Welcome to Grim Yelp Reviews, a regular feature where we share people’s worst experiences at the worst places. This week: Time to put on your 3D glasses! Oh my God, what’s all over those 3D glasses?

The only reasonable thing to do in the summer heat, besides cry and pray to some ice-related deity, is go to the movies. It’s cool, it’s dark, it’s socially acceptable to eat out of an enormous box of M&Ms while staring vacantly into space. But when movie theaters get grim, they get truly, truly grim. There is blood, mold, terror, and a variety of wildlife between the seats. Today, we’ll be ranking complaints from least to most horrifying, or, as we’ll call them, Bronze, Silver, and Gold.


As always, to protect the names of the innocent and not-so-innocent alike, we’ve redacted the names of the businesses, as well as the identities of the Yelpers who wrote the reviews. We realize you can probably find out all of that information by employing five seconds of Google magic.


I actually think not having to sit through Saw is a bit of a gift from the universe, personally:

So, my sister forgets her ID in the car. And we go to the box office to buy some tickets to see SAW V. This asshole asks me and my sister for ID. We go to the car and then come back to buy the tickets. This asshole is like, oh you must be 21 to watch it. Motherfucker, we’re not stupid that there’s a sign on the box office that says you must be 17, stupidass. How the fuck would my sister be able to drive me other there then, ugh. So we had to buy tickets for another movie. When we got in, I told my sister to complain since we can buy the tickets ‘cause we’re old enough. She told this guy and he changed our tickets for us— he said he has the same exact birthday was my sister. That was great and nice of him to do since that asshole in the box office obviously doesn’t know how old you’re supposed to be to watch rated R movies when it’s fucking posted in his face. So, whoever was at the box office during the midnight premiere of SAW V— not so slick, are ya? Pshhhh, jerk.


In the category of “when the reviewer is obviously part of the problem:”



So... not good, then?


The person who’d been beaten unconscious was bad, you see, but the rowdy teens were far worse:

Never go here! The staff is unhelpful, the crowd is rowdy and sometimes you can feel unsafe. For example, last experience I had coming to the theater, I witnessed a fight that had ended and there was a young guy lying in the PARKING LOT!!! Not only that, the rude teenagers watching in the same theater would not stay quiet. IT’s terrible, I guess its what I get for staying in town...


In the category of “theatergoers who were loudly living their best lives”:

I visited on May 1, 2010 to see Nightmare on Elm Street. When the movie began, the crowds would not stop talking. Large groups of people were shouting across the theater at each other, with no regards to other viewers. They would stand up, scream profanities and anyone who asked them to keep it down. The large group of people in the center of the crowd begun smoking marijuana. At that point, 20 minutes into the film, my friend and I walked out (while being heckled by “the crowd”) to seek a refund. The person in charge said a refund was not available, because the cash registers were closed for the evening (I paid with a credit card). I feel the crowd so was disruptive and disrespectful that cinema personal should have intervened (or stopped the film as a last resort) The employee working did offer a ticket exchange, but I will NEVER, EVER, go to that regal cinema again. The atmosphere is not conducive to a good time. The clientele there are very threatening by nature, and do not make for a pleasant experience.


How do you discern fresh versus day-old vomit? Don’t answer that.


Gold Medal: This One Theater in Brooklyn

The gold, of course, can only go to one proud winner. Every one of these reviews is from the same cinema in Park Slope, a series of horrified complaints spanning damn near eight years. It’s... really something. We’d work harder to mask their identity, but, uh, they probably know by now that something’s wrong.


The worst movie theater i’ve ever been to. No joke.

There was no air conditioning in the theater at all so when you walked into the room, the heat and the stench from everyone farting and eating and burping just hits you like a brick to the face.

The seats were dirty. The screen was tiny. I think i’ve seen bigger projector screens at private homes. The sound was turned up WAY TOO LOUD and was completely distorted.

Never going back to this shit hole again.

From 2009. No trip to the theater is complete without frantically stripping down and scrubbing for a possible infestation!

I love this cozy theater, but I think it might be infected by bedbugs, and that strongly reduces my desire to go. Having once been bitten by bedbugs at a hostel several years ago and reacted badly, I recognized the tell-tale three-in-a-line bites immediately after leaving a movie here on Tuesday...

Needless to say, my partner and I stripped as soon as we got home, putting our possibly infected clothes in a plastic bag and taking a hot shower and shampoo. Bedbugs don’t spread too easily with humans as carriers; they tend to move via infested mattresses or pieces of wood furniture picked up on the street and taken into new homes. And a friend of mine with an infestation avoided bringing it into her girlfriend’s place with many visits over a period of several months. But, still, who wants to take this risk?


And from 2014, a patron who doesn’t feel that the bedbug thing has quite been addressed, and blames the neighborhood’s “filth bags”:


And from March of this year:


And then, from May:

I went to see Mad Max the other night and I think I caught gonorrhea sitting on the absolutely nasty chairs. The cup holder on my left had old tissues in it and the cup holder to my right had old nachos. I’m sure most porn theaters from the 70’s have nicer carpeting!

So when the movie started....guess what .... The 3 dim witted teenagers that seem to be running the entire place neglected to dim / lower the lights so we were watching the movie in full light which freaking ruined the experience. It took these morons 5 whole minutes to turn them off (after people had to get out of their seats to complain).

After the movie my wife had to use the bathroom. I wish I could have captured her expression on the way out of that said bathroom. It was a look of revulsion, bafflement and general contempt. She said six words “there was shit on the walls”. She didn’t mean that figuratively.


And from last month:

This theater is a threat to human health. It is full of garbage, lack of air conditioning, its restrooms are outrageously awful, it is full of vermin and bed bugs. Can anything be done to close this place before an epidemic of some horrible disease breaks out?


Pretty grim! Until next time, Netflix and beer through a straw at home in the tub. The lady’s choice.

Contact the author at anna.merlan@jezebel.com.

Public PGP key

PGP fingerprint: 67B5 5767 9D6F 652E 8EFD 76F5 3CF0 DAF2 79E5 1FB6

Image via Shutterstock, Grim Yelp logo by Jim Cooke, pasted onto this photo by Actual Wizard Bobby Finger