Paying More for Less at the Movies

I've given up protesting all these ads in movie theaters. Try as I might over the years to rail against their tacky encroachment on this once last ad-less bastion, the ads kept coming and coming and coming -- to the point they're over-powering.

On Sunday, I was with my kids at a 3D movie, with a start time listed as 2:20, but didn't get rolling until more like 2:40. Guess what occupied the 20 minutes prior? Bingo: ads. And not just the one or two I used to object to when this whole commercial craziness started. I'm talking at least eight -- eight -- and that's before the previews and, in one case, the ad pegged to the preview.

And that's not even counting the rolling slideshow before the opening of the show, featuring what I'm sure were and are a lot of fine local merchants -- all 270 of them! I exaggerate, but not much.

Now none of this would be a big deal if they did as theater owners promised they would do and keep ticket prices in check. Well, check this out: Scores of them are hiking their prices, by up to 27 percent; many to take advantage of the surging popularity of 3D films.

And I'm thinking to myself: "Self, this commercial thing was supposed to keep ticket prices down, but they're not down."

They were supposed to not become a distraction, but they are a distraction.

They were supposed to be so witty, so creative, that you'd forget they were so lame, but they are lame.

So let me creatively offer this suggestion to theater owners: apologize. Say you're sorry for promising us commercials wouldn't get out of control, but they did or ticket prices would stay stable, but they did not.

Admit now what you wouldn't admit then: You lied, we paid. You knew we'd still come to see the flick and that you, all along, never gave a flick.

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