I went to see Solo yesterday at our local cinema. Indiana Mall Cinema charges only $5 for a ticket on Monday and throws in free popcorn. This is a powerful incentive for seeing movies on Monday if it is at all convenient. It’s hard to pass up a good deal, and I appreciate the Monday movie package, something that relieves me of the need inveigh against the high price of movie popcorn.
The show time for Solo was listed as 12:15. I arrived just after noon, not knowing whether a summer movie in a popular franchise available at a discount would result in a long line of patrons. I needn’t have bothered; only a dozen or so people showed up, and I had my choice of seats.
That I had to wait to see the movie wasn’t a problem; I finished reading a New Yorker article on my phone and most of my popcorn before the advertised start time. Meanwhile, for much of the wait, I watched—could have watched, anyway—the Noovie “pre-show,” a collection of mostly ads from National CineMedia. Noovie tries hard to be entertaining and is at least a little informative. I saw promotions for Incredibles 2, for example, a sequel to a picture I found charming.
When 12:15 rolled around, I expected to see previews or perhaps even the movie itself. Instead, I was subjected to advertising for 15 minutes, including advertising for television programs! I felt like a hostage. One of the joys of going to the movies used to be escaping the barrage of television advertising. No more!
Finally, at 12:30, a more conventional program began—a succession of previews of coming attractions.
At 12:38, the actual movie began. By this time, both my patience and popcorn were long gone. And the movie was just so-so, not one of the better Star Wars efforts. Maybe next time, I’ll have more patience, skip the movie theater experience altogether, and watch Netflix.
In the meantime, why can’t movie houses advertise the time movies actually start? Some people value their time and do not appreciate being held hostage so they can be shown advertising.