20 May 1973 |
Los Angeles Times
Now that it seems the quality of movies is improving, it also seems to be more and more difficult to find a place suitable for viewing good cinema. To be sure, there are many fine theaters in the Los Angeles area, but good audiences are fast becoming a thing of the past. There are some in every audience who seem to feel that their jokes and comments are more important than anything that might be happening on the screen.
Not the least of the problem is that young people today have no chance to really learn how to be a good audience, because they are rarely in a situation where "audience manners" can make or break a performance. Television has conditioned us to talk, eat, sleep, or do almost anything while performers are working, because no matter what we do in front of our own private screen, we bother no one.
I feel that, periodically, theaters should post signs or run trailers reminding their patrons that "Conversation may disturb those around you -- please enjoy the film without talking," or some similar advice. This would serve to educate movie-goers as to how to enjoy a picture instead of merely attend one.
It is interesting to note that In "adult movie" houses, where the film fare is generally agreed to be of lesser quality, not a word is ever heard from the audience. Why is it, then, that when our minds can be enriched by a first-rate cinema experience, we audiences must open our mouths and spoil it all?