Monday, June 8, 2009

Movie Theater Etiquette

I talk to people about this all the time and people seem to understand and agree with me. I have yet to meet someone who disagrees with me. Yet every time I go to the movie I see people breaking at least one of these rules EVERY TIME. I have also come up with some new and additions to rules. This has been bothering me because my movie going experiences are getting worse. I have seen Pixar's Up twice now, the first time with a theater full of children and the second with a theater full of adults. Guess which showing was worse… that's right the theater with "adults". At least the kids understood that when the movie started it was time to shut up. So here are the rules:

1. Turn OFF ALL cell phones. This should go without saying but every time I go to a movie there is at least one jackass who keeps pulling out his phone. I don't mind if you keep your phone on silent , but if you're going to pull it out and use it GO OUTSIDE! That light is extremely irritating. I recently heard that there were some people who decided to go to a midnight showing of a movie and discuss it LIVE on TWITTER! This means that these people kept pulling out their phones and texting to twitter (yet another reason I hate this site). These people need to be shot. I don't care that they sat in the back, the fact is that they kept pulling out their phones and disturbing the people around them. I see this, I will revoke your phone and shove your battery up your ass. Why do you want to spend $10 to go to a movie than just play on your phone the whole time? What is the point? If you’re a doctor either don't go or if you're phone goes off LEAVE THE THEATER! As an overall rule to this NEVER EVER EVER ANSWER YOUR PHONE OR TEXT MESSAGE DURING THE MOVIE!!!

2. When the movie starts your mouth shuts. That's right, I think it's a simple request. When the movie starts it's time to start paying attention to the movie and stop talking to your friends. If you want to talk to your friends save yourself $10 and don't go to a movie. To go along with this please do not talk back to the movie, I know this may be hard to comprehend but the actors can’t hear you.

3. Do not bring your kid if they are under the age of 4. This may offend some people but I really don't care. Under the age of 4 kids have no attention span and really no memory so don't waste the money bringing them. And especially if they are toddlers and under because they have a tendency to cry and disrupt everyone's movie experience. Get a babysitter.

3a. Don't bring your kid unless they can behave themselves and sit still for the duration of the movie. Again, this may offend some people but it needs to be said. I am going to movies and increasingly seeing disruptive kids. I have on numerous occasions seen people bring their kids to movies and just let their kid wonder through the theater. WHAT THE HELL!? So now the kid is disrupting EVERYBODY as they wonder up and down the rows of people watching the movie. I even saw one of these kids drag other kids out of their seats to join them on their adventure. If I was a parent I would be worried that the kid would wonder out of the theater and then who knows what would happen.

3b. Only bring your kid to age appropriate movies. This is another increasing trend I'm seeing and it is really beginning to upset me. For instance, when I went to The Hangover, and extremely raunchy and vulgar R rated comedy, I saw some guy show up with A BABY!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME! That is extremely inappropriate. Granted to go with rule 3 at that age they don't even really know what's going on but still. So of course the baby starts crying 5 minutes into the movie and everybody in the theater got so upset that the guy finally left the theater and never returned. WHAT WAS HE THINKING!? Also, when I went to see The Soloist somebody brought a kid who was probably 7. Now, there isn't really anything inappropriate about the movie but it does deal with pretty mature issues so I had the privilege of trying to watch this fantastic movie while every five minutes everyone in the theater can hear "what's going on?" "What does that mean?" "I don't get it" "What's that?" "What's happening?" because that's another reason to not bring kids unless they can behave themselves, most children have one voice setting, loud.

4. Do some research on the movie you are going to see so that you know what to expect. Now, by this I mean have a basic knowledge of what the movie is about. Part of this can be tied into rule 3. I went to see Milk, about the first openly gay man elected to a public office, and next to me is a group of people probably in their 60's and 70's and the gentleman sitting next to me was apparently homophobic or something. The whole movie he kept cringing and complaining every time 2 men would kiss. This got really annoying really fast. Also, I went to see Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, that's right DEMON BARBER, it's an R rated movie about a man who would kill people while shaving them then dump their bodies down a chute where the lady in the pie shop would cook their bodies into pies. What part of that sounds family friendly? When I saw it apparently a bunch of people only heard Johnny Depp from the Pirates movies and musical and thought it would be good wholesome family fun. Well, sure enough about 20 minutes into the movie about half the theater got up (pretty much all adults with children and even a baby in tow) and left. Same thing happened at Pan's Labyrinth. People heard the word "fairy tale" and then when a man gets his face smashed in with a bottle 5 minutes into the movie they get upset. Your own fault.

5. This should go without saying but kicking the back of someone’s seat is extremely disrespectful and annoying plus it looks badly upon you and nobody wants that. In addition to this please make sure that your children aren’t kicking the back of someone’s chair.

6. If you have a bag of candy that you have not opened yet, please wait till there is some noise in the movie to open it. By this I mean that I hate hearing people trying to open a loud crinkly bag of candy during quiet parts of the movie.

7. Be on time! Man I cannot stress this enough. It is really annoying when a movie has started, the movie not the previews but the actual movie, and people are still walking into the movie then walking in front of you trying to find a seat. If you show up late, go to a later showing, seriously!

8. Please stay seated during the movie. I understand that sometimes you just have to go out of nowhere, in these instances please stay low, apologize to the people you have to walk past and take the quickest route out of the theater. But basically, please try to go to the restroom before the movie starts so you are not interrupting people’s movie going experience.

9. When purchasing your tickets and more often your concessions please be prepared and know what you want when you get to the front. Do not stand at the front of the line hmming and haaaing over what you want to get, you are holding up the line and most people don’t want to be late for the movie. Also, please know where your wallet is, it gets really annoying and holds up the line when people are digging through their purse and what not looking for their wallet.

10. I know there are people who clean the theaters in between each showing but help them out and show some courtesy, throw out your garbage please. It is really annoying when I see people leaving bags of popcorn, drink containers and candy wrappers all over the seats and floors. Seriously people it’s not that hard, you walk right past garbage containers on your way out the theater, just grab your trash and throw it out please.

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