We go to the movies to escape the stress of our everyday lives. When we sit down in our seats, there is the unspoken agreement and expectation that nothing will take us out of the experience until the credits roll. Sadly, that's not how these situations always pan out. In fact, we've just learned that a screening of La La Land in New York City had to be evacuated after one of the film's attendees disrupted the movie in an utterly bizarre way.
A new report from CBS confirms that a showing of Damien Chazelle's La La Land in New York had to be evacuated this weekend. A man -- who had purchased a ticket for another movie at another time -- stood up in the middle of the theater and approached the screen as the movie played. He eventually turned around while mumbling and raised his soda cup in the air, which sent the crowd into a frenzy over fear of what he may have been planning to do next. The resulting frenzy led to a stampede of people jumping over seats and throwing concessions in a mad dash to escape. It was eventually revealed that the man at the front of the theater did not have any weapons in his possession, but the initial concern spiraled out of control.
Ultimately it's worth noting that this situation had a relatively happy ending. Despite the chaos, nobody was killed or even injured in any significant fashion. For the most part, it simply seems that the majority of the theater's patrons were upset that they had their screening of La La Land (arguably the best movie of the year) interrupted. I can't say that I blame them.
It's not difficult to empathize with the concerns felt by the members of the audience that led to the stampede. The last few years have seen quite a few violent incidents take place in movie theaters --particularly two shootings that took place during showings of The Dark Knight Rises and Trainwreck -- so it's easy to understand why some people feel on edge when entering a movie theater. Many people have started to forgo movie theater attendance altogether, and safety concerns certainly have a tendency to pop up on the list of reasons why more and more people are waiting for home releases.
At the end of the day we can't let situations like this deter us from enjoying movies on the silver screen. These news stories definitely have a tendency to jar us whenever they surface, but any self-respecting cinephile will tell you that the experience of watching a good movie in the theater is unlike anything else.
La La Land is currently in theaters, so do yourself a favor and check it out!