First World Problems in a Movie Theater

I can do things by myself, mom! OKAY? GEEZ.

But seriously. I can.

I have no problem shopping alone. Eating alone. Traveling alone. And bathing alone is definitely non-negotiable.

Uh, this may prove problematic.

Uh, this may prove problematic.

I can even see movies alone. I don’t very often, mostly because I’m lazy and it requires leaving the house and forcing my corneas toward bright, bright sunlight, but yesterday I went to see The Conjuring all on my lonesome.

Alone, in a darkened theater, yesterday’s inner monologue went something like this:

please no one sit by me

really? You need a large popcorn?

don’t sit in front of me don’t sit in front of me –damn it

hey, why is there a kid here

nearest exit? check

ethan hawke still has an acting career…huh

this Dolby Surround Sound sounds rapey

i feel like Patrick Wilson is a robot

ugh why did I buy that popcorn

man, i should have bought that exorcism kit when i had the chance

ron livingston…mama like… 


As you can probably tell, this isn’t a blog post about the movie. (Side note: It was very Poltergeist-y, well-plotted and well-acted. I enjoyed it.) This is a post about the movie going experience and why I don’t do the things I did yesterday.

1) Sugary Liquids and Popcorn are not your friends

Because I’m all about living life large and having delicious first world problems I decided to treat myself to a small popcorn and a Cherry ICEE. I giggled when placing the order. I felt so carefree and youthful.

Twenty minutes later, halfway through the ICEE and bag of popcorn, I had a sugar buzz and an uncomfortable stomach. Oily butter coated my tongue. I longed for a toothbrush. I regretted my purchase. It made me wish for simpler things. Like being a kid again, slurping down juice boxes with abandon and throwing rocks at cars.

Instead, I pulled an Arrowhead Water I had smuggled in out of my purse and settled for being a boring old square.

2) People annoy the shit out of me

Really? there’s an usher and a flashlight in my face right when shit’s getting real?

Oh, hey, man who’s moving in front of me through a crucial plot point, thanks for that.

Yo, ladies behind me, ever heard of an inside voice? The movie’s starting. No one needs your dissertation on Bradley Cooper’s hair style.

So now comes to the worst part. The part that seriously had me on edge. The two women in front of me ate popcorn in a way that had me considering murder.

Though there is no instruction manual on how to eat popcorn correctly, it’s not that complicated. I don’t know about you, but I full throttle force a palmful into my mouth at one time. Then I chew that buttery goodness. Two steps. That’s it.

Two. Steps.

These women would pick up a piece – just one piece – and nibble on it. Goddamn nibble like bunny rabbits. One bite. Two bites. Three. At first I leaned forward because I honestly thought they were cracking open pistachios, the sound was so loud.

This continued throughout the entire movie.

I considered pouring that ICEE on top of their heads.

“Almost,” I whispered to myself in the dark.

3) The scary movie atmosphere is tainted

In my opinion, you need to focus on a horror movie more than you would on a drama or action flick when it’s seen in the theater. You need to get into it to really feel the thrills.

In an action movie where Jason Bourne is running around, you don’t have to be too engrossed to see him leaping from rooftops or roundhouse kicking villains.

"Ho hum. He's running again."

“Ho hum. He’s running again.”

In a horror movie, you have to have that vibe. That cocoon of creep.

Unfortunately, as I realized yesterday, with the masses around it’s pretty much damn near impossible to achieve.

Sure, I shrieked a couple of times at The Conjuring but it doesn’t compare to a few nights ago when I watched the Evil Dead in the comfort of my own home, screaming so loud the cats fled. In a theater, you censor yourself. You don’t fully get the psychological experience. Maybe I’m curmudgeonly but I like my horror movies scary. Christ, I paid nine bucks for a ticket, ain’t nobody got time for ADD at a horror movie.

And so, after yesterday, I learned that when it comes to watching scary movies I’m better off staying home. Home. All alone. With my couch, dim lights, and no human contact.


Isn’t this how a horror movie begins?

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  • Reply

    susan tepper

    July 28, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Jules the last time I went to a movie in a movie theatre, a fight broke out over someone using a cell phone. That capped it for me. Netflix now. Loved your piece, so “Jules”….

    • Reply


      July 29, 2013 at 5:51 am

      Susan, yes Netflix is the way to go. Thanks for reading.

  • Reply

    val dering rojas

    July 29, 2013 at 3:25 am

    Scarier than that is the price of tickets here compared to yours. But yeah, agreed on all points.

  • Reply


    July 29, 2013 at 4:33 am

    We used to sit behind other kids we didn’t like and drop sticky, half-consumed Dots in their hoody so when the movie was over and they walked home, they’d end up with gooey Dots in their hair.

    • Reply


      July 29, 2013 at 5:51 am

      THAT is fabulous. Thanks for the writing fodder.

  • Reply


    July 29, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    I can’t remember the last time I went to a theater and had to sit closer than four seats away from someone. I’ve never been interrupted by an usher, and the oddly rare occasion of obnoxious people talking or eating loudly, for me, is usually remedies quickly or with a quick change of seating. Perhaps in large cities, once can’t just shift seats, but I think the last movie with more than 40% of seats filled was The Hobbit, opening night. Perhaps I’m just ridiculously lucky with theaters, ’cause I hear horror stories and have never once seen them come true with my own eyes.

  • Reply


    July 29, 2013 at 6:11 pm


  • Reply


    July 29, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    You have me howling with laughter right now! I can only imagine what would have happened to those annoying women if we were together at that movie!
    I have never been to a movie by myself- only because I need someone else there to whine and complain about the other people.
    Oh. Now I see where I get that from!
    <3 this!

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