Don’t Forget About Me

8 Jan

I see a lot of movies (my current total for 2005 releases is 59), so I take going to the movies quite seriously.

But maybe I take it too seriously. Someone tell me if I am wrong here:

Tonight, when I went to see Match Point at the AMC Fenway, I got to the theater 20 minutes before showtime, before even the pre-show had started. At the time, the theater was not all that full so I put my coat on the seat to my left (there was also a coat on the seat to my right). During the pre-show and then the trailers, the theater got more crowded, but it still was not sold out, and the three seats to my left (including the one with my coat on it) were still not full. Right as the movie started, just as the credits were ending, two young ladies (college students, as far as I could tell), came into the row and one asked me if someone was sitting where my coat was. I barely acknowledged her, but said no (admittedly, I may have just shaken my head). Then she developed a little bit of an attitude and asked me if I could move my coat, which I did, but without really acknowledging her this time — after all, it was at least 15 minutes after the scheduled showtime and the movie had started. And when the third person in their group showed up two minutes later, she said to the other two girls (loudly enough so other people could hear), “We should have gotten here sooner.” It didn’t help matters that during the movie, the girl next to me fidgeted with her shopping bag to get out her cell phone so she could see what time it was, and then, with less than five minutes to go, her phone went off (the ringtone was Mariah Carey’s “Don’t Forget About Us”). Thankfully, she didn’t answer it, but she did hit the button a few times to lower the sound.

Tell me: Am I wrong to say that people who show up late to the movie like that should just take whatever seats they can find, and have lost the right to ask the rest of us to move our coats or whatever may be in the seats next to us? I mean, I made the effort to get there early, and so have other people, so why should we have to deal with this kind of annoyance? I tend to be a passive-aggressive type in situations like that (believe you me, I commandeered the armrest ASAP), but should I have said yes, the seat was taken, even if it was a lie? Or am I overreacting, and she had every right to sit there if the seat, technically, was free? (For the record, the theater was not full and the girls could have sat elsewhere.)

I have no conflicted conscience about this. I just really hate moviegoers who intrude on my moviegoing experience.

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