Sarah O'Connor

Writer – Playwright – Cannot Save You From The Robot Apocalypse

I don’t know how long this is going to be since it’s a rant and I’m annoyed, maybe I’ll drone (ha ha) on and on for who knows how long, or maybe I’ll just keep it to the point. It isn’t written yet so I’m just as clueless as you are. What I do know is that I’m probably going to sound like an old woman in this post, but hey, maybe that’s just part of growing up.

This past Good Friday, my sister and I decided to go to the movie theatres to see A Wrinkle in Time. Critics seemed to be pretty harsh about it (unnecessarily harsh, I thought it was really good) but my sister had read the book and it peaked out interest so we went. Now, I haven’t read the book yet, which is a major faux pas on my part, but way back when I did see the 2003 TV movie adaption, so I had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen.

The theatre was about half-full of parents and kids just learning that the movie theatre was open on a holiday so they had someplace to occupy their kids for the day (we were surprised it was open too). As the movie screen played its preshow advertisements of what was up and coming in the next few months of movies, a small green drone flew over our heads. Now at this moment the preshow was showcasing Ready Player One and with its sci-fi gamer aesthetic, I thought the drone might be some sort of in show advertisement for the movie. But after the Ready Player One segment ended the drone kept flying. It kept the kids entertained with its swooping and buzzing over their heads before the flyer got sloppy and just missed hitting my sister in the face.

My sister swore, and I couldn’t blame her because whoever was flying it shouldn’t have been flying it. I told her to snatch it from the air and smash it if it came near her again (I’m not so kind with careless people) and we watched the drones green lights hover and fall into the back right corner of the theatre.

We agreed to keep an eye out for it in case the pilot decided to fly the drone during the movie. As the lights dimmed and previews started, the drone started flying again but we ignored it. Previews really weren’t an issue with us, what we cared about was the movie. And sure enough just as the movie started the drone started soaring, its green lights shining in the dark theatre. It only flew for a bit, but it was enough for me to make my decision.

My sister and I whispered to one another and I insisted I go for many reasons 1) I was angry and needed to let my frustration out to whoever the pilot was, 2) they were flying a drone inside a movie theatre which was just rude, and 3) they almost hit my sister in the face which meant confrontation on my part was now necessary. I watched the drone drop again and with a quick whisper to my sister that I was going to confront them I was off.

It was dark, so as I climbed the orange lit steps I at first couldn’t see who was flying the drone, but my mind had already formed an image of an obnoxious group of teens (mostly boys) flying around just for shits and giggles who would do so again after I confronted them. That was fine; I didn’t mind getting them kicked out.

However that wasn’t the case so before I go further I apologize four jumping so quickly to teenagers, particularly teenaged boys, as being disruptive. I always hated it when adults eyed me and my friends suspiciously in movie theatres and would eye my guy friend’s even more so. It was a stupid thought process and I need to remember more of my experiences as a teenager before jumping into adult biases.

The drone was easy enough to spot, the pilot had hidden it in their popcorn bag, which was honestly one the stupidest things they could have done because I could see the green lights through the bag. But the bag was held by a little girl, around six years-old, and she wouldn’t meet my gaze. I was surprised (read previous paragraph of my own unknown bias towards teenagers) but I also didn’t care. So I kept the exchange short and to the point:

“Are you going to be flying this during the whole movie?”

“No,” her father, beside her said. His wife sat beside him. I gave him a passing look but still turned to the girl. I was talking to her after all, not her father.

“Because you can’t do this during the movie,” I told her.

“We know,” her father answered.

“Good,” I replied and walked away. As I left I heard the father tell the girl, “See, you’re going to get in yourself in trouble.”

And that made me want to turn around and speak to him because yes, of course she’s going to get in trouble. She’s doing something disrespectful and rude in a public place that she shouldn’t be doing. People going to watch a movie don’t want to see a drone flying overhead. But why didn’t her father do anything? Both her parents? Why were both her parents complicit in letting her fly a drone around a movie theatre, almost hitting someone, flying it during the movie and still doing nothing? Why did I have to be the one who told their daughter to stop?

Her parents were much older than me, perhaps mid-thirties, closer to forties. They should know better. They should know and shouldn’t be afraid to discipline their child. Sweetie, a movie theatre isn’t the place to fly a drone, please stop. Oh you won’t, well the drones mine now and we’re leaving the movie. Bye!

Maybe that’s harsh, maybe not. But discipline seems to be disappearing from parenting and I can’t stand it. Now I’m not a parent and I don’t have any young children that I immediately look after, so really I don’t know how to parent. But I know you need to discipline your children, not harshly (though the definition of harsh changes per person) but if a child does something they shouldn’t be doing and you have told them they shouldn’t, why do let them keep doing it? And if you do tell the child they will be punished for doing something wrong, don’t go back on the punishment. Then the kid learns you’re not serious and very quickly after that they can do anything they wish.

I don’t know, I think I’m just really angry that the kid’s parents were right there and did nothing. That the theatre was full of parents and kids that did nothing. They just let a kid fly a drone around a theatre like it was nothing, like it was acceptable.

Sometimes I feel very old.

Well, that’s it. I have to go back to watching Jesus Christ Superstar Live because we just got up to Mary’s song (her first one, not I Don’t Know How To Love Him. I don’t know the names of all the songs…) and I REALLY like it so far!

Until next time reading people!


One thought on “Rant: Drones and Movie Theatres

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