Scream On The Green

I just returned from the Piedmont Park Screen On The Green showing of To Kill A Mockingbird.


I’ll never tire of that movie. The scene at the jail where Scout’s innocence and kindness to Mr. Cunningham shames the lynch mob away actually made me tear up a little even though I’ve seen it, oh, a dozen times.

Now that I’ve said something nice, here’s something not so nice.

Dear Screen On The Green Goers: What the hell is wrong with you?

Why do you sit in high-back chairs when you know perfectly well that people can’t see over you?

Why do you talk so loud? It’s a movie, people! I don’t want to hear your conversation with your friends and I sure as hell don’t want to hear you talking on the phone — even if it’s to say “I can’t talk right now, I’m watching a movie at the park.” The woman sitting next to me did that four times. Let it go to voicemail. If you can’t wait, send a text message.

If your idea of a happy evening is sitting outside, eating hummus and drinking wine while talking with your friends, no one will be upset if you do it somewhere on the 100 acres of Piedmont Park where a movie isn’t being shown. Better yet, just go to a show at Chastain. Talking loudly to your friends is not only acceptable at Chastain, it’s expected.

To the smokers — I think it’s stupid to ban smoking in restaurants and bars. And cigarettes are way overtaxed. That said, I find it unsettling that I sat outside in the park for two hours and came home smelling like smoke. Fresh air is integral to the Screen On The Green experience. If you can’t sit for 2 hours without smoking a cigarette, please consider either getting the patch, getting the gum, or getting Netflix.


12 Comments so far

  1. Jessica (unregistered) on June 10th, 2005 @ 10:02 am

    I will happily attend the Grease screening, on the condition that we are allowed to sing along, dance like fools, and make fun of Olivia Newton-John. And yell “Thetan!” at John Travolta. That sort of thing.

  2. Andisheh Nouraee (unregistered) on June 10th, 2005 @ 10:09 am

    Be nice to Olivia and you’ve got a deal.

  3. Sean (unregistered) on June 10th, 2005 @ 10:57 am

    I couldn’t agree more about the high-back chairs and the talking. I saw Space Odyssey there last year (or the year before?) and people wouldn’t shuttup. That’s one of those movies where you’ve got to get INTO the movie to enjoy it. With people yacking around you, you can’t do it.

    I wouldn’t mind high back chairs, talking, or smoking if those folks would do it at the back of the crowd.

    Hehe, as for dancing at the Grease showing… I’m all for folks doing that. Think Rocky Horror… it almost requires audience participation! :)

  4. Robert (unregistered) on June 10th, 2005 @ 11:01 am

    Wow, lighten up a bit and just enjoy yourself. If you really are intent on watching the movie in a sterile, distraction free, environment, might I suggest renting the DVD? I’m not defending rude people here, and lord knows that Atlanta has its fair share of them who piss me off virtually every day in some way. I just know that the environment for these movies is generally the way that you describe it, and no amount of grousing is going to change that.

    On a side note, I notice they are showing Mommy Dearest? I can’t imagine that movie will be fun for the whole family.

  5. Thomas (unregistered) on June 10th, 2005 @ 11:44 am

    Favorite Line That Always Gets Me:

    “Jean Louise, stand up. Your father’s passing.”

  6. mingaling (unregistered) on June 10th, 2005 @ 2:05 pm

    Couldn’t go. That movie always makes me cry and crying at the park just seems wrong.

  7. lovett9 (unregistered) on June 10th, 2005 @ 4:55 pm

    The grass at the theater was soaking wet. I put down a blanket and the water went right through it. It was either get my pants soaking wet or sit in a chair. I did however move my chair towards the back of the crowd. Next time im bringing a tarp to put a blanket down on. I will agree it was hard to focus on the movie because there was alot of talking but hey it was free and I really enjoyed it. Also, If you have bad eyes you should show up early so you can get a closer seat.

  8. susie (unregistered) on June 10th, 2005 @ 7:03 pm

    I knew I would get annoyed with people talking during the flick, which is one of my faves. So I didn’t go. But I am a dork.

  9. karsh (unregistered) on June 10th, 2005 @ 7:41 pm

    Love movies. Hate public viewings though. Sometimes ambience is good, and other times, you just want to watch the movie in piece. I feel your pain.

  10. jcburns (unregistered) on June 12th, 2005 @ 12:20 am

    Going to a movie to see it among other humans used to be a big part of why you went–the shared experience.

    I will never forget watching Jaws in 1975 in a packed theatre–the shared screams and rearing back en

    I think we’re (Atlantans, Americans, humans) way out of practice at being with a bunch of each other…humanely. Off the phones, looking each other in the eye on the street or in the park.

    Give it a try, it’s OK. Or, not.

    Just rent DVDs and bring dogs, ipods, phones, whatever it takes for you to have that total disconnect experience from those around you.

  11. BobChairGuy (unregistered) on July 5th, 2005 @ 9:30 pm

    I have always wondered why people will come in and place a blanket directly behind someone already sitting in a chair. You KNOW you won’t be able to see! Then they want to complain about the chair in front of them. duh!

  12. andisheh Nouraee (unregistered) on July 5th, 2005 @ 9:37 pm

    And I have always wondered why people ignore all the signs, announced reminders, and the posting on Screen on the Green’s web site asking people not to bring high-backed chairs.

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