"I have to say I agree that the sound in theaters is often over-amplified. I've definitely heard sound that can cause hearing damage, and the solution of "if you need earplugs, wear earplugs" isn't a great one for everyone. I'm sure it's a personal thing."
Same here. The most recent example I can think of was the pre-show music for STRAIGHT WHITE MEN. In that case, the painful volume level was entirely on purpose (as stated by those transgender people in the prologue), and it was also a matter of rubbing salt into the wound, seeing how the show as a whole was such an annoying waste of time.