As someone who has just turned watch-all-television-with-subtitles-years-old, I have also recently discovered that movies, which I was once able to hear very clearly, have become simultaneously uncomfortably loud and full of inaudible mumbling. But according to Hugh Grant, it is not just my aging ears hearing a problem where there is none. Movies are too loud now.
After going to see Joker at a London cinema called Vue, Grant wondered if the theater might consider turning it down just a hair, according to the Guardian:
“Grant felt high noise levels in the auditorium had made his trip to see Joker at the Vue in Fulham “pointless”, he complained on Twitter, adding: “The joke was on us”. “Am I old or is the cinema MUCH TOO LOUD?” the film star asked.”
Though Vue was quick to say they check the theater volume regularly, many people chimed in to point out that lots of movie theaters have become auditory torture boxes of late. Some say that its because cinemas are playing films to smaller rooms without adjusting for distortion:
“Both the size of the room and the size of the audience alter the experience of sound, leading some film fans to suggest that large cinema chains are failing to suit the noise level to the acoustic in smaller screening rooms. The deliberate technical “compression” of the noise on a soundtrack also causes issues for people with impaired hearing. Other customers grumble that the common advice to report any discomfort to ushers presents a challenge when staff are sparse on the ground.”
Whatever is causing movies to be both too loud and hard to hear, I hope Hugh Grant can get the problem sorted out. And when he is finished fixing movie volumes, perhaps he can get restaurant and bar owners to turn the goddamn music down and propose a global ban for those obscenely loud motorcycles that frighten my dog.