Sunday, July 12, 2015

For anyone who hates assholes that text in theaters...

You're going to love this.

Update: And reader Pat alerted me to this: Patti LuPone stops a performance of GYPSY in 2009 to throw out some shithead who was taking pictures. Earlier this week Patti took a cellphone away from a theatergoer who was texted. You go, girl!

40 comments:

Amy said...

This has been out for a while but I still love listening to it. I really wish this chain had a location where I live, in Chicago.

Loops said...

Love this. Recently, I was in a theatre watching a terrific live show when an asshat started texting. Wished I had a bag of small, hard things to wing at his head. Next time, I'll have to bake.

Oat Willie said...

I don't see movies in theaters exactly because of rocket scientists like her. Also, I'm not welcome back there.

jcs said...

I once had people right next to me texting during a concert of the Berlin Philharmonics. It was absolutely distracting. The constant movement and the light took me right out of the music. It was an incredible lack of appreciation for the exceptional artists a few metres below who put on a great performance.

After the concert was over, I politely voiced my strong discontent regarding this type of behaviour. Interestingly, two other audience members nearby kind of cheered me on. It felt pretty darn good.

Anonymous said...

"And that's what I love about the South!"

Anna said...

In my country there's a chain of movie theaters that actually has a number you can text if someone is being disruptive during the movie.

"Thanks for making me feel like a customer."

Scott Cason said...

If more people had the stones to stand up to people like this obvious brainiac, she would be able to go to other theaters and text. and yes, it's quite distracting, which is why I also have stopped going to the movies. Well that and the outrageous prices for the drivel that Hollywood is producing now, just ain't worth it anymore.

Scott Cason said...

"she would NOT be able to go to other theaters and text." Got a little head of myself and left out a word.

MikeFab said...

It's not just the texting that's beyond rude and annoying. My wife and I won't spend the money anymore to see top rock/pop acts perform at our city's very nice venues. This is all due to people, and lots of them, holding up their stupid phones, camcorders, or whatever other electronic devices they're attached to so they can record the artists on stage. Talk about aggravating. Back in the day, we enjoyed the lightshows put on by the bands, but nowadays, the only light-shows are being put on by moronic concert-goers. Sheesh, if you want to watch these bands over and over again on video, go buy their CD.

Diane D. said...

If you want to go to a movie theatre and avoid the jerks (and almost everyone else) go at 9:30 in the morning. I'm so spoiled, I get annoyed if there are more than 10 people in the theatre. I have occasionally been the only person there (it's like a private showing). The only down side is that occasionally, in an empty theatre, a creep will come in and sit down right behind me. At those times, an empty, sound proof theatre is a little scary.

Norm! said...

"Magnited States"

The best part!

Johnny Walker said...

For those feeling a little sorry for the caller (if there is anyone out there), it's worth noting that everyone is given two warnings before being asked to leave at the Drafthouse, so she really did have it coming.

One year I went to the cinema something like 80 times and I became pretty adept at stopping people from being annoying throughout the duration of a film. What I found was that if you ask someone to be quiet/stop using their phone, they will probably stop for 10-20 mins, but in that time they'll slowly convince themselves you're an unreasonable asshole, and decide to do it again.

One technique I found was this:

Firstly, try not to get angry. As soon as you turn it into a confrontation, the person is against you and less likely to care that they're bothering you. And, once you're angry, you'll be so worked up that you won't enjoy the movie anyway. After snapping at someone I'd find myself replaying the confrontation over and over in my head, adrenaline pumping around my body, instead of watching the film anyway. No good.

So, instead of getting angry, be as reasonable as humanly possible. Channel your inner Dalai Lama and *genuinely* ask them if it's OK that they stop, explaining that [you don't mean to end their fun] it's just disturbing your experience. Don't be afraid to say "please" -- they really might not know they're disturbing you, after all.

The most important thing is this: Wait for a reply.

If you don't, you're just delaying having the same conversation over the course of the entire movie, in 10 minute intervals, instead of getting it out the way in one go. Which means by the end, you'll be pissed off, they'll be pissed off, and the whole experience will be ruined for everyone. No good.

If they look away without answering, wait for them to look back and then ask, "Is that OK?". Again, don't be afraid to say "please". They will eventually agree, at which point you can sincerely thank them: They've just agreed to not bother you, which is actually pretty nice of them -- and, believe me, they won't bother you again.

thirteen said...

I still rememeber when Frank Langella stopped a performance of Dracula because some jerk took a flash picture, and the play didn't resume until the asshat had been ejected.

YEKIMI said...

I work for a theater company. Sometimes on my off days I'll go see a movie. If someone's yakking or texting on their phone, I'll basically tell them "Turn it off or I'll throw you out." They'll laugh and continue on. So I'll go out and get one of the on-duty managers or employees and have them thrown out. They'll splutter and rage that "You can't do that!" I love the look on their faces when they're told "Yes he can, he's one of the senior managers here. Next time when you're told to turn off your phone...DO IT!" {Oh...they do not get a refund either.] Years ago was in a theater that was showing "Close Encounters of the Third Kind-Directors Cut" [shows you how long ago that this happened] and some drunken asshole kept making comments and just yelling shit at random times. Ignored several people that told him to shut up and a couple got up to complain and it did no good as no one came in to deal with him. Finally fed up, I stormed out and got the manager who was sitting in his office and goofing off with two local cops, on duty no less, and proceeded to tear him a new one that I didn't pay an extra fee to see this directors cut being ruined by some asshole and he damn well better do something or I'd be contacting HIS boss. He turned white as a sheet and looked at the cops and asked them if they could handle this. They marched into the theater and took him out and arrested him for disorderly conduct by intox. The entire theater stood up and applauded when the cops dragged him out. The gutless manager should have been fired because it should have been his job to deal with this moron....by the way that theater chain he worked for is long gone.

YEKIMI said...

I'd also love it if Alamo Drafthouse would open a location near me. I'd be applying in a heartbeat and probably kill anyone who got in my way. Sounds like a company that doesn't tolerate "customers" who act like assholes whether they have a phone or not. Can't stand idiots that think just because they paid their admittance fee they can do whatever they hell they want to.

Igor said...

When I saw "A Passage to India", an Indian woman was sitting by me with her son, and she began it as if it were a travelogue - "And that's where I met your father."

When I asked her to stop, she said, "You can't tell me how I may talk to my own child!" I left, got a free ticket for a later show.

Igor said...

Whoops. "... and she began narrating it as it it were a travelogue..."

Chris said...

I went to see "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" at a theater in L.A. and a woman started to read every single subtitle to her young son. Not a whisper, mind you, but quite loud. I asked her to stop. She did. With attitude. But she did stop.

Igor said...

Whoops II - Moer typos, no more posts for me todya

Traci Klein said...

Of course, then there's the fact that in the second "video" someone must have been illegally recording the sound.... Ah, life's little ironies.

Ken Levine said...

Funny you say that, Traci. I thought of that too. :)

Buttermilk Sky said...

Katharine Hepburn stopped a play to say, "We will wait until one selfish person has finished taking pictures." The selfish person was finished in a hurry. So much more gracious than Laurence Fishburne's legendary "ANSWER THE FUCKING PHONE!"

ScottyB said...

Nothing to do with the theater or Patti LuPone, but rather a Friday Question:

When casting for a part, have you ever run across an actor who has been basically buttonholed (or buttonholed themselves) into a type, but have buttonholed themselves so well into that type that there's no way in hell anyone else could pull off that part nearly as well?

I think of this while watching a rerun of 'Empty Nest' that featured Fred Stoller, better known among most of us as Ray's cousin Gerard on 'Everybody Loves Raymond'.

ScottyB said...

Another Friday Question for Ken, except a two-parter: Now there's a rerun on TV of the 'Ellen' sitcom, and it causes me to recall that Arye Gross was all over the place back then, and very likeable in his roles, but then he pretty much dropped off the planet.

LA is probably full of second-banana actors like this who were actually really good at what they do, and probably made a decent living doing it at some point. Question 1: Is there an particular second-banana actor you have a soft spot for? Question 2: As far as being an actor making a decent living, is there necessarily anything wrong with be a second banana. Yeah, everyone wants to be the star, but that's not what I'm talking about here.

ScottyB said...

As a follow-up to my Friday Question: Joel Murray (brother of Bill) immediately to mind, too. So does Hamish Linklater (the brother on 'New Adventures of Old Christine').

ScottyB said...

I'm thinking Ken Levine needs a blog that allows for editing. Either that, or me not drinking so much hahahahaahahahaahahaha.
]

ScottyB said...

Re my comment about second bananas. It's pretty interesting where You're That Guy! guys turns up these days. Still, it's a living.
http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=furniture+commercial+tell+it+to+the+judge&FORM=VIRE1#view=detail&mid=F2A2885BC49D7EA17E04F2A2885BC49D7EA17E04

Igor said...

Ken, from the NY Times Wayback Machine - March 20, 1978

I don't know how to direct-link it, but go there and then navigate to page 49 -
http://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1978/03/20/issue.html

"TV Tunes In Sex As Crime Fades"

There's a photo with it, captioned - "Marcy Hanson is one the 'Rollergirls,' which starts a limited preview series on NBC April 3."

Among the gems:

"I think the fact that these women are attractive is part of a trend," Stephen Gentry. ABC's West Coast vice president for programming, said.

Several years ago, he continued, viewers warmed to less attractive characters like William Conrad, the portly detective in "Cannon." "Now, I think we are in a period when people relate to slightly less larger than life" characters who are physically attractive, he said.

"slightly less larger than life" - OK.

Morgan Lent said...

Hi, Ken

Friday Question: The screenwriter Craig Mazin was talking on a podcast about that quirky type of plotting that you find in Arrested Development and Seinfeld/Curb. That recursive element, where jokes have a plot of their own. He was wondering if Seinfeld was the first to do that sort of thing. I was wondering if you'd come across any older shows that used the Seinfeld technique, and furthermore: what is that thing Seinfeld does?



Joseph Scarbrough said...

*Sarcasm Mode* I am just baffled that this happened in Texas!

On a serious note, I went to a Bob Newhart show a couple of years ago, and I guess somebody's cellphone kept ringing or alerting or something, because at one point, Newhart paused mid-skit, and said to the particular audience member - while maintaining his German accent - "Shuut zat damn sink off!" Similarly, when to an Art Garfunkel concert not too many years ago, and likewise, he got a little pissy after a while where people apparently kept going to the bathroom in the middle of his performances. But the biggie was when I went to see Jerry Seinfeld in 2009: a security guard had to remove a heckler, and rather than escort him out of the building, he brought him to the back of the theater and began dressing him down for his conduct. Needless to say, many of us in the audience asked the guard and heckler to take it outside so we could enjoy the show, which they finally did. "Are they gone yet?" Asked Jerry when they finally left, which actually got him a laugh and applause.

Clarence Odbody said...

"Of course I've texted in all the other theaters, but *this* time I was using it to find my seat. Your Honor, I rest my case."

Clarence Odbody said...

"And thank you for making me feel like a plaintiff."

Darren said...

An oft-overlooked skill on the baseball field (by the way, she's 10):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJVdRuJy6oI

Albert Giesbrecht said...

I went to a Bill Cosby performance 10 years ago in Vancouver, and he stopped the show to berate a young guy for talking on his phone, Cosby called him a drug dealer and talked to the person on the other side of the phone.

Jake Mabe said...

All these years, I had no idea I was actually living in the Magnited States of America.

God, that's funny.

Loosehead said...

Joseph Scarborough, you mentioned that Seinfeld needed a heckler to be physically removed. It seems unusual for a comedian as good as him to need security to remove a heckler rather than destroying him with humour. The best I've seen is a Brit comedian called Jimmy Carr, but I can't provide any examples in a family forum like this. His put-downs are on YouTube.

Joseph Scarbrough said...

Jerry didn't ask for the heckler to be removed, security was simply called in because he was being disruptive and arguing with others sitting next to him who were trying to enjoy the show. That being said, I know he joked once on his show that it's the ultimate comedian's revenge to heckle back at hecklers, but Jerry seems to have a little more dignity than that. And again, he didn't even really let it interrupt his set anyway till the guard got the heckler to the back of the theater and began confronting him about his behavior and we all began requesting they take it outside.

Sal Longo said...

ScottyB I am pretty sure Arye Gross plays a recurring character on Castle.

D. McEwan said...

Attending the opera The Barber of Seville at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion once, in $80 seats, when Rossini's famous overture began, the very well-dressed and jewel be-draped woman seated directly in front of me would not shut up, chattering away to her equally begowned and jeweled companion about whatever drivel was on her alleged mind. I asked her to please stop talking, and she replied: "But it's only the overture." I said: "It's a magnificent overture, and neither I nor anyone else around us paid $80 bucks to listen to you run your mouth. We paid to listen to Rossini, now shut the fuck up." She blustered that I was "Rude," but she didn't open her mouth again afterwards.

On another occasion in the same theater, seeing Placido Domingo in Verdi's Otello, the guy sitting next to me had a small cassette tape recorder under his coat on which he was recording the opera, which I became aware of when he distracted me from the opera by popping out the cassette to turn it over and resume. (He had a microphone sticking out of his sleeve cuff. This guy was the Q of opera-stealers.) At intermission I turned that chump into the ushers, who came and took his recorder away from him, but let him stay.

Seeing Miss Saigon on Broadway, our experience of the show was interrupted mid-way through act one when the Asian usherette began screeching at a man she'd found with a small video camera, recording the performance. I've never forgotten her screaming at this man: "This show cost four million dollar, and you think you can tape for free?" (Well, not for Free. Those tickets were pricey.) "You stealing show! This show cost four million dollar. You get out now. This show cost four million dollar! You no record it for free. You think you can steal four million dollar show?" The man and his camera were both ejected, and we all learned what it cost to stage .

sumerlad said...

AS a guy who struggles with weight myself, the funny thing to me is that William Conrad doesn't look all that fat compared to the numerous 3 or 4 hundred pound guys you see shopping or walking down the street these days.