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Ruining the Movie Experience

Wow, there is one area where commercialism is actually worse in Europe than here: screening of ads before movies.

I’d just like to point out that, not only could it be worse, it is – in Europe.

At least in the US, features actually begin more or less at the
advertised time. Not here [Germany]. A 9 pm showing, say, all too often actually
begins at 9:20, even 9:30, once all the ads unreel (and I don’t mean
trailers – ads, some of them merely blown up from the broadcast video
versions we’ve already zapped away from on our TVs at home, but of
course, as a captive audience in a theater, you
can’t). In Germany, this swath is interrupted only by a break to sell ice cream. Seriously.

I think a half-hour of ads is justifiable cause for some kind of vandalism. Apparently there’s actually an organization dedicated to stopping movie ads. According to this article, “Among other things, the organization has produced signs
for audience members to leave on their seats. They say, “RESERVED. This
patron is avoiding cinema advertising and will return when the feature

5 Responses to “Ruining the Movie Experience”

  1. Paul Herzberg
    April 17th, 2005 | 11:03 am

    All that and, of course, that ad at the beginning that accuses all the audience of being criminals, or, at the very least, supporting criminal activity — damn right it’s us cinema goers, dvd buyers, etc. that keep Hollywood types in coke and awful action movies.

    English cinemas in the 80’s only seemed to have one advert (other than those for the restaurant just around the corner from this movie house) and it was for Bacardi. You can probably still get groans of recognition from English people by say “Your aunty Beryl. When you’re drinking Bacardi.”

  2. guy
    April 17th, 2005 | 4:13 pm

    I actually like the ice cream part in German cinemas. Also, I don’t remember the ads being particularly long when I was a kid over there. And don’t movies here have 20 minutes of ads, too? Maybe not. It’s the same in Israel, btw, they’re screening TV ads in the cinemas. It’s a little different, though, because up until the 1990s, there were no ads on TV, so all the filmed ads were always in the cinema. You would almost go there to watch them. Then commercial TV started in Israel and it’s no fun anymore to watch ads in the cinema.

    I’m babbling.

  3. cynthia rockwell
    April 17th, 2005 | 4:22 pm

    well when you were a kid it was very different than now. there were no ads at all in movies here when i was a kid.

  4. guy
    April 17th, 2005 | 5:00 pm

    there always was the ice-cream ad, with the unforgettable song (to anyone who lived in germany) “like ice in the sunshine”. that would mark the end of the ad-portion of the movie, and then they would sell ice cream, and then the real movie started.

  5. cynthia rockwell
    April 17th, 2005 | 10:43 pm

    i think i would like the ice cream bit too. i’m just back from the somerville theater, where there was only one ad, a total of about 20 seconds. but that and the previews did start after the 5:10 advertised start time for the movie, so i think it’s not so different than in europe. there was only one ad (a tasteful one starring robert deniro) but this is a second-run theater and i think they have more ads in the big multiplexes. but actually the last multiplex i was in had no ads. i don’ t know, i guess it’s different at different theaters. i know the harvard square one tends to have a lot of ads. jerks.