Ah, nothing like going to see a film in a real movie theater! It’s so ironic. The theaters in Los Angeles now have stadium seating so nobody’s head in is the way. The sound is digital. Before the film an announcement plays regarding shutting off cell phones and not talking through the film. (but, of course, the moment the film starts people start talking.) Anyway, the theaters and Film studios pay a lot of money to upgrade the theater going experience (and charge $9.50 to $14.00 for tickets!) Wow, no wonder the new batch of films keep surpassing the older (and sometimes better) films in total box-office grosses. And yet, before the film starts we must sit through 30 minutes of commercials (Yes) music videos, and of course the dozen or so movie trailers and concession stand advertisements. Okay, I don’t mind one or two trailers – I expect them and some are fun – but the theaters are pushing it. Not only that but all the trailers are the same. Loud explosion followed by blah, blah, blah, the another loud explosion followed by more blah, blah, blah and of course the rapid editing (it’s just possible we’ve sat through the entire film at high speed) and of course the same voice over artist (Can’t Hollywood get any one else – any one?)This guy must be a millionaire ten times over. Then there are the commercials – now if I wasn’t paying for the ticket I can understand – But I am paying, and about $3.00 more this year then the last few years. By the time the film started I was exhausted. I would prefer to stay at home and by the film on DVD for about the same $10 bucks. Now to get to the popcorn. Popcorn is a fact of movie theater life. It's the good, the bad and the ugly all rolled into one $5.00 - $6.00 purchase. We all grew up eating are way through “Star Wars” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and all those Disney matinees. We were conditioned. Now, with all the advertising expense to get our butts in the theater seats, I go to see Kevin Costner’s “Open Range” – a Western, which I usually enjoy, but Hollywood doesn’t make them anymore than they do the musical which I also enjoy (Thank Rob Marshall for “Chicago”) “Open Range” begins and the people around me start tearing into their candy bars, popcorn and cheese covered nachos (ugh!) they also begin talking (the film starts off slow, and it’s a wonderful film which I highly recommend it, but they start talking. It’s just like the circus. Or have people just forgotten they’re no longer in their living rooms? As the film progresses some audience members need to use the restrooms (All the super-Sized sodas I’ll have to guess) Oh, but there’s no carpet on the steps so we clearly hear each echo of each clomp, clomp, clomp as the person walks down 30 steps (they were in sitting the back) Hmm, I guess they forgot to walk quietly, or all the loud explosions from the trailer has caused them to become temporarily deaf. Now, I don’t mind the circus, but I’ve become spoiled. Living in Los Angeles I attend many screenings at the Motion Picture Academy. The Academy has the BEST sound system in the state (maybe the country) the seats are comfortable, the films are usually from new or restored prints. They audience is also VERY RESPECTFUL of the theater going experience – most seem to be made up of industry people and film buffs) The academy charges $5.00, unless it’s award season, then it’s free to members and their guests. The Academy does not allow food in the theater – it would ruin the plush red carpet, and annoy the person sitting next to you. Theaters use to have a smoking section, Wouldn’t it be great if they had an eating section too. (Were people always such pigs when it came to eating popcorn?) I wouldn’t mind if there were a few theaters in each city that were higher scale and didn’t remind one of attending the circus. A theater where you can’t buy popcorn, or have cell phones (Wait I believe they call it Broadway – no popcorn just expensive chocolate and gummy fruit flavored sweets, and hey isn’t there a fine if your cell phone now goes off in a Broadway theater? – Yes, there is. When the film of “Oklahoma!” opened 47 years ago, the Rivoli Theater didn’t allow popcorn, they charged a higher price, and offered Todd-AO prints and Six-channel sound systems, after it played a year or so it went to the general public and the “Circus” audience showed up (I believe some call them Joe-Six pack, but these include many other types also) By the way, except for the gun shots “Open Range” is a pretty quiet film. Maybe that’s why I was so aware of the crunching and munching and crinkling of the (no longer paper tubs) but cheaper paper popcorn bags. I guess I’ll just have to wait for award season to start up, but a high-class theater, screening first run blockbusters would still be a dream come true. I know there’s more gold in theater popcorn then in box office receipts, but why go through all the expense of upgrading a theater and not upgrading it’s audience?