From: Laura Haskins, Boulder, CO
Like many of your readers I, too, am often disturbed by the behavior of other patrons when seeing a film in the theatre (in fact, this is my biggest complaint). However, I have been disturbed by a far greater number of "mature" audience members than children or teens. This is not to say that the old folks are worse-behaved, but that I attend more matinees and rarely see films aimed at the average teen-ager.
And, in my experience, older folks talk far more during films, from previews through to credits. Add hearing loss to the situation and you get loud talking, loud questions, repeated questions, and on and on and on. Now, I am not unsympathetic to the challenges of aging or hearing loss, and I've tried telling myself that perhaps such talking is reminiscent of some social aspect of movie-going back in the days of newsreels and cartoons and shorts.
But in the end, my own such attempts at understanding these behaviors have never actually lessened my feeling that my movie experience has been ruined by them. So please keep in mind that, while it is easy to focus our ire on "kids these days", it is not only teens who talk during movies, and if we want them to do better, we need to set a good example (I'm also for ushers who would insure everyone's good behavior). And finally, folks, if you want to talk throughout a film -- rent a video.