Plays vs. Movies

It used to be, just less than a year ago, that there would be now way in hell I’d ever go watch a play, musical, or other live performance, in favor of watching films. There was something that was always off-putting about live performance and I guess I had been tainted by seeing some bad performances early on as well as not liking the very voyeuristic and almost too real of live performance versus the fake realness of film.
This change rather abruptly after visiting London for the first time last March and seeing some rather tremendous stage productions that changed my mind on the whole issue. Upon returning back to the States, I got into watching more such entertainment, while still watching a lot of film.
Lately though, I’m drifting more towards liking live performance more. This has nothing to do with a diminished taste for film, which is still something I will always treasure as a fantastic medium, but it has more to do with the audiences that watch each type of performance.
Plays, while being about common, everyday things, still have something of an erudite edge to them and seem like something that belongs to the upper class. While this isn’t true, this myth is enforced by the fact that occassionally some idiot who should be getting drunk at a Raiders game get dragged to a stage production by his woman and proceeds to either talk, blather, or otherwise interrupt the production. They’re easy to spot, since for the most part, people watching plays are an extremely respectful group and you will never hear a cellphone go off during a performance or someone talk through the whole thing.
Movies on the other hand have become fodder for the masses. And it also seems that with the invention of home viewing through VHS and DVD rental, the line between watching at home and watching in a place with other people has faded.
Movie crowds have gotten steadily worse as I enter my sixth year in the Bay Area. People talk through the movie, they’ll bring children that are far too young to violent movies, and then there’s the worse one of all with fools who will talk on their cellphones through the film.
Luckily at more upscale establishments, the fellow patrons will yell at someone to turn their phone off if it rings, since afterall not one single person is that important that they need to be reached during a two hour film and if they are, then they shouldn’t go. I’ve also heard that some theaters are putting up devices that block the cellphone frequencies within the theaters, thus blocking calls.
I think the later is definitely the best, albeit most passive-agressive way to go about stopping cellphone abuse in theaters and I would recommend to anyone who has to listen to a cellphone conversation during a movie to demand their money back after the show, since the theater has failed to provide the service you paid for. This might prompt more to opt for blocking signals in the future.