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It's Time To Bring Intermissions Back To Theaters For Really Long Movies

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The last 3 movies I've seen in theaters are Oppenheimer (3 hours), Killers of the Flower Moon (3 hours and 26 minutes), and last night Dune 2 (2 hours and 46 minutes). And I'm not a "movies are too long these days!" guy. Long movie, short movie, it don't make a difference to me, if it's good, it's good. I thought Oppenheimer ran too long, meanwhile I had no problem with Flower Moon taking up the entire day. But one thing remained consistent while watching the 3 films- I need an intermission! 

And it's not because I want to look at my phone. I actually enjoy going on Do Not Disturb and hoping to come back to all sorts of messages, like how we used to do on planes. But I think an intermissions after 90 minutes of DUNE last night would have done everybody well. I think Oppenheimer for sure would have benefited from one. Because let's face it, everyone in the theater is facing the some predicament that you go over in your head all day- when am I gonna pee? And then if you do have to use the bathroom during the movie, it starts occupying your mind and drawing your attention away from the big screen because all you can think about is "can I hold this for another 90 minutes?". Small bladder haver Tommy Smokes has never sat comfortably through a movie his entire life. 

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The art of peeing at the movies is probably the most unsolvable equation left to humanity. You can do your research and read what folks on the internet think, but there truly is never a good time to pee in the middle of a movie. You are always going to miss something. And then you have to decide if you're the "whisper guy", the guy who whispers to his buddy or date "what did I miss?". It's an unanswerable question, especially while the movie is still running in front of your eyes. We've all been on both sides of that pain, and nobody leaves a winner.

But if we had intermissions?! I would venture to say the theaters would thrive. Old folks wouldn't have to worry about getting a big soda and risk having to pee in their pants or miss the movie. Fat boys like me wouldn't have to worry about rationing the popcorn bucket like I'm on the Oregon Trail, because I would simply scarf it down like Garfield and then go get a refill at intermission. 

As a fair journalist, I must say the obvious only downside to the intermission- it makes you stay at the theater even longer. It's a tough problem to solve- if you're already there for a 3 hour movie would you like a break, or are you trying to still budget your time and get out of there as soon as possible? 

The million dollar question is simple: Would a 15 minute intermission during a 3 hour movie make you more likely, less likely, or the same likely to see it in theaters? I personally would say more likely. That 15 minutes opens up a world of possibilities and takes all the anxiety of eating, drinking, and sleeping off your shoulders. Yes, sleeping. Because maybe you want to catch a quick nap in those comfy recliners to charge up for the second half of the movie. You know that feeling where it's warm and dark and you put your movie recliner back a bit and you think you could easily take a nap? Well now you can without having to worry about missing anything. It's a shame movies are so expensive because movie theaters are one of the best places to sleep as long as you don't mind skipping the movie itself.

So AMC, ball's in your court. Maybe a test program, perhaps? See if works. I know my old ass will be first in line for the intermission screening. Oh, and while we're at it, would love to see some closed captioning options too. Surprised that's not more common these days. Feel like everyone at this point watches Netflix with closed captions. But I digress. One point at a time.

 

PS: Dune 2 was fine. I give both parts 1 and parts 2 85/100. I get why super-fans of that genre (Star Wars people) love it, I just think it's they are decent enough movies.