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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

March 8, 2011 at 10:23 AM

A sleeping moviegoer, a drooping box office — and a poll

Last night, at a screening of “Red Riding Hood,” the woman next to me fell asleep. I noticed when her breathing became loud, almost like a snore, and I turned to look and saw that her head was flopped over. Her friend nudged her and she woke up, but really, I would have let her sleep. There wasn’t much to be awake for.
So far, it’s been a terrible year at the box office: Revenues are down 20 percent from the same period last year, and attendance down 21 percent. Entertainment Weekly, a week or two ago, devoted a large story to the fact that fewer of us are going to the movies, and pointed to a handful of theaters around the country (including our own The Big Picture, in Seattle and Redmond) that are trying to reverse the trend by offering amenities to make moviegoing a more pleasant experience. (Such as: a full bar, reclining seats, unique snacks.) But I’m not at all sure that upgrading movie theaters will make the slightest difference: Cellphones, to my mind, are the single reason that going out to the movies isn’t as much fun as it used to be. (I’d make a point of giving my business to a cinema with the nerve to make its theaters — though not the lobby — a cellphone dead zone. Would you? Anyone heard of a theater doing this?) My opinion, though, doesn’t really count; I go to the movies several times a week, don’t pay for my ticket, and am required to stay even if I don’t like what I’m seeing. Are you going to movies less often — and are you, like the sleeping lady next to me last night, not especially engaged by the experience? Tell me why. And, in the comments, tell us what might make you go more often.

Why are you going to the movies less often?survey software

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