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?
I love going to the movies but I also hate it. It's so unfair having assholes talk or text all around you when you pay good money to see the movie. It's not cool. Another thing I hate is when the theater leaves the doors open at the entrances. Light's bothersome.ReplyDelete
Good rant and I fully agree (plus some expletives).
Good call on the theatre doors! Thankfully our AMC is situated where there's always that hallway you have to walk around and down to get to the front of the stadium seats so that's not too big a problem for us, but the door problem was certainly prevalent when Andrew saw some movies in Pennsylvania last month.Delete
Your first point is one that drives me crazy. I've said this far to often, but I always feel I should preface my comments about this with: I'm a parent, and I have an 8 year old son (who will be 9 in Nov) that I've taken to somewhere in the viscinity of 50-60 movies (his first was when he was 2.5). I learned a long time ago that he's just like me and will sit still and watch whatever is on the screen without being fidgety or being disruptive. I also know him well enough to know what he can and can not see. Having said that, I've found that there are FAR TOO MANY people who are selfish or could careless about either the content of the film or whether their kid(s) being disruptive. At a screening of Ted, right before the movie was about start and older woman walked in with 2 young girls (the oldest couldn't have been more than 7). Needless to say, less than 10 mins later she and the girls walked out. Now, I'm sure one of the little girls probably said "I want to see the movie with the Teddy Bear", but how about asking someone if it's appropriate for kids?! I found the second situation to be far more bothersome than the first. At a screening of Savages (after it had been out more than 5 weeks) two young ladies (approx. 19-23) are accompanied by a girl no older than 9. I'm pretty sure that a couple sitting behind them suggested that they leave not long after the movie started; and not because of the girl's behavior, but due to the content...mind you, this was about 10pm! In my mind, there's no excuse for this at all! I also believe my local AMC theater has a rule of no children under 12 being admitted after 9pm, but it doesn't seem to be strictly enforced.ReplyDelete
I'm torn with regards to #2, because I tend to think I may too much noise when I eat popcorn or nachos; but believe me, I definitely chew with my mouth closed!
As somone who's 6'3 there are times when I find it difficult to get comfortable, and at times it can be even worse if my knees are sore from playing basketball. However, I make it a point not to EVER kick the seat in front of me or to stand up in front of people. If my knees hurt that bad, I even go as far as making sure I sit in the back row in the event I do have to stretch during a longer film. It's called common courtesy.
I'm very guilty of the phone thing, unfortunately. I usually go to the movies by myself, and if it's during the day or early enough in the evening my 3 kids are still awake, it's not uncommon for my wife to text me about something involving the kids. I do make sure my screen is a dim as possible, and I usually have a ball cap on, which I take off and wrap around the phone to block out and side lighting, but it's still a bad habit I need to work on.
At a recent screening of Total Recall I sat next to a couple (early 20s) who proceeded to talk (loudly) throughout each and every trailer. I wasn't happy about it, but I dealt with it...until the movie started and it continued. I gave a few stares and subtle grunts, and it became less excessive. If I had known the movie was going to be that terrible, I'd have left and gone to management to ask for a refund and to complain.
I also think reference should be made to the number of employees that have become a big part of the theater going experience. I've had employess in the room where the "reel" is talking loud enough that they can be heard over the movie. As stated above, employees not enforcing their own rules. I should say that most of the individuals I encounter at my local multiplex are very polite and do their jobs wonderfully, but it's those few that make the bad experiences worth remembering.
In case it's not obvious, I absolutely enjoyed this post!
This is great! We love hearing your side of these things, too. Like with your kid, we were worried we might offend some people who have children and especially those whose are well behaved, but we're glad you agree here! When we have kids we're going to do our best to teach them as best we can how to watch a movie properly, otherwise if they can't sit still or have their attention held by a movie it'll be no theatre going for them.Delete
On point #3, we're both relatively short. Like Sarah is 5'4" and I'm 5'7", so we have plenty of space with the chairs but I like to sit with my legs crossed and make sure I NEVER kick the chair in front of me.
The phone thing...we occasionally will check a text or look something up on IMDb real quick but we do the same as you. Hold it low and out of sight, low brightness and try not to be intrusive. If the theatre is packed we never do it. Only really when it's a sparse crowd.
We've never really experienced what you're talking about with the employees. What exactly are they doing?
Glad you enjoyed the post! We enjoyed writing it!
Yes! to all!! I have kids and I agree 110%. Especially as a parent the last thing when you finally get away from your kids is to hear some other brat screaming. I paid my babysitter and my ticket, now let me enjoy my popcorn in peaceReplyDelete
Yay! We're glad you agree as someone who has a kid and has to deal with the situation! We love your blog, btw! It always makes us laugh. Where are you from in the Midwest??Delete
I have almost completely stopped going to movie theaters because of all of these! I have to wait for movies to come out on DVD. It seriously gives me anxiety and it makes the entire experience more stressful than enjoyable. I like to think this is all common-sense, but apparently not.ReplyDelete
Everyone needs to read this!!!
That's such a bummer that people not following etiquette has caused you to stop going to the theatre! So you watch all films at home now then?Delete
And feel free to retweet or share this post! ;)
I really agree with all of these.ReplyDelete
I usually go to showings in the afternoon now so I have most of the cinema to myself and can't be distracted. The last time I went to an evening showing was for 21 Jump Street and there was a lady playing angry birds right in front of me!
Very, very annoying to have the bright light and constant movement of the game in my peripheral vision.
Wow, she was playing Angry Birds DURING the movie??? Yeah, we probably would have been like "Ma'am, please put your phone away." And if she didn't we totally would've gone to management. We're nice people until you mess with our movie-going experience, lolDelete
Good stuff, guys. The #4 bit about the girl giving you a look is a classic move that's been done to me a couple times; they get called out for their douchey behavior and they try to make you feel like you're the bad guy. "HOW DARE HE TELL ME TO TURN OFF MY CELL DURING THE FILM?!"ReplyDelete
I don't get it, nor do I get how despite years of complaints everywhere about this sort of behavior, despite this being a shared annoyance in this country (if not the world entirely), it not only continues but seems to have gotten worse. It's one thing if the offenders are teens or children -- but fully grown adults acting this way, I don't understand at all. Hell, I'm an immature Peter Pan-syndrome having mofo and even *I* come correct at the movie theater.
The girl giving us the look when we dared to call her out on pulling out her phone at a sold out show of TDKR is a personal fav. Our minds were blown.Delete
The food thing has never been an issue for me in a theater (Maybe I just can't hear it over my own chewing?ReplyDelete
There is one talking exception for me and that's certain big event movies. While no one should have casual conversations or be constantly explaining the movie, there are certain films where a packed theater and a raucous atmosphere add to the experience. Sure, I'm thinking about The Room and Rocky Horror, but I'm also thinking about horror films with people yelling at the screen or comedies where the audience makes it funnier. I tend to remain a spectator myself in those situations, but I have a hell of a lot of fun when it happens.
Sarah: We will say, if Andrew has some popcorn or nachos himself it doesn't bug him but that's because he can't hear the other people over his own chewing. He's weird.Delete
Andrew: That's true. And good call on the event movies. I've gone to a few midnight showings of Rocky Horror on Halloween Eve and had a blast. But those are the exception to the rule.
Nice post...a post after my own heart. My wife and I have started going to "breakfast matinee's" because moviegoers cannot behave properly. In the mornings, we have the theater almost to ourselves. There will be the occasional elderly couple and/or single people in their 40's and 50's. We found a great little theater where you can grab coffee and enjoy a selection of foreign and indie films. It is the BEST way to watch cinema!!ReplyDelete
Great blog btw. I just found it on the LAMB forums.
Thank you for the kind words!Delete
That sounds amazing, the breakfast matinees. We'd kill for something like that. We enjoy grabbing breakfast from our favorite bakery and then going to the AMC, but most indie films aren't shown there (at least for a while) so we have to drive 20 mins or so to Hartford. Just doesn't work as well with breakfast. So consider us jealous!
I went and saw Paranorman on Friday and there were obviously a few kids in the audience and they were occasionally a little loud but there parent's immediately asked them to quiet down. Since this is a movie geared towards kids, I am not at all bothered by the occasional loud remark from a kid.ReplyDelete
However, what did bother me was the grown adult that was basically trying to have a conversation with a movie. He would loudly point out things that would obvious to anyone. It was just really annoying. Seriously, if you are an adult and the children in a movie are more well behaved than you, perhaps you should not be going to a movie theater. It was just really annoying. It just amazes me how discourteous people can be to other's around them. Some people just don't think of anyone but themselves.
Luckily after shushing him a couple times he stopped talking.
That's exactly the stuff we're talking about! What in the world would make him think that what he's doing is appropriate in a public movie theatre? We seriously don't understand why some people don't get that a theatre is not their own living room.Delete
Glad he quieted down after the shushing though. We hope it was you who was doing the shushing, lol.
Oh yes, I was the one doing the shushing. I don't always shush people but this guy was ridiculously loud.Delete
When I went to see the new Spider-Man film, there was a girl playing games on her phone. Games!ReplyDelete
In another screening, a man was listening to his massive headphones and smoking. Smoking!
It baffles me that people spend money to sit in a dark room and not watch a film.
In both of those cases we absolutely would've A.) spoken up to that person, and B.) gone to management to get them kicked out if they continued to do so.ReplyDelete
Someone was seriously smoking in the movie theatre you were at???