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Tuesday Night at the Movies

By RD Heldenfels Published: October 17, 2006

Went to a screening of ''Flags of Our Fathers'' tonight and I'll have plenty to say about it soon, virtually all of it favorable. But I was also reminded of why I have often been content to watch movies at home, swapping the lack of a larger screen for a little peace. Some people can be remarkable jerks.

This was a night screening, a mix of press with people who one way or another had received free passes to the movie. Seats near the center of the theater had signs reserving them for press, with the rest of the theater up for grabs.

Of course, the free seats in the rest of the theater weren't good enough for some folks. So they parked in the press section, even removing the reserved markers to hide what they were doing. A couple of them even claimed to represent a publication. The publicist knew better, but the interlopers refused to move. With some help, she persuaded a couple to get out of the press section, but another group stayed firmly in their seats, arguing with the publicist the entire time.

When these boneheads had arrived, there were plenty of acceptable seats in the theater. I know, because I was there before they were. But they were quite amused with themselves, muttering about how they planned to write about the movie, and making jokes at the end about not having taken notes.

Now, they didn't take my seat. As I said, I was planted. But I can't understand those people's rudeness. It wasn't just that they ignored clear instructions. It was that they unnecessarily made life miserable for the publicist, who was just trying to take care of the reporters who might not be pleased to miss out on a decent seat. (The theater grew ever more crowded.) And those reporters' goal would be to  help you decide how to spend your money on a movie that, again, the seat heisters were getting to see for free.

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