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Movie Theater Shusher: 'Everyone Expects Someone Else to Do It'

Mace DeVries says his anger got the best of him when he told a fellow moviegoer to turn off her "damn cell phone."

Everyone's been there. Going to the movies should be enjoyable, but sometimes another person's decision to answer their phone ruins the experience.

Crete resident Mace DeVries and his wife were at  on Saturday, April 28, to see The Raven when the voice of a 58-year-old woman talking on her phone interrupted the start of the show.

DeVries went up to the woman and said "Turn off your damn phone," which prompted the woman to notify police and tell officers she was scared. DeVries was not arrested nor issued any citations.

Since then, Patch readers have commented on the story, mostly showing support for DeVries and disagreeing with the woman's decision to get police involved.

Bill Leff of WGN Radio interviewed DeVries on his Friday morning show, supporting the 44-year-old martial arts instructor's decision to confront the woman.

DeVries stands by his decision, but regrets how he went about addressing the woman.

“In full retrospect, I absolutely should not have been as hostile about it as I was, but I was irritated and I let my anger get the best of me,” DeVries said.

DeVries' wife, Dawn, said she felt her husband did his best to keep the situation from escalating.

“Mace did offer to apologize, but she would have none of it," Dawn said. "He just wanted it to be over.”

DeVries said he has been known to ask other movie-goers to turn off cell phones at the movie theater, but this is the first time anyone has called in the police. He also said he believes it is OK for people to address issues themselves instead of relying on others.

“I think that’s one of the bigger problems is that everyone expects someone else to do it," DeVries said. "God forbid you have a direct interaction with somebody that is exhibiting behavior that is troublesome for you. It’s become something of a mother-may-I society of having to get somebody else, a third party.”

Regardless, Devries said he probably would have been more civil if given a second chance, acknowledging his height and build may have intimidated the woman.

As for The Raven, Dawn said it wasn't a very good movie. "I like John Cusack, but it could have been a lot better."  

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Wendy May 08, 2012 at 12:25 PM
He's a martial arts instructor, he can afford to confront people lol. I thank him for bringing the rudeness of some movie goers to the forefront though. Whatever happened to manners and public civility.
WA Mama May 08, 2012 at 12:31 PM
"God forbid you have a direct interaction with somebody that is exhibiting behavior that is troublesome for you." That's a great quote, and he's absolutely right. Perhaps he could have been less angry, but the woman couldn't have been too scared, to stay put through the rest of the movie. Here's my question: did she, in fact, keep her phone off for the rest of the movie?
R W May 08, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Way to go, Mace! What is shocking is this behavior came from a 58 year old woman! I could see it coming from a rude, know it all teenager but a grown woman? People like her are what is wrong with the world today. Why can't people acknowledge they are wrong (hasn't she seen the multitude of psa's telling you to turn off your cell phone during the movie?) and do the right thing?
Nick May 08, 2012 at 01:42 PM
There's a huge story angle the Patch missed here: Why didn't these intrepid theater goers just wait six weeks until the latest Cusack dreck comes out on DVD? The only annoyance these guys would then suffer would be from their offspring.
babyboomer May 08, 2012 at 03:18 PM
What don't people get? I think that the man was absolutely correct. The woman should have been kicked out of the theater. I have confronted people before, and they act do indignant, well too bad!! Its bad enough that people talk and text on their phones while driving putting all our lives at risk. Get off the damn phones!!
Resident 4 May 08, 2012 at 04:30 PM
I most definitely would. Nowadays, everyone is so afraid to stand up and say something or do the right thing because they are afraid. Not me! Especially, when I am paying alot of $. Regardless of his martial arts, he did the right thing.
Resident May 08, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Mace DeVries is a hero. More people should point out ridiculous rudeness to the offenders. Passive aggressive "tsks" just don't cut it. Confront the situation head-on. Way to go, Mace!
Amy May 08, 2012 at 06:47 PM
You know, it used to be that if you talked at all, the usher would throw you out. I would love to shake this man's hand. There is something called common courtesy. If you need to talk on the phone, go outside! And this woman was scared?! Please! She was angry because she couldn't have her way. As for the way Mace spoke to her, my guess is that if he asked her politely, she would have told him that she can do whatever she wants. And then she goes so far as to waste the police's time! Too much drama!
Ima Copp May 08, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Got to meet idiots where ever you go
Sheree sopko May 09, 2012 at 12:01 AM
Ata member, sheree sopko . Mr. DeVries works with children . he owns a studio for children to excell. Not attack, but defend. An overall physical fitness guru. My son has worked out with at this top of the notch studio. mr. deVies, I couldn't agree with you more. Your only mistake was, you tried to apologize. how rude and disrespectful the public has become. Let's all agree to tell people to turn it off. We pay for the privlegde. How ignorant such as a baby crying. Take them out. Pure disrespect!
rachel berger May 09, 2012 at 01:48 AM
The woman was absolutely wrong. If she was so scared, she would have called the police immediately instead of after the movie. People like this have no common courtesy. I'm sure she's "lacking" in other types of behavior which involves the interaction between her fellow human beings. What scares me the most is that she's probably "breeding". Scary.
Doug May 09, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Can't build healthy communities by walking around thinking the world owes you a favor either. Someone probably needed to speak to this women in this manner a long time ago. Unfortunately that door has probably already closed.
Juvenal May 09, 2012 at 04:40 PM
"I want you to be nice ... until it's time .... to not be nice." -- Dalton, "Roadhouse"
Doug May 09, 2012 at 05:10 PM
I thought I was being nice. I certainly was not being "combative".
BBQer May 22, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Police were called and the story has been published resulting in Mr. DeVries being publically named. The 58 year old Flossmoor woman was also involved but NOT named. WHY? She is the one initiating the police contact, and this was not any kind of sexual assult where names are not published. She wanted to file a complaint. Is her name not also a part of the public record and a part of the report? Instead of just Mr DeVries being vilified, tell us who this woman is! Maybe she deserves a little of the spotlight as well. That would be fair-balance reporting!

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