Three amazing things occurred.
The first, and to my mind most amazing, is that the Metreon theater did not show 10 minutes of ads before the movie this time. For a couple of years I've diligently boycotted them for trapping me in their theater while they ran incessant Coke ads and football-themed Public Service Announcements, after I'd paid a substantial sum for the privilege. Now that we know they've returned to sanity, this opens up an additional location for our weekly movie night.
The second, and to my mind least amazing, is that ten minutes or so into the film, a pretty large earthquake occurred. It went on long enough that I whispered to my partner (and I never talk in theaters), "This could be bad," basing my assessment on the length of the shaking and my memories of the Loma Prieta earthquake (which deserves its own post sometime, seeing how I caused the quake). It settled down, however, and my partner pointed out that the fire alarm hadn't gone off, so there probably wasn't much need to worry. So for the next ten minutes we continued to watch the film.
This is when the third, and most amazing, thing happened. A woman a few rows ahead of us (the theater was mostly empty) started talking incessantly. Those nearby did the annoyed head-turning thing, then some shushing, which did no good. She kept talking. When she got shushed some more, she hissed "I'm talking to my family -- we just had an earthquake!"
Now, I totally understand the desire to call one's family after an event like a quake. But. This was ten minutes later and we could all be pretty confident it was a typical shake and bake, and not something serious. And, being ten minutes later, the woman could have gotten up, walked five feet to her right past the empty seats, and proceeded down the hall and through the doors to the lobby thirty feet away, at which point she was free to call the Vatican for an hour if she wished to get the Pope's take on the situation, while we happily watched our movie.
But no, she had to subject the entire theater to her pseudo-emergency.
I have a simple proposal that I think will be satisfactory to all:
Make a cell phone call during a movie in a non-burning theater, be subjected to summary execution two minutes later. In the hallway, and quietly, of course. To be humane, we'll let you choose the poison.