Worst Movie Theater Experiences Ever

  • Terrible cinema experiences

    When we pay $12.75 to sit in a chair for two hours and watch Julia Roberts or Clive Owen talk, or blow things up, we expect certain things. A clean seat, tasty popcorn, and most importantly, a body-fluid free experience.  It’s an unwritten contract forged between moviegoer and movie theater. And usually the contract is honored and movie theaters prove to be quiet spaces that provide several hours of escape from tawdry relationships, stressful jobs, money woes and health problems. But sometimes the contract is broken, and that can lead to trouble. Here are some true stories of filthy, creepy and regrettable cinema experiences. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Vampire pee
  • Vampire pee

    From Jen: “After waiting in line for an hour with pubescent teens for the opening night of Twilight: New Moon (I like to pretend to enjoy this series), my friends and I pushed our way to some awesome seats right behind that bar you can put your feet on.  So, we sit down and get comfortable as the teens flood in around us.  After sitting in my seat for a few minutes, i noticed my butt was feeling cold, and kind of wet.  I touched the seat... WET!  I touched my butt... soaking wet.  Stood up, took a wiff, and it was officially a seat full of urine.  And not a tiny dabble of poor little kid pee. This is a full grown adult bladder that was released onto that seat.  We quickly moved seats, had a fight with an 18 year old boy who wanted those seats, moved again.  And, I sat in soaking wet underwear and jeans for the rest of the movie.  (Wet from someone elses pee).  Disgusting.” So the seat’s previous user obviously couldn’t handle the ups and downs of Twilight: New Moon. Will Edward protect Bella?!! Photo Credit: Twilight The Movie
    Chewed out
  • Chewed out

    From Erin: “Admittedly, I'm a bit, um, hyper about people talking in movie theaters. It's like fingers on a blackboard to me. That said...this experience has to rank among my worst:  Several years ago, my husband and I went to the movies. I can't remember what we saw, but it was a thriller, one of the ones where the end consisted of a very quiet scene, waiting for the bad guy to leap out or get shot or something.  A few rows in front of us and to our left, a couple had been chatting--loudly--throughout the entire movie. By the time we got to the big dramatic finale, I'd had enough. They were too far away to just let out a big ‘SSSHHHHSSS’ without disturbing the entire theater, so I got up and walked over to them. I leaned down and said, ‘Would you mind please stopping talking just through the end of the movie?’” Click next to see how this saga ends… Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Chewed out, part two
  • Chewed out, part two

    Erin continues: “I then walked back to my seat and sat down, and they shut up.  After the movie, we were standing outside, and a little guy in a wife-beater (this was in Florida) accompanied by a big-haired woman marched right up. He said--and I quote—‘Are you f****n stupid?!? If you don't want people to talk, why do you come to the movies?’ He then proceeded to call me a slew of unrepeatable nasty names… We left the theater somewhat shocked. I had not realized until he was good enough to inform me that people are SUPPOSED to talk during movies. I've been grateful ever since for his enlightening me to that fact.” Further proof that people who wear wife-beaters to the movie theatre cannot be trusted to give reliable advice about movie theatre etiquette. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Unfriendly follow-up
  • Unfriendly follow-up

    As Consumerist has reported, a moviegoer sent in a rather middle-of-the-road complaint letter to a theater’s management—they were allegedly checking tickets after the film had already started, which is distracting. Also, this moviegoer disliked the fact that the ATM machine was out of cash, and that credit/debit cards are not accepted at this location. So. She gets this email back from a vice president at the company: “Sarah, Drive to White Bear Lake and also go f--k yourself. If you don’t have money for entertainment, get a better job, and don't pay for everything on your credit or check card. You can also shove your time and gas up your f-----g a--. Also, find better things to do with your time. This email is an absolute joke. We don't care to have you as a customer. Let me know if you need directions to white bear lake.” Looks like someone forgot to take their meds. Sarah received an apology email from the same vice president a few hours later. (White Bear Lake is a competing theater in the area.) Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Digestive “issue”
  • Digestive “issue”

    Laura writes in to MainStreet: “My worst movie theatre experience involved sitting near somebody who must have had some sort of digestive issue and I assume was wearing an adult diaper, since the smell was overwhelming from start to finish. It was the opening night of There Will Be Blood in a sold out theatre in Toronto, Canada. If I could re-do that experience, I'd just leave the theatre. I still get nauseated when I think of the movie because the association with the smell is so powerful. As soon as the movie ended, I went home to change and shower because it felt like the smell was still lingering on me.” Laura, I drink your milkshake. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Sleepy snore loser
  • Sleepy snore loser

    Cheryl writes: “Hi David, I saw Lovely Bones recently at the AMC Newport on the Levy in Newport, Ky. and a gentleman was snoring through the entire movie. Super annoying! I've also been at movies where people are talking on phones, texting or talking to each other. I've never had a dirt or cleanliness issue though.” Consider yourself among the lucky. This is pretty lightweight. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Some unwanted urine
  • Some unwanted urine

    From Susan: “Last summer, my 16 year old daughter (Hayley) took two teen sisters of our Canadian friends to the movies -- It was important to Hayley (my daughter) to show them a good time, as it was their first time out of the country. There was a couple, a bit older, and very drunk, sitting behind them. There were very disruptive and many people asked them to be quiet. Suddenly people around them heard the male let out a loud sigh and the trickle of "liquid" hitting the floor. He was urinating on the floor - and as the urine starting flowing onto the slanted ground and run towards the front of the theatre; everyone who was sitting in front of them - including Hayley and our Canadian visitors had to get up quickly and move out of the way- to avoid the puddles and streams. Needless to say it was mayhem, and the drunken couple were taken out of the theatre - and not quietly. The girls went back to the movies the following night - with vouchers - and had stories to tell their friends when they returned home.” Gross. I hope she told her Canadian friends that urinating in the movie theater is not a terribly common American practice. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Disgusting comments
  • Disgusting comments

    Natalie shares this one: “I recently went to see a movie with a female friend.  There was an elderly couple sitting next to us that were driving us CRAZY!  Not only did they ‘whisper’ in what seemed like their normal voices, the husband was both a racist and a chauvinist. He commented over and over throughout the movie even when we shushed him repeatedly. Both the noise and the disgusting comments disturbed us.  I kept telling my friend we should just get up and move, but the theatre was packed, so we wouldn't have been able to sit together.” If there’s one thing I hate, it is elderly racists ruining my time at the multiplex. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Unexpected shooting
  • Unexpected shooting

    Kathryn writes: "I’ll never forget when someone was shot in the middle of the movie Schindler’s List here in San Diego." It’s true, this actually happened. “The assailant apparently timed the shot to coincide with a movie scene in which people were being shot to death, police said,” according to the L.A. Times. The victim wound up in critical condition. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    A Real Hulk
  • A Real Hulk

    From Logan: “Ironically, while watching the new Hulk film starring Edward Norton where he is unable to control his anger, a fight broke out at the back of the theater. Walking all the way across the theater to brake things up was a 6'-9" giant with long, blonde, curly hair who reminded me of the huge guy in the film ‘My Bodyguard.’ He grabbed one of the guys and repeated (ten times in a row) ‘Simmer Down. Simmer Down.’” Finally, the Nordic vigilante hero every movie theater needs. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    The wrong kind of stimulus…
  • The wrong kind of stimulus…

    From Karolina: “Hi, I have a movie theatre horror story. I went to a movie alone in the middle of a weekday once when the theatre was practically empty. There were maybe two other people in there. This guy came in and sat a couple seats away from me. I didn't pay much attention to him until he moved into the seat next to me. I looked over and saw that he was masturbating. (and this was not THAT kind of movie!) I got up to go tell one of the theatre employees who was outside at the snack bar and the guy ran out of the theatre ahead of me. The theatre employees said ‘oh yeah, he's been going around to different theatres today.’ They didn't even care! It was very scary for a 20-something woman to experience that alone in a dark theatre, especially when the theatre seemed to let it go on! I still get creeped out whenever I think of that theatre and will go to another if possible. I hate to even think about what could possibly happen in a dark theatre alone.” Yeah. Inappropriate. Photo Credit: mikeschmid
    Squishy carpet
  • Squishy carpet

    More unpleasantness, this time from Hali: “I've been in a movie theatre where the further down you walked, the more the carpet squished with years of spilled drinks. Gross! And you didn't even want the lights on to see what other nastiness was going on--stains, cockroaches--EEEEWWWW!” Hate cockroaches, trying to get in without paying their fair share. Photo Credit: k790i
    Too much laughter
  • Too much laughter

    From Andrew: “It seems I’m constantly sitting next to the movie patron who thinks EVERYTHING is hysterically funny. It goes like this: [Zoom out, pan left. Enter comedic actor, stage left.] Movie Patron Sitting Next to Me: BwhahaHAHAHAHAHAHA! Even with marginally funny movies, rom-coms, and anything with an actor who is typically known for comedies, it happens. Every. Damned. Time.” See tragedies instead. Problem solved, bro. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Building safety issues
  • Building safety issues

    From Steve: “About 25 years ago, we went to see a Midnight showing of Eraserhead. Right in the middle of the really scary scene, part of the ceiling fell on us. Our fright was definitely enhanced, but probably not in the way the filmmaker had anticipated. I guess the building was just crumbling.” You should request a refund. Assuming the box office is still standing. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Italian cinema
  • Italian cinema

    From Danielle: “I am in Rome, Italy. I saw your query on twitter..here in Rome once I was turned away from a cinema at 10:00 because the film was supposed to start at 10:00. yes, I was there on the dot and they told me to get lost. Ahhh, Italian customer service :)” If that’s the worst movie theater experience in your country, you should consider yourself blessed. Plus you’re in Italy. We don’t feel bad for you. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Low-quality, damaged film
  • Low-quality, damaged film

    Via All Movie Talk: “’Oh, it came that way’ is the worst lie they have. I saw Big Fish on opening weekend and there were three big scratches, running down the entire height of the frame, throughout the film. I complained to the manager afterwards, who reluctantly gave me a free ticket, but insisted the movie came that way. If just a few frames or a single reel of film is messed up, it’s very possible it was a mistake made by the lab that processed the film or in shipping. Every reel being scratched, however, is almost certainly the fault of an error by the theater in loading the film.” Now that’s some useful information. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Totally blurry
  • Totally blurry

    Via FirstShowing.net: “Recently I went and saw The Fountain ... A great film, and I wanted to relive the power of it again, as the experience of it is only possible in a theater on a huge screen with amazing sound. However I noticed the problem right off the bat - out of focus during the trailers, and I mean really out of focus. So I run out and tell the manager nearby to get a projectionist up there to fix it. I go back in and watch him try and tweak the focus during the trailers. Text is the only thing to test focus on, and finally some comes up, and it's a complete blur, so he tries to quickly pull it back before the text disappears. Eventually after 5 minutes he leaves and the result: it's worse than before he started. I had to sit through The Fountain completely out of focus, and it was awful. I know those projectionists have to monitor 14 screens between 2 of them, but seriously, is he that blind? How hard is it to take just a few minutes to make sure it's in focus.” The Fountain is slightly better in focus. But not much. Trust me. Photo Credit: Fountain Movie / Warner Bros.
    Rude parent
  • Rude parent

    Via The Movie Mark: "My friend Corbyn and I go to see Finding Nemo. We intentionally pick a date and time to minimize on the kids. Of course it's a kids' movie so you can't totally escape them, and hey, I love kids. Anyhoo... The movie has just started and a woman comes in with her 4 kids ranging in age from (I'm guessing here) 7 or 8 on down to 2 or 3? About a third of the way into the movie the woman leaves to go to the bathroom? Presumably. I swear to you that about 20 minutes or more goes by and she's still not back. The 'mom' in me is wondering if she is okay and who's watching these kids. The toddler is up and down and up and down the aisle. Anyway... Just as I am seriously considering getting up to make sure the woman didn't slip/fall and hit her head in the bathroom she comes back. She sits down and a few minutes later her cell phone rings. Okay, it happens. But she does NOT frantically reach to turn it off apologetically. She answers the bloody thing and this is what I hear: 'What up gurrl? Nah, not doing anything ... out with these d**n kids.' At this point, I get up and tap her on the shoulder and say, 'Excuse me, some of us are trying to watch a movie. It's about good parenting; you might want to pay attention.' She flails her arm around and screams out, 'Don't you touch me!' A bit melodramatic for a light tap in my opinion, but she gets off the phone. I had visions of the woman and me getting into an altercation once the movie ended, but she bolted out of there. For a brief moment I thought I might actually end up making a scene and/or going to blows in the theatre. I kept thinking about the possible headlines. Can you imagine a fist fight breaking out during a children's flick?" Photo Credit: Getty Images
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