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Typing on MacBook Pro

Photo | aless&ro

When I get a chance to see a movie, I expect a fairly high quality viewing experience. I can forgive the occasional dim projector bulb or slightly low volume level… but sometimes, the theater’s presentation of a film is so poor that I have to run out into the lobby and let the management know. When this doesn’t work, which it rarely does… I write ‘A Letter To A Movie Theater Owner’.

Dear Marginally Successful Movie Theater Owner,

How are you? If you just answered that question out loud, I wouldn’t be surprised. Anyway, I recently came into your theater and purchased a ticket for ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon 3D’. Boy, I was in for quite a surprise! I didn’t realize that this film’s audio was mixed so that the surround sound speakers were 5x louder than the front. I didn’t even realize this was a new trend in Hollywood filmmaking! Boy do I feel stupid now! Believe you me, I used to enjoy being able to hear the character’s dialogue clearly during the course of a film, but sir, I’m not one to stand in the way of Hollywood progress.

When I sat down in your theater, I was immediately impressed by the seven people who also chose to see this film. Shia LaBeouf’s performance always makes me laugh! Although in this performance I noticed that he chose to speak in a dampened tone, as if talking through a closed sleeping bag. For a moment I questioned this, but then I realized, what do I know?! I’m just an average Joe! I’ll leave the real filmmaking to the professionals. When the battle sequences began further into the film, I noticed that the majority of these seven people were startled by the significant difference in volume levels between the front and surround speakers. What a riot!

Not only were your ticket prices reasonable, but I feel as if I got twice the return on my investment! During the heavy dialogue parts of the film, I not only got to enjoy Michael Bay’s fine craftsmanship but I also had the pleasure of hearing every comment from the women behind my seat. Usually, due to the volume level of the film I’m seeing, I’m unable to hear others’ comments. But sir, I’ve seen the light! Instead of spending paltry time researching movie reviews after the film, thanks to these women I was able to hear an immediate film review… during the film!

I just wanted to take a few minutes and write you a letter of appreciation. This experience taught me a lot. Hollywood filmmaking involves a variety of subtle techniques that the layman (like myself) just can’t understand. Audio, video, projector, camera… It’s just a whirlwind of information that frankly, I’m choosing to leave in the hands of the professionals.

Thank you again!

Andrew Silanskas
Average Citizen


UPDATE: Well, three days later… they responded! I was slightly concerned that my sarcasm was too subtle in my email to them, but it looks like they actually understood my sentiments.

Dear Mr. Silanskas,
Thank you for your feedback on your recent visit to our theater in *****.  Our sound tech has been alerted to the issues you mention and they will be addressed.  The sound system at this location is one of the best available and we will not tolerate sub-par presentation.  I know you have many entertainment options and I appreciate you choosing ***** Cinemas.
***** *****
***** Cinemas
District Manager

Wow, It actually worked?! I guess I’ll find out soon if they actually did anything about it or if they just send a generic email to everyone who complains. I’m skeptical… but hopeful (but mostly skeptical).