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Clyde on movie-theater ads

HabermanThis morning in The New York Times, Clyde Haberman finally gets around to complaining about all the ads you have to sit through before a movie. (You can read the column here—registration is required, but it’s free.) There’s nothing really new here, although Clyde does register the gravity of the situation (a Connecticut lawmaker calls it “one of those universal kinds of issues”) and lets readers offer possible solutions.

He writes: “Some readers suggested shouting back at the screen, something that is already being done on occasion in New York. Boycott the concession stands, others said, and let theater managers know about it. Better yet, a New York woman wrote, defy theater bans on bringing in your own munchies. Demand that the sound be lowered, a few people said, or that the lights be left on so you can read and tune out the unwanted intrusion.”

In the end, Haberman endorses the idea that theaters should post separately the starting times for the commercials and previews and for the film itself—something that apparently has been done in France. “We could call the new truth-in-advertising system freedom time,” he writes. “Many moviegoers would certainly feel liberated.”

—Posted by Tim Nudd

Photo: The New York Times

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