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Vickroy: Moviegoers, please stop trashing the theater

Time:2018-09-14 18:25Shoes websites Click:

Please Stop theater Vickroy Moviegoers

Sometimes it seems our whole world is a mess.

And that there’s little we can do about it.

Not true. We can drop our jumbo soda cups in the trash on our way out of the cinema, can’t we?

I have been to the movies three times in the last three weeks – a record of some sort, for me anyway.

I have nothing against movies but for so long I disliked going to the cinema. The darkness, the uncomfortable sensation of my shoes sticking to the floor, the sound at full volume and the feeling of being trapped should something go awry.

Mostly, what I’ve disliked about the movies has been moviegoers. People coming in late and parking themselves and their winter coats right next to you. People talking and checking their phones. People bringing small children to see violent and inappropriate films and then shushing them when they cry.

Of course, today many things about cinemas have changed for the better.

You can buy your tickets and choose your seats in advance. And what seats they are, spacious, comfy, many with reclining and even heating options. The airlines could take a few pointers, for sure.

And these days, you don’t have to spike your blood sugar and test your will on a five-gallon tub of popcorn or two pounds of M&Ms, although that option still exists.

In some posh theaters, you can order a meal or at least a pizza or salad. And you can bypass that two-liter bucket of soda for a beer or glass of wine.

The choices are almost endless. I suspect, however, most patrons stick with the old standby, judging from the evidence trail.

Although the cinema experience has definitely been upscaled, and I, for one, have returned to the movies, it seems elevating the product isn’t necessarily enough to elevate the customer.

Each time I left these past few visits I had to wonder what kind of frat party was going on while I was getting into the storyline. It didn’t seem to matter the kind of film — comedy, dark comedy, serious — during each exit shuffle people stood up and willfully walked away from garbage left on their chairs. Some stepped over their own mess to get to the aisle.

I can only imagine the dexterity one needs to shove a large round popcorn bucket under a recliner. But there they were.

I also imagine it must be hard for even the most dedicated cinema employee to keep up.

This last time, at a movie palace not far from our home, we actually had to move trash to sit in our seats.

I wonder if a sort of reckless abandon comes over people when the lights go down.

Then again, they do the same thing at outdoor concerts, baseball games, beaches and parks — and often in broad daylight.

I mean, truly, why is it OK to spit peanut shells into the air? Why is it OK to shove greasy nacho containers and hot dog wrappers under the seat? And why do people simply pick up and leave their mess on the ground when there are trash cans in plain view?

Is it a lack of personal responsibility, bad hygiene, a revolt on manners? Or do they live this way at home?

I recall one particular outing, a Jimmy Buffett concert at a south suburban venue, during which seemingly everyone swayed and sang to the notion of living out our days in paradise. After the lights went up and the crowd cleared, the lawn area looked like a hurricane had come through.

We made our way across the landfill of leis, cups and the occasional flip flop to the parking lot, which was equally trashed.

I know what you’re thinking: “Go get a tetanus shot, fun sucker.”

Look, I love a good time as much as anyone. It’s just that I’m conditioned to clean up afterward. I don’t feel a sense of empowerment when I leave a mess in someone else’s space. I feel gross, actually.

Not that I’m a neat freak. My laundry piles up. I’ve been known to wait until morning to wash the dinner dishes. But I am mindful of keeping my mess in my backyard.

I’m sure my parents had something to do with instilling a quest for neatness. When you have six kids, order is essential.

But I also think picking up after yourself is a way of showing a bit of respect to your fellow human beings at a time when there seems to be so little of that going around.

We can’t do much about the mess in government or some of our once-revered institutions. We can’t unsee a lot of the rubbish that goes viral on Twitter. And those of us in landlocked areas can’t wade out and help skim that Great Pacific Garbage Patch that is enough to give me a nervous tic.

But, you know what we can do? We can drop that soda cup in the trash on our way out of the cinema. If an empty nacho tray accidentally slips from our greasy hands, we can bend over and pick it up. And once we’re finished with our ballpark hot dog, we can walk that wrapper right to the garbage en route to the restroom or the exit.

Such gestures may not change the world, or make the unscrupulous come clean, or restore order at the helm of our nation, but it might give the universe some balance.

At the very least it will give those of us who live our lives on the edge of our seats trying to yin-yang the constant chaos an opportunity to relax and enjoy a movie.

dvickroy@tribpub.com

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