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A night at the movies

Posted on December 20th, 2010 by annakjarzab

Ever since I heard about Black Swan I’ve wanted to see it, but I didn’t think anyone would go with me. That’s fine, because I don’t mind seeing movies alone, but I do find it hard to get motivated and usually just wait until they come out on DVD. But lo and behold, my friend Nikki wanted to see it too, so last night we went to the Lincoln Plaza theaters to watch it.

Okay, a few words about the Lincoln Plaza theaters. They’re on 64th and Broadway, right across from Lincoln Center, where the New York City Ballet, School of American Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and the Julliard School, among others, live and perform. It’s an indie/revival theater (I mean, for instance, there were signs on the ticket booth windows for Shoah, which was being shown in two sittings with a fifteen intermission) with a downscale look and lots of upscale clientele (ladies in minks, basically).

So you would think that people would know how to conduct themselves like civilized human beings! But that is not so. Lincoln Plaza has a couple of theaters, but none the size of those sprawling ones at the AMC up the street–these are small, intimate theaters with normal sized screens and about two hundred and fifty seats or whatever. Even though they were showing Black Swan about 10 times that day, our theater still filled up very quickly and space was limited. Nikki and I were early enough to get seats with no problem. The first indication that this was perhaps not the moviegoing experience we were hoping for was when a woman, trying to get to her seat on the other side of me, charged past me flinging her coat and bag and knocked our bucket of popcorn over so that half of it spilled right down the front of my sweater.

Then–oh, then. Just as the lights were going down and the previews started rolling, these two girls in puffy jackets entered the row about three rows in front of us, intending to sit in two empty seats in the center. The woman who was sitting next to the empty seats told them no, that she was saving them for people. The girls insisted that there were no other seats in the theater, that they had purchased tickets and were entitled to sit in the seats, which were not currently occupied by anyone. Now, if me and my friends had been the girls, we would’ve just said, “Okay, the seats are taken, let’s figure something else out” and walked away. But this was, as Nikki said, the perfect storm of two aggressive groups of people who would just not back down. The woman who was saving the seats stood up and began screaming at the girls that they couldn’t have the seats, her friends’ coats and bags were on them, etc. The girls shot back that the movie was starting and her friends weren’t there–thus, the seats were up for grabs and they were taking them.

The girls sat down in the empty seats and the woman yelled at them as she grabbed her friends’ things off them. She would not shut up about it, and when the man sitting behind her leaned forward and asked her to please shut up, she said, “Don’t you tell me what to do! And don’t you touch me! Don’t you touch me!” He wasn’t touching her that I could see.

A minute or so passed, and finally these supposed friends came barrelling down the right aisle. The woman loudly announced to them–while the movie was actually starting–that the girls had taken the seats, and one of the newly arrived friends cried, “Oh no they are not sitting in our seats! That is so disrespectful!” Let us not forget that at the moment this was happening, Natalie Portman was literally dancing on the screen–the movie was playing! And who is being disrespectful? TO EVERYONE ELSE IN THE THEATER. This latecomer charged through the aisle and, under the pretense of “looking for her coat”, which her friend had already removed from the seat, actually physically pushed the girl who was sitting in the seat out of the seat and proceeded to sit down in it!

Eventually the girls gave up and left (after being physically ejected from the seats, what more was there for them to do than to start a fight, which even they were smart enough to know was a bad idea) and I have no idea what happened to them. There were some half-hearted threats of calling the cops, which would’ve been the dumbest think in the history of the world–and note that not once during this whole fracas did the people who actually administrate the theater come in to intervene.

But that wasn’t the only rude/bizarre bit of behavior we saw (just the most entertaining and dramatic). In the middle of the movie, this girl a row in front of me and a few seats to the right was texting and the girl sitting behind her kept punching the back of her chair to get her to stop texting! I was appalled. I mean, yes, the light from the phone was annoying, and what are you doing texting during a movie–not just texting, but, like, surfing the Internet?–but it wasn’t in any way distracting from my enjoyment of the movie. It was no reason for the woman behind her to punch her chair repeatedly until she stopped!

Long-winded story, I know, but I just could not believe the nerve of some people. This is a nice part of town, in a movie theater; it’s not the freaking roller derby! Behave yourselves! New Yorkers have a reputation of being a little rough around the edges, but in my experience most people are pretty nice, or at the very least completely apathetic. I’m not surprised to see people pick a fight in a theater, but yet I am, if that makes any sense. Is it weird that I expect adults to behave like adults and not like monsters?

Happy Christmas everybody! Oh, and if you were wondering what I thought of Black Swan–that shit be weird. Maybe I’ll post about it later in the week. I need to process.

3 Responses to “A night at the movies”

GreenBeanTeenQueen on December 21st, 2010 at 2:32 am Said:

What a weird encounter! I know people can be rude, but I just always expect them to be a bit nicer I guess. Sounds like a day in the library actually!;)

Josh Berk on December 21st, 2010 at 11:50 pm Said:

Your blog never lets me leave comments, Jarzab, but I’m trying anyway! Mainly to disagree with the tag “Anna’s boring life.” I found this riveting! The other tags were appropriate. Well done.

annakjarzab on December 22nd, 2010 at 10:04 am Said:

Oh Josh, that’s my stupid, broken spam filter. I have to approve all the comments. It’s weird.

GreenBeanTeenQueen: I always expect people to be nice, too. At least reasonable! I’m usually shocked when they’re awful, and then shocked that I’m shocked.

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