Matt Rodriguez's picture
By Matt Rodriguez

Since when did 12:30 mean 1:00?

It’s been a while since I paid to see a movie or even been to a theater when it wasn’t a screening. This past weekend, I took my father to see The Hangover, which is absolutely hilarious by the way. Now I understand how ridiculous going to the movies is. And no, I’m not talking about the price of admission or snacks…

The family and I went to a 12:30 showing. Not having to arrive an hour and a half before hand as I usually do with films was a nice little perk but once I got in the theater, oh how I wished I was at a screening. The following is what I had to sit though before the movie started.

As I walked into the auditorium, AMC’s First Look entertainment shindig was playing. This was fine as it was probably about 12:20 and most theaters do something like this to keep the audience occupied until the previews begin. Once 12:30, the time for the film to ‘begin,’ rolled around, the whole ‘please silence your cell phones’ campaign began. Instead of just displaying a simple 10 clip like I’ve seen in the past, AMC has dedicated an entire trailer to this, chimpanzee included. Then played an announcement tell you where the emergency exits were and what to do in case of a fire. This was new to me.

Following this was ads for products such as phone service and other crap that people don’t want to hear about while at the movies. Then came the previews. Finally, it was almost time for the movie to begin. Looking at my watch, it was about 12:40. Not too bad. Usually I’m the guy who enjoys watching previews but on this particular outing, I just wanted to see Zach Galifianakis make jokes about the Holocaust, 9/11, and jack off a baby. The previews ended and I breathed a sigh of relief. The movie was about to begin…or so I thought.

Much to my surprise, I was treated to another announcement to turn off all cell phones. I guess people got bored during all the ads and previews and decided to do a little Twittering or Facebooking during them. After that was AMC’s own promotion for their snacks and whatnot. Finally, after 25 minutes of sitting through this mostly pointless drivel, the movie began.

So my point is this. Since when did a 12:30 showing of a film become 1:00? Has it really been that long since I’ve been to a normal film? Not to sound like some old geezer who used to walk to school in the snow, uphill both ways, but what I remember was a short announcement to turn off your devices followed by previews and then the movie. There was none of this ad nonsense. What happened?

By the time the movie actually started, I had practically forgotten what I came to watch. Maybe it was just the theater I was at or even an AMC thing but it definitely was ridiculous. Now I understand why screenings are so much better (aside from the fact that they’re free). You don’t have to sit though 30 minutes of stupid ads and promotions. They say the film is going to start at 7:30 and indeed it does.