Mass Audiences Need a Jolt — or Shot

In one of those quirky only in Philadelphia at Christmas time stories that television media rolls with for days, a man shot a loud movie theater patron in the arm for making too much noise during the film. According to Newsweek, James Joseph Ciallela shot the man because he couldn’t keep a lid on his unruly family. Finally! I applaud someone for standing up to the masses that behave in theaters like they do in malls. I disagree with the means by which Ciallela handled the encounter at the United Artists Riverview Stadium theater, but serious filmgoers have been silenced too long. It wasn’t long ago, before all of our mobile devices, that we went to the theater solely to see the movie; attended a concert simply  for the music, or participated in a sporting event to support the home team. Now these pastimes have been relegated to hangouts, places to see and be seen. Most in attendance chat away on their cell phones; people come in clusters and talk amongst themselves and others are just moving around to scan the crowds for people they know. The experience has been sobering to real fans, resulting in the loss of Hollywood revenue, concert ticket sales and lackluster crowds at professional sporting events for even the most dominant of teams like the 24-6 Orlando Magic. It’s time these entities consider creating a true fan-friendly environment. The problem with appeasing mass culture is the fact that it sours an industry’s true supporters, and history has shown us that the disloyal masses move on from one entertainment source to another: the venue, event, film, band doesn’t matter, as long as they’re entertained, distracted and connected. But they won’t be the ones filling the seats when crowds start thinning out. Now I’m not sure anyone will.

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One response to “Mass Audiences Need a Jolt — or Shot

  1. so to revise Seinfeld’s order of operations for annoying movie patrons,

    Initial annoyance, use a half-turn with a slanted eye-roll.
    Second annoyance, use a full-turn with a direct eye contact.
    Third annoyance, use a full-turn with a warning, for example “Excuse me, could you keep it down.”
    Fourth annoyance, pull out your gat and bust a cap in the offender’s arm.

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