Evelyn Hannon: Aging Disgracefully


Help! I'm Captive in a Movie Theatre

I'm angry and not going to take it anymore!

Something you might not know about me: I was 45 when I went back to school to get my Bachelor of Arts with a major in Film and Communication. I studied script writing, editing, film history, and film analysis. For five glorious years I lived and breathed movies and loved it. 

In 1989 I accepted an internship with a production company filming in North America and the Middle East. I went from being a messenger on set to the company's production coordinator. My name is in the movie's credits and I absolutely adored the experience.

During the Nineties, my appreciation of film magically meshed with my love of travel. This led to attendance at film festivals in Israel, Rotterdam, Montreal, Edinburgh, Creteil, Paris, and back home to Toronto. I helped to organize a Festival of Canadian Womens' films in Jerusalem and for two years in a row I rented the flat of the box office manager of the Edinburgh Film Festival while attending the festival there.
Back then I lived the part. I had very big, curly hair, big sunglasses, dressed in glitzy clothes and was invited to lots of 'cinema industry' parties.
Fast forward to today. My hair is now straight, I never wear sunglasses and am seldom invited to any parties at all. However, I still absolutely adore going to the movies—Indie films, documentaries, foreign films and even Hollywood films. You name them, they give me joy. 
I love the ritual of choosing my flick and buying my ticket along with my big bag of popcorn. I head for my favorite seat in the house (the last row smack in the middle) and I settle in anticipating the film I've so carefully chosen. 
And then ... the dreaded onslaught begins! Commercials about cars, music videos, phone plans, products, products and more products all delivered in decibels so loud that I have to cover my ears. And, to add insult to injury, the things being touted are of absolutely no interest to my demographic. I no longer drive fast cars on winding mountain roads, the music videos are the ones my grandchildren enjoy and I don't need a new phone plan to text my pals to meet me at clubs. I counted 10 of these horridly loud meaningless messages the last time I went to the movies.
For me, the lovely mood of anticipating the film has now been shattered. Instead my senses are being assaulted in the worst possible way and there seems no escape. 
In my head I'm shouting, 'Wake up movie industry moguls. My Boomer pals and I hate being held captive in your theaters. I'm paying you to see a movie. I'm not paying you to screen loud commercials that someone else is paying you to screen.' 
Surely there are others in the audience who feel exactly as I do. Let's not all be obedient little lambs being held captive in advertisement hell.  I invite both young and older movie lovers to  join me in rhythmic clapping when these pre-show ads appear on the screen. Hoot and holler if you like but make your displeasure known.
Let's show them we're angry and we're not going to take it anymore!