all their theatres, ticket stands, and consession stands for several months now… It seems they’ve lost so much money they had to go splurge on a on an entire company facelift! It’s sad to see them suffer ;( Honestly though, I’ve come to appreciate the now defunct mom and pop single screen theatres. When movies weren’t so much a luxury but a place you could go to without thinking about fitting a trip, complete with popcorn, soda, and candy into your budget. When I was young, my family didn’t have a lot of money (we still don’t but I’m working on it) but we never thought twice about going to see a movie and if the movie was bad, we didn’t gripe over what a waste of money it was. The people that worked there were alright and they never treated people as they are now (not that they had the reasons to).

Stinky Old Fart says:

Movie Watching

I’m a sound engineer, so I have put a lot of time and money into my home theater, for both professional and personal reasons.

I’m not, however able to buy a huge screen to watch movies on. If I could I would. I do have to say, that most of my movie watching is done at home (NetFlix is a wonderful thing).

There are a few movies that are good enough to be watched on big screens. But those are so few in number, that I only find myself going to the theater about twice each year. There is just no reason for it!

If I didn’t have a professional need for anything like my own home theater, I wouldn’t even have that. Most of the movies I enjoy don’t need THX, DTS, Dolby, etc to be enjoyable.

s1amson says:

Re: Movie Watching

sorry, the 2000 dollar 42 inch plasma i have my box hooked to for dvd and the $100 5.1 speaker combo i have for it pretty much gives me the same effect from 10 feet away. sorry but… i can wait to buy/rent the dvds. its better than getting a battery charge for the guy with the screaming baby i complained about got up and tossed his drink on me… use your imagination for what happens next. its funny you dont hear libraries complaing about books though… this is pretty much where all the movies come from.
oopsies… our youth cant read, i forgot we had to bend the curve for the minorities (which where im from happen to make 70% of the population)
its no wonder then is it.

MirroredDog says:

Re: Re: Movie Watching

I download movies to see if they are worth the price of admission. dont even get me started on the price of popcorn. hollywood is way off on there reasons as to why people stopped going out to see a movie. hollywood refuses to see them self as the problem. blockbusters my ass. more like gutter warts. If they want my money they better step it up a notch or get out of the business!

Avy says:

Re: Re: Movie Watching

I’ve got a 27″ and 5.1 sound and my setup is sweet. The movies coming out are seldom worth the money, trip, and crying babies to see in theatre. I wait for DVDs unless there’s a movie I MUST see ASAP.
As for the youth and minorities comment, I’m a 22 y/o minority that’s got a gorgeous library on shelf and PC. So let’s think before we go typing whatever prejudice statement comes to mind. I live in a nice suburb and work in a busy office where I do even more reading and I’m sure there are plenty of minorities just like me.

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

Well, telling people to check the cellphone at the door might be a good
thing– noone taking a phone call during the movie. Now if these guards
are there to tell said cellphone users to finish the call in the lobby,
they might have something…

And besides, don’t they know how painful it is to watch a movie that
came from a “camcorder in a theather”.

patrick says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

Well, it sounds like they are searching people. The thertres probably do this using some legalese on the back of the ticket. Want to piss the theatre off? Before leaving the ticket booth, carefully read the ticket and ask the taker what each sentence means. And then have five or six of your friends do the same thing.

Rob says:


$40 for a family of 4??? Wow, either the theater’s ticket price is very cheap or you don’t buy snacks. It cost me at least $50 just for tickets (family of 5 here), then add in the WAY OVERPRICED SNACKS and STALE popcorn it is an almost a $100 experience.

Now in todays economy add to that $10 bucks in gas to get to the theater….

I work at a Public Library and checking out movies is FREE, then go to the local Dollar Tree and get the EXACT same package of snacks the theater sells (same package, same weight, same snack) for $3.50 I can buy for $1.00. I know they need some markup to make a profit, but this is a 350% markup over the Dollar Tree (and the Dollar Tree is making profit off of the $1.00 price, so….)

THIS IS WHY ATTENDANCE IS DOWN. The AVERAGE household cannot afford to go to the theater. This has NOTHING to do with downloading.

And I agree with others comments, lame remakes, poor sequels, same storylines with different locations/characters. Get new material.

I remember a time when there was not a ‘fall premier schedule’ that theaters stood by just to release movies regardless of quality. It really used to be that production companies would not grab a script just to have a movie to release by some date, but actually funded scripts that were GOOD.

Stoolio says:

It is Hollywood's fault

I just relocated from Atlanta to Raleigh a few months ago.

I see movies almost weekly and I have no memory of a cell phone going off ever.

What makes my experience(s) so bad are the commericals, the prices, and the way I am treated at the theater.

I have found some small mom and pop houses here in the Triangle area that are awesome. They are about 20% cheaper all around. The sound is not quite as good nor do they have stadium seating. But the experience is much better.

The problem is in the type of corporate culture that manages the movie industry from top to bottom.

I once worked for a design house that was bought by an international publically held corporation. About a year after they took us over, you should have seen how hard they tried to assimilate a totally subjective type of workflow into a micromanaged- assembly line routine.

It failed.

The damned commercials are what ruin it for me more than anything.

No one special says:

Let's hope the MPAA gets wind of these recent arti

I have found this and many articles like this to be all to true. Movies this last year have just been aweful. It’s not worth the price anymore to go to the theatre. Also, their whole “War on Piracy” has created so much publicity that everyone with a decent net connection has begun downloading movies, never knowing they could in the past.

If the movie industries were smart they would stop the war and piracy, and stop accepting every half ass script that comes their way. Theatre’s should also realize that no one is going to pay the outrageous prices for a movie ticket either.

Movie Boy says:

Supply and Demand

If we stop going, demand goes down…so should prices.

Let Hollywood eat their own crap for a few years. Let them realize that we FUND them, they do not own us. SCREW their lame ass movies and stupid idiot moron actors.

Only decent thing to come out of hollywood in 10 years has been Matrix part 1, and even that was followed by the two suckiest sequels ever…

thecomputerguy says:

The problem with boycotting...

The problem with boycotting and not going is that it’s exactly what they want. They are using this as an excuse to control exactly what you or I can do with our movies (and music, etc) They won’t admit that they’re the problem. When nobody goes because of the way they are treated and the quality of the movies/music, they just go to Congress and say, “See, nobody is going to the movies. It must be pirating. We need more control”, and then put some of the money that “they are not getting” into some Congress person’s back pocket.

Me says:

Re: The real problem

The problem is also renting!
You can rent a movie, let as many people see it as you want and have it cost a lot less than buying tickets for 2 people.. all you have to do is wait, and by the time it gets to where you can rent it, you’ve already heard if it would be worth your money or not.
Plus when your at your house, you can pause the movie to run to the bathroom or get something to drink.. which something to drink, or eat would be a lot cheaper too. The theater here charges $3.00 for a small drink and $3.50 for a small popcorn… its rediculous. And they scan the isles for outside food too, the greed is boudless.
As far as people with cellphones go.. They don’t bother me as long as they either shut the phone off or answer it quickly instead of just letting it go until it stops. And once they pick it up they step outside to carry on the conversation if they need to…. But i thought most theaters were going with cell-phone signal blockers nowadays. I go fairly often for some reason anway, but if they go for my phone, I’d rather just stay home.. and even i shut the thing off during movies.

Infi's girl says:

Re: Re: Re: The real problem

Cell phone blockers illegal? HA!
That’s a laugh!
I live in Las Vegas. I can tell you from experience, that any phone, and any carrier IS entirely blocked when you are inside most of the hotels on the strip.
If you ask, you’ll be told that it is due to the “blast resistant” and “fire resistant” building materials. Again, take it from me, that’s a bunch of bull. Ask the engineers who put together the blue prints.
Las Vegas casinos can do it to keep their gamblers free from nagging phone calls. Surely “blast resistant” movie theaters would quiet Hollywood’s cell phone issues.

Dj-Panic says:

Re: Re: Re:2 The real problem

uh, I work in vegas casino’s every day all over the valley, from henderson to sante fe station, and my cell phone works in every one of them. In some sections of some casino’s, you can lose signal due to some building materials, but I can get better reception IN some of the the casino’s than I can outside of them, as many casino’s now have cell phone repeaters inside the buildings.

Trust me, I’ve seen the closets with all the “nextel”, “verizon”, “cingular” boxes and signal boosting equipment.

ehrichweiss says:

Re: Re: The real problem

The cell signal “blockers” aren’t electronic devices but rather simply large screens(like in a screen door) made of copper. Kinda like that, useless, “safety screen” they were selling on TV that was supposed to keep the cell phone radiation from entering your skull through your ear…only these are much larger and actually work. They are also much more expensive than any electronic solution and are harder to implement since you have to cover every wall with it…among other things.

If a guard asks for something, ask him/her for a receipt. They are never prepared for you to question *their* integrity.

drue says:


Because I’m speaking as both a college student and occasional movie pirate, I’m in a unique position to rationalize my own illegal actions while believing I’m smarter than the rest of you.

The last two movies I downloaded were Harry Potter 3 and Hitchhiker’s Guide. I still saw both in the theatre and still bought the Harry Potter DVD. We’ll not discuss the fact that it’s probably best that Doug Adams died before the film had a chance to kill him. However, my movie viewing has tapered off – not because of the availability of a lower priced offering.

My local Crown Theatre shows between 15 and 18 minutes of commercials before the film. Literally, I don’t even show up to buy tickets until ten minutes after the official start time. I refuse to pay for advertising. Fix this and I’ll go back to a few movies a week. Otherwise, it’s Netflix all the way.

anon (user link) says:

Too Pricey

Its amazing how dumb companies can be, I work for laserquest and our prices are based on the insaine Idea that our game is comparable to a movie…We offer nothing but the game and when we try to improve we somehow don’t have the budget to do so. But back to movies, I never go because of the high prices. In fact I just don’t have the time either. The last time I went and paid (free screenings rock) It had been about 2 years…back then it was like $7 and I thought that was high. Now its $9 sorry 8.50 with a student ID, now I will have to say Dave&Busters United Artists theater has some inexpensive drinks, about $2 gets ya a huge massive almost a full 2 liters and the popcorn sizes are comparable,

0n1l1nk says:


To get myself into a movie, I spend $7.50 on a ticket. If i want food, I spend about a total of $18 for a movie experience. Now me being only 17 years of age and without a job, money is always short. Try getting your girlfriend in too, thats a good $30-$40 PER MOVIE. Lickily, my friend works at the movie theatre so when I goto a movie, it is usually with him, and I get in free and skip the food. When I went to STARWARS III with him, there was a family with like 3 kids beside us, and 4 or 5 behind us. The kids beside us (we were on the aisle seats, they were in close) had to goto the bathroom at least once every 30 minutes, so during this movie we had to stand up and let them pass multiple times. The kids behind us were having “lightsaber battles” with “air sabers” for the better part of 30 minutes. My friend had to go talk to his co workers to get these people to stop being stupid, but it didn’t help. Did I mention the peopel who kept putting their feet up on chairs and kicking? Or the people paying games on their cellphones? Not onnly did they leave the sound on, but the blue led lights are bright as hell in a black room. It was a terrible experience, but it was free so I cannot complain too much.

daffy duck says:

burning cash

Personally I enjoyed going to the theater when it was around 6 bucks. Now that it is around 10, I find it much harder to justify going to see a movie just for the heck of it… now I have to research it and determine if it is going to be worth my cash or not, and in most cases, hollywood fails to live up to my standards of decent movies.

counteru (user link) says:


All i have to say is.. i dont use my phone in the theatre.. but i have kids.. sometimes me and the wife go to movies and have a babysitter watch the kids. I keep the cell phone on me.. but on vibrate.. damn right if somethin happens to one of my kids I want to know right then.. not 2 hours later. I dare a security guard or another patron at the movie theatres to attempt to take my phone.. u will have your teeth kindly removed real fast! BTW, i already been to prison 3 times.. I dont mind going again… HENCE, leave me and my phone alone.. i paid to be there just like the rest of you idiots!

Robert Luong says:

No Subject Given

I’ve seen WAY too much crap. And the new crap isn’t smelling any better.

Fix it up, movie going isn’t worth it and I hear about them making more and more crappy sequels and stuff.

Realistically, I can watch TV and get awesome quality. I hear Rome is awesome, Prison Break is great, 24, Nip ‘n Tuck, House … there’s a lot of quality shows that will give me an instant and ongoing experience that I think movies have to now rival. Add in the Internet, video games, and other fads and what do you have? You have to start being more creative in your offerings. Or you can just sue people … whichever floats your boat.

Shadow says:


For the most part, I agree with the previous responses. I do however want to point out that the theaters do not make money on the ticket price. This is what was told by a manager friend of mine. Their profits are from the concession stands. I do feel there are problems on both front. The ticket price is ridiculous, but that problem is Hollywood. The cost of snack food is ridiculous, that problem is the theater.

The problem with the theaters today, is they think they need to spend millions of dollars to jazz up the entrance lobby. That is poor money sense. I do like stadium seating and good audio, which I am willing to pay more. I don?t like paying for all the lobby jazz and their electric bill for the hundreds of lights to show off useless crap. One such theater had what appeared to be an astronomy map in their lobby.

Hollywood needs to get off of the high chair and come to realize people do not want to pay 10 bucks for a movie pass. Theaters need to re-evaluate their expenses to make the snacks cheaper.

chimbaktu says:

hollywood is a steaming pile of crap.

when i got to the theater i expect a decent movie and a great experience, since that’s the whole reason for going to a theater rather than watching the movie at home 5 months later. but the movies have become terrible repititous steaming piles of crap where hollywood spends more money and time on the marketing than the actual movie. And the experience of the theater has turned sour as well, since now a ticket for myself and my girlfriend, plus a bag of not-so-tasty popcorn, and drinks costs more than an entire weekend of bar hopping with the same effect being a bad headache and a bad taste in my mouth. hollywood needs to take a few notes from asian cinema on how to make outstanding movies on budgets lower than the Blair Witch Project; these corporate 993487093257 screen movie theaters need a slap in the face from the mom and pop theaters of yester year. until the movie industry (particularly the theater aspect) gets its act togethor, my girlfriend and i will be sitting comfortably at home watching the classics. peace out and much love.

wade says:

No Subject Given

Talk about things getting blown out of proportion. The movie experience has gotten better in the past few years if anything. Its moved from see-nothing rows of chairs and 10-15 minutes of staring at a blank silver screen to stadium rows with coca-cola trivia and “gasp” commercials to keep the brain occupied and prepped for the upcoming purchase. Cell phones? Shut the damn things off! Monitoring? I don’t know where the author has been veiwing movies, but unless its at some penal facility, there’s no “big brother” at the places I go to. This article is pure sensationalism… period.

Joe says:

Re: No Subject Given

You’re lucky or just watching movies that already have been released (to DVD/BR). Some places don’t even need to monitor you. They just put subtle signals in the recorded video/audio that you make with your camcorder. Then they wait for the next time you show up at a premier and presto-bingo, you’re in prison for several years. It’s actually kind of clever and doesn’t mean searching people, yadda yadda yadda.

I don’t even remember the last movie I saw in a theater, which tells you something if that’s typical (it is where I am). VCR’s were the death note for theaters, DVD’s the nails in, and the Internet the packed dirt on the coffin.

Terry says:

Cost, shared experience, drive-ins

I don’t mind (so much) paying to see a good movie. However, there are very few good movies these days. We’ve been burned one too many times paying over $60 in ticket/snack-bar fees to see a smoldering turd. For the last few years, when a movie comes out, we research it, read reviews, and make a judgment call on whether it’s a “wait for the DVD”, or a “best seen in the theater” movie. We are getting pretty good at making the right call. I can’t think of a movie in the last three years that we watched at home and wished we seen it at the theater. I feel bad for high school and college kids though. In my time you could do the whole night with dinner and a movie for under twenty dollars easy. And because there were fewer movies being made, most movies were anywhere from good to excellent. I can’t recall paying to see a movie that was bad until the late seventies or so. About the time Hollywood studios started churning out movies to fill the theater chains they were buying…
A commenter talked about the shared experience of going to the theater. That is so true. I went to the premiere of the Beatle’s “A Hard Days Night” (Yeah, I’m old) and as long as I live I will never forget the theater going dark (there were not commercials then), a pause while the curtains pulled back from the screen, and then just as the screen lit up, the first chord from the song “A Hard Days Night” rang out. Instantly, every single girl in the theater started screaming – and didn’t stop until the movie ended. It was an event. I loved it and will never forget it.
Drive-ins. What can I say. Kids today are missing out on one of the greatest experiences that can be had. In a small town of 10K people, we had four drive-ins. Each had one screen, a playground, cheap speakers, and decent popcorn. At five, I’d make a tent in the back seat if the movie bored me and write on the fogged up windows – ticking off my Dad who lectured me on how the writing would still be there when the fog dried. As a date destination for teens, and older people, there is/was no substitute. You are alone with your girl, under the stars (if you had a convertible, sun roof, or pick-up), ostensibly watching a movie (good/bad made little difference then) and making out like mad. Life was good and easy with no worries about the details. Foggy windows, having to start the car to warm up chilly nether regions, going out to get popcorn and a coke and when you open the door the dome light blinds you. The best kiss I ever got as a teen was at a drive in. I wish there were a way to revive drive-ins. But realistically, with the poor behavior tolerated by our society apparent in all too many these days, the security problems alone make it a prohibitive. Too bad, you are missing out on wonderful experience. It’s one of those ‘you had to have been there’ things.

Tashi says:

No Subject Given

I download movies because the vast majority (99%) you will never see in an American theatre because I’m a big fan of foreign films, particularly from Asia, and American distributors are horribly slow (years) about bringing the better films here. I buy a great many of these, and I download them. I downloaded Ringu and I also bought the American version. I paid to see the American version of Juon and I have the Japanese DVD. I downloaded all the Initial D animes. I also bought every single one from anime websites, because I’m a fan, and as a fan I download them because I can, not to avoid paying, which I am happy to do. I’m a collector and I like boxart. So piracy for me is not about not paying… it’s about another type of movie experience and Hollywood should get with the program and find a way to integrate downloading into their business model instead of trying to sue everybody.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: No Subject Given : A Pirate Speaks

I download Movies all the time, I work graveyard at a factory and this is the easiest way for me to get to see them plus I get to find out which ones are worth my purchase, I’ve even bought bootlegs for the same reason and occasionally download DVD-Rs of recently released DVDs and burn them off and watch them, but generally no matter in what way I pirated the movie in question (and this point DOES matter because SOME of the DVD-Rs are identical to what they sell in the stores)if I liked it, I buy it, and what do I get for my loyalty you may ask? A different version of the same film being released on DVD in another month or so to a year and I’m labeled a criminal because I didn’t pay for my initial viewing of the film, but I ask you, how is my watching a downloaded (and usually barely watchable) copy of a popular film for free that much different from watching a movie at a friends house, I still didn’t pay to see it, yet just like watching at a friends house, If I’m impressed I head to the store and buy my own copy
Hollywood and the Music companies both need to stop trying to sue/criminalize or plant rootkits on the computers of their fans or there won’t be any of us left after awhile

Charles says:

movie security

Mike –

I want to live where you live.

Security guards confiscating cellphones? You mean, the cellphones of people who not only forget to turn off their phones… people whose phones ring and they ANSWER them during the movie… but people who actually MAKE CALLS during the movies? You have guards confiscate their phones? I hope the guards yank them, and the people who talk WITHOUT cellphones, and throw them in a prison where they are detained without constitutional rights. “Why am I being held here? Why won’t you let me contact my lawyer?” “Why don’t you just sit and think about it.”

Seriously, of all the horrible movie-going problems you described, and I agree with all of them, I have NEVER thought to myself, “man, there is too much security in here. How am I going to start shouting at the screen without getting into trouble?”

Jason says:


You know its sad, I can remember a time when NOBODY HAD stupid cell phones, and people had enought respect to realize you bought a ticket to, shared the same outragious price, and more than likely sat through, or mostly through the same movie they were to keep their mouths shut. Its not the industry, its not the piracy, its the people, the one guy thats sitting here all day downloading every movie that is currently at the theater just so he can avoid the disrespect, degrading experience that is the local theatre and their presentation of the film. If you have a cell phone set the damn thing to vibrate!! if it rings walk your lazy ass outside and THEN ONLY THEN answer the stupid thing. Its probably your “homies” and no everybody care to hear your mouth. if you want to enjoy a movie, then enjoy a movie by all means, but if you want to talk, perhaps you should go to hang out.

Ansberto says:


I am happy to finally see someone with the sense to see the real issue. You are right, it is the industry, lowes theaters, for a matinee want $7. plus popcorn, coke. all that good stuff. For just a that i can rent 2 or 3 movies and sit at home in anything i want, eat, be confortable, and not hear adults screaming at the screan or making comments ruining my expirence. For that, i can save my $7, or for a night show, $8.50, buy a projector for my home and watch it on DVD at home. THANK YOU FOR FINALLY SHEDING LIGHT ON THE TRUTH

Me says:

Re: right on

some of the comments here were great. don’t think i’ll ever go to a movie theater in the states again.
on the other hand, here in norway, the commercials before the film are usually hilarious and that for me is part of the great experience. commercials in the states are usually so cheesy that i want to gag, seriously! i think maybe some of the dumbest, most uncreative people in the states work in the advertising industry (and also in the bush administration).

sotonin says:

this is hilarious

Sorry hollywood get off your delusional high horses and get it through your head, piracy is not the problem and no matter how much money you waste on retarded commercials you won’t eliminate or even reduce piracy. The problem is the theatres trying to empty my damn wallet just to see a single movie. screw that. I bring my own soda and candy that i pick up at the grocery store before hand that runs me maybe 5 bucks. And i always turn my cellphone on vibrate, so if somebody tries to search me at a theatre i’ll promptly turn around and demand a refund. I don’t stand for that shit, it’s a violation of privacy and if i wanted to be searched i’d go to a concert.

A Theatre Emloyee says:

What it is really like

In Actuality this is only sometimes the case. For one thing this does only apply to the PROMO or Promotional Screenings that are advance screenings of the movie done by the studios to set the area abuzz with talk about 1-2 weeks before the movie. This does not apply to features that have been officially released.
Another factor is the REPS or Representatives promoting it (usually from a local radio station and the studio. Depending on the REPS there you may face as much security as listed above but you may very well, and probably will, have less in the way of security.

chimbaktu says:

No Subject Given

wow, to all the people saying they can watch a better quality DVD at home, you really need to learn the difference between compressed mpeg2 DVDs that you pop into your low resolution HDTV and FILM. seriously folks, good luck trying to argue that a DVD has a higher quality picture than a film projector.

but a film projector doesn’t justify the extra money out of my pocket for a still crappy movie that’s not worth the $2.00 duplication cost of the DVD.

Netflix and pirating here i come until hollywood can produce something a little bit deeper than a freakin high school video project.

Daniel says:

What everyone seems to be forgetting

I have read all these posts and replies, and I understand and comprehend the consumer side of the argument, and I echo the sentiments. High prices, substandard experience in the theater, screaming babies, poor quality of films, excessive commercials, treatment of theatergoers as though each one is a prospective criminal, etc, etc, etc, but you really have to understand something. The high prices are reflective of their own costs. Do you think these theater chains are just given the reels of the new film release? No. Theaters are usually privately held franchises or corporate outbranches, licensing the name, but responsible for costs. The cost of licensing a movie for viewing in a theater is incredibly outrageous. Tens of thousands of dollars from what I heard. I mean, I could be wrong, but the message is the same. The film inside those cannisters is not free to the theater in most cases. There are multiple expenses in the industry. All the people who work on a film, regardless of quality, they all have to be paid. Yes, actors are paid ridiculously high salaries, even the lowest-paid ones often earning for their role in a single film what some people earn in a few months, year or several years, or, the top dogs like Tom Cruise, Jim Carrey, etc, earning what some people would make in their lifetime, but those movies with big budgets, yes, perhaps some edges could be trimmed, or scaled down, but if you were an actor with a record of starring in films that had high box-office returns, wouldn’t you want an equal piece of the pie? Inflation is everywhere folks. I am not defending the movie industry, but you need to look at both sides of the coin. Movies cost money, and everyone, from the director, to the caterer’s assistant, to the P.R. gofers, etc ad nausea need to get paid. The outsourced costume designer, the gaffers, people who work for unions. Keep this in mind. My grandfather used to get from Nathans Hot Dogs a hotdog, fries, and a rootbeer for ten cents when he was a kid, and that was considered a lot of money to him, a luxury he could rarely indulge in, but of course, my grandfather was born in 1917. Inflation adjusts things. My mother remembers when movies were $1.75, popcorn 75 cents, etc. Inflation adjusts things. Supply and demand. by 2050, they say the population of the planet will be past ten billion, and by 2100, 50 billion. This planet has a hard enough time supporting six What do you think the movie ticket prices will be like then if demand of commodities, goods, and services, based on demand of world population follows the existing trend? Yes, there are problems with both sides of the coin. I cannot hypothesize a solution, I’m not that smart, and it’s been a long day at work, but I’m mainly griping at everyone else’s griping. Someone once said “It’s a shame the people who know how to and should be running the country are driving taxicabs and cutting hair.” If you’ve got good ideas that will solve the problem, run for office or strive to the positions in industry that will allow you to make those changes. Mobilizing the public and the industry to make these changes isn’t going to happen, realisticly, if you think about it. It all leads into a greater problem: Mankind is doomed. I don’t want to sound like a pessimist. I see the glass as half-full, but with too much to go into as to why it is, mankind is set on a course of self-destruction, and every day, the prospect of human life in the future becomes bleaker and bleaker, and bleaker. We are nursing on the tit of a mother who is aging, her supplies of milk drying up. Awareness of a global problem with the human machine is coming too little too late I think. Too many people in charge allow personal sense of entitlement to cloud their decisions as to the good of the whole.

Me says:

It's simple

If they make a good movie, people will pay to see it. Rehash all the same old crap, and people will pirate it, but they wouldn’t have paid to see it in the first place. I think that’s key to the agument. I’ve read it a hundred times, a download != a lost sale. If i download something and like it, i’m highly likely to go buy the High Quality version, and support the people who made it. But with so many movies being so dissapointing, I can’t aford to view them all and still drive to work. i can however download them, see if i like them, and then go to the theater to see them.

I think people like making Informed Dissicions. And i think the media companies view information as thier maney maker, so they have a vested intrest in keep as much info to themselves as possible. I mean just look at movie trailers, how many of those scenes aren’t even in the final movie? I don’t know about you, but i think that’s almost false advertising. And what if you buy a movie and absolutely hate it? Well, you can trade it in for another copy of the same movie, but not for a new movie. It’s just stupid.

Jacob Buck (user link) says:

if someone tried to search me at the theatre, they would walk away with a black eye and a lawsuit. even if there is “legalese” on the back of the ticket, you can’t expect me to follow it if i can’t read it because its so tiny and i did nothing to signify that i knew it would take a search for me to see my movie ( ie sign a contract ). it amounts to a violation of my civil rights. freaking movie theatres.

Sam Tracey says:

it should be illegal

It should be illegal to let the people at the movie theatre because for one thing they can steal from your bag or backpac purse or whatever but it not only violates your privacy which is very illegal but it violates your rights as an american citizen and the movie theatres america should be sued for this and since no one is doing nothing about it you might as well protest outside your movie theatre about how badly mannered and rude they were when they illegally searched you and if you don’t this you will be able to do nothing and they will win but if you do something they won’t win

Bose (profile) says:

Here in AK

After reading all these posts I feel blessed, we have a handful of theatres in town (it is Alaska, drinking, screwing, and seeing movies is about all there is to do for 7 months out of the year) and are lucky enough to have a large range of prices. There’s the full blown $9.75 theatre ($12 for 3D), all the way down to 2 theatres that only charge $3 for a ticket (albeit their selections are usually 3-4 weeks behind the majors) and if you aren’t obvious about it they dont mind if you bring food in. One of the two is actually half restaurant, half theatre, you can actually sit there and drink beer and eat a pizza at restaurant style seating in their theatre! I know some of you wont believe me, but their pizza and beer is reasonably priced too!

I dont miss “the lesser 48” as much any more, thanks for this post!

Joe says:

Bah, I’m an idiot and didn’t notice how old this article is. But it’s still relevant. They do go to all that trouble of making sounds or IR patterns that your camcorder adds to the video so they can identify you based on a camera in the lobby, but I don’t think they did 7 years ago. It’s pointless though as the pirates have people inside distribution that can get ahold of the real Blu-Ray discs.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...