Hello readers! So we have talked about this in several different posts, but tonight was the tipping point thanks to a particularly boisterous couple that wouldn't sit down or shut up. Theatre etiquette is important, people. So here it is, the 5 Breaches of Theatre Etiquette that we believe are grounds for us to go get management and kick your butts out of a movie.
1: BRINGING YOUNG CHILDREN TO A LATE NIGHT OR R-RATED MOVIE
Sarah: I understand wanting to have a nice night out at the movies with your loved one and when kids are in the mix it can get near impossible. But when it comes to bringing a child to a late movie in the hopes that they will fall asleep, that's just plain dumb. Likewise, bringing a toddler to an rated-R movie is also dumb. If you think for a second they aren't picking up on the bad language and sex scenes then that's just silly! We have had experiences with both; an infant at an 11pm showing of The Hunger Games and a 4-year-old at a 10:30pm showing of That's My Boy.
Andrew: Don't get us wrong, we understand that when you have a young child and you want to see a new movie that it may be hard to find a baby-sitter for them. And yes, we're in our early to mid-20's and don't have any kids, so this may sound like we're speaking out of turn. But if you HAVE a young child and can't get a baby-sitter or some sort, then don't go see that movie! It's a sacrifice you have to make as an adult. Someday we'll have to do the same, and when that day comes we'll deal with the same situation. Until then, if you can't get a baby-sitter maybe think about looking into whether your local movie theatre has a program similar to AMC's Bring Your Baby Matinees. Until then, if you bring your child to a late-night movie or an R-rated film and that bugger runs around or keeps asking questions about what's going on, we won't be pleased and we're sure we won't be the only ones.
2: SNACK FOOD: CHEWING WITH MOUTH OPEN AND/OR BRINGING SMELLY/LOUD SNACKS FROM HOME
S: This actually bothers Andrew more than it does me but I can understand how the constant chewing can get irritating.
A: Ok, this one might be a little more ticky-tacky than all the others, but seriously. Close your mouth when you chew. If I have hear you eating your popcorn from the other side of the theatre then you're doing it wrong and your mother should have taught you proper eating manners. Oh, and if you bring food from home (because who doesn't sneak in food?) and it stinks up the joint then we definitely have the right to complain to management. Thems the breaks.
3: REPEATEDLY KICK THE SEAT/GET UP AND MOVE AROUND THE THEATRE
S: This is just plain rude. This isn't your house. Everyone else in the movie theatre had to pay to come watch this movie as well. If you want to get up and move around the theatre, or worse just stand-up and not move, then just wait for the DVD to come out.
A: I know some theatres have little leg room between the back of the seat in front of you, but if you're continually kicking my seat then you're either doing it on purpose or you need to find a comfy position and stick with it. Same goes for grabbing the back of my seat when you get up to go to the bathroom. That's plain rude. As for getting up and walking around the theatre like you own the place, I seriously don't understand that one. Have you never been to a movie before? Are you unaware that there are other people trying to watch a movie? Sit down and watch with us or go out in the lobby where you're free to walk around as much as you please.
4: TEXTING OR SURFING THE WEB ON YOUR CELL PHONE
S: Phones these days are super bright. When you bring them out and and start surfing the web or texting with someone, everyone can see the light from your phone. It's distracting, especially if you keep putting your phone away and taking it back out! If, for whatever reason, you do need to look at your phone at least be courteous enough to either hide it down at your side or to have changed the brightness of your screen. We should all know how to do that.
A: The most egregious example of this happening in a movie we saw was when I took Sarah to finally see The Dark Knight Rises. A group of four teenage girls was sitting to our right and not only were the constantly talking and giggling (which we'll get to) but at one point the one closest to us, about three seats down, took out here iPhone and started surfing the web. At one point she turned her phone in a way that the light was shining right in my face, so I had no problem turning to her and saying, "Excuse me. Please put your phone away," as stern as I could. Yeah she gave me a look (even though she was wearing SUNGLASSES, no wonder she needed the screen so bright) but she put it away for the rest of the movie.
5: TALKING THROUGHOUT THE MOVIE (i.e. reacting verbally to everything, talking above a whisper during the movie, holding conversations with the people around you about anything but the movie yes we can hear about last night's date)
S: Again, THIS IS NOT YOUR LIVING ROOM. The message at the beginning of the trailers isn't a suggestion. Movie theatres are built to carry sound throughout the whole space. So even when you're talking out in the back, the sound carries. We can hear you and we didn't pay $10+ to listen to you talking about how your date with Johnny Quarterback went!
A: Likewise, if you are confused about what's happening on-screen and need to ask questions to your movie-going partner, either ask it in a whisper or wait until after the movie is over. When we saw Lawless the other day there was a couple in the row in front of us that WOULD. NOT. SHUT. UP. The woman repeatedly had to ask the man questions about what just happened or had to make a comment about film. An example, "Oh he did NOT just shoot him!"
Listen, a movie theatre is a public place. There is an inherent, unspoken understanding that we all came to watch this movie and we're going to do as little to bother everyone else so we can all enjoy the film. If we can hear every word you're saying, if you're doing things that constantly distract us from the film or even make it hard to hear/see the movie, that's a problem and we WILL complain to management. We hate to sound like prudes or come off as holier-than-thou, but are we wrong about any of this? Let us know what you think, readers! Is there anything we may have missed that people do at movies that bugs the heck out of you?