Day Seventeen – Movie Theatre Etiquette

17 01 2010

I go to a lot of movies every year. Enough that I should get a golden AMC Moviewatcher card. There’s nothing that matches the experience of sitting in a dark theatre with the good flick.

Until the crowd around you ruins it.

I feel like people have got worse in the movie theatre. They leave common courtesy at the door and take a seat right next to me.

There are some basic ground rules that people seem to have forgotten. I’d like to take this opportunity to lay them out for all.

1. Shut off your cell phone.

This one should be obvious by now. They’ve made special pre-movie clips to remind you that “Silence is Golden”. Everyone knows it’s a bad idea, yet every screening I go to, someone gets a call and distracts the theatre.

My experience with "Up in the Air" was nearly ruined by impolite movie-goers.

2. Really, shut off your phone!

People can’t seem to let go of their friends for a two hour movie anymore. Texting during a movie is just as bad as talking during one. The reason for going to a dark theatre is so my focus is drawn to the screen; not your cell phone.

3. Pick your seat early or sit up front.

So you show up 10 minutes into the movie and can’t find a good seat for you and your friend. You notice there are two spare seats separated by a group of people. It is not okay to ask everyone to move over. You were late, therefore you separate. I shouldn’t have to move due to you poor time-management skills.

4. Eat with your mouth closed.

Popcorn is crunchy. It makes noise when you chew it. If I’m missing important information on screen because you can’t breathe through your nose, maybe you should eat after the movie.

5. Even if you think you’re whispering, we can here you.

What can’t wait until the end of the movie? If you want to have a conversation, save it for the lobby. Better yet, head across the street to Starbucks and chat away.

None of these are too hard to follow. Most rules are ones you would follow in any other similar environment. Is it because the performers aren’t present that people have lost their courtesy?

I’m sure there are some I’ve missed, but these were at the top of my mind since I went to a screening of Up in the Air and experienced all these problems first-hand.

I don’t go to the movies on Friday or Saturday nights. I made that mistake this week.