Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Solution for the Majestic

The Majestic 20 is not in the Regal Entertainment Group theater chain. It'd be a lot cooler if it was, because we could really use some of these.

This week, Regal Entertainment Group will significantly expand a program to give selected patrons wireless devices to anonymously alert the manager of disruptions.


If I had one of those, I'd be calling in management every time a cellphone went off. On vibrate. If I were the device manufacturer, though, I’d add a laser targeting system so that theater staff (or better yet, cops) could come in wearing special glasses that would allow them to perceive a laser beam identifying the offender. I'd also re-label the buttons in the following manner to make them more relevant:

#1 - Boost Mobile - Person carrying on an entire conversation using the walkie-talkie feature on their mobile phone. ("Where you at?" "I'm up in the Majestic annoying the shit out of the whole theater!")



#2 - Sound - This one would remain as-is. I once sat through an entire movie at the Majestic where the sound was barely audible. I went and asked someone if they could check on it but I could tell she didn’t give a damn. I ended up sitting through what was a hare’s breath away from being a silent movie. With my version of the device, a member of the staff would be fitted with a belt that would administer an electric shock of ever-increasing voltage. This would only be turned off once I determine that the theater's sound is at an adequate level.

#3 - Baby - This one is self-explanatory. It will also automatically alert child services.

#4 - Dumb Girlfriend/Boyfriend - Someone continually explaining “what is going on” using a full-volume speaking voice to their date who can't seem to grasp a single plot point in the entire film.

The real trick to seeing movies at the Majestic is to know what movies you can and can't view without constant disturbances. I've found that if you select more serious fare, you can usually watch a movie in peace. (Although I don't put anything past theatergoers in Silver Spring, having been forced to listen to someone talk/phone through the entirety of Babel at the AFI.) Saw III, probably not so much. I have found that some movies are actually more enjoyable to watch with, uh, "audience participation".

The way things are going, you'll probably end up needing one of these babies, too. I was downtown Saturday Night and was disappointed to discover they didn't take my advice with regard to the use of armored vehicles, however they did have a paddy wagon parked outside the entrance to the theater. Seriously, someday someone is going to get shot and that area will seriously regress as a result. People won't feel safe taking their kids and Downtown Silver Spring could turn into an outdoor City Place. (Sorry, I mean Silver Plaza.)

UPDATE: Another possible solution - pipe in classical music.



13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should stay home and rent a movie.

Sligo said...

Thank you for your sage advice. While I do indeed have an account with Netflix and frequently view movies in my home, I don't have the patience to wait for some films to be released to video. I don't think that it's too much to expect that for $9.75 I can get a decent theater experience.

Thayer Avenue said...

If they required extensive background checks and only issued the devices to those deemed worthy, perhaps they could equip us with tasers. That way there would be no need to call external authorities.

And my guess is that "anonymous" above should hang up the phone when he/she is at the movies.

Capt. Jack Sparrow said...

I ventured back to the Majestic after months away to catch "Pirates" on Sunday night (a holiday weekend, too)--and there was no misbehavior! It was amazing!

I do think Downtown Silver Spring should pipe in some classical music, or maybe just some jazz like Miles, Coltrane, Blakey.... I always think the jungle drum music they have going (as you enter the fountain area from the parking garage) is a strange choice--it makes it seem as if one is walking into a themed water park. And don't get me wrong, I have plenty of jungle drum records in my collection.

Eileen said...

I don't have a cell phone, but considered getting one very seriously after seeing the one cell phone company's theater "commercial," in which the jerk in the theater on a cell is ejected from his seat and flung at the screen.

Sligo said...

That would be Inconsiderate Cellphone Man. I like that actor - he's appeared in two of my all-time favorite shows: Arrested Development and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

taleswapper said...

Why don't theaters just use paint that prevents cell phone signals?

http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Quirks/2006/03/01/new_paint_blocks_out_cell_phone_signals/7150/

Debbie Cook said...

Sligo,
Like the new pic of you and Love the new Masthead for your blog.

silver spring penguin said...

Major props for the new banner. And even bigger props for the pic of ...

Shake zula / The mike rulah / The old schoolah / You wanna trip? I'll bring it to ya!

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