One of the things I used to enjoy most about going to see a movie at the theater was the pre-show entertainment. Long ago it was simply some piped in music. Then they upgraded to those movie network things where they would actually play selections from movie soundtracks and on the screen they would project slides with ads for the candy counter, upcoming movies, local businesses where you could take your ticket stub for a discount, and trivia.

The trivia was the clincher for me. Either it was actual questions or those ones where they show you the high school yearbook picture of someone famous and you had to guess who it is. Sometimes they weren’t even entertainment questions.

At the Delk 10 cinema, my theater of choice for a couple of years, one of their auditoriums had the slides mixed up. My younger brother and I went and memorized the mixed up order, and at later visits we would confound the other audience members by yelling out the correct incorrect answers. “Who is the top money winner in professional golf?” “Cooperstown.” What movie is the most recent to sweep the top oscars?” “Tom Kite.” “What city is the location of the baseball Hall of Fame?” “Silence of the Lambs.”

This week I went to see Cars at the theater (I’ll review that later), and noticed that there was no trivia anymore. In fact, their slideshow had been cut down to about maybe twenty slides at most (it is actually a Power Point presentation these days, no more slides). And the music wasn’t real music anymore, it was fifteen to twenty second clips of songs, not even enough to decide if its worth going to the music store to check out the rest of the album. Even worse is that they only had about four of these clips with introductions, so the whole loop only took about ninety seconds to play. Having gotten to the theater with about twenty minutes to spare, it was fairly maddening to hear the same clips over and over, all with a backdrop of the same repeating images.

Did they do this because people’s attention spans have gotten so short?

The movie theater isn’t the only place I’ve noticed the shorter, rapid fire, less involved advertising going on, and it all makes me fear the possible real introduction of blipverts. Fight the power people… demand slower, demand quality, demand better. Faster and shorter isn’t always best, just ask any woman.

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