What Not to Do at the Movies

Taboos in the Cinema

It never fails. I am seated quite nicely in the theater when a couple arriving during the previews decides to sit directly in front of me, only to make their romantic comedy. Please, please, do not be these people. Remember you are not the only person in the theater. Several rules are posted in the theater regarding conduct, but some unwritten rules exist.

Refrain from kicking the back of my seat. This is less of a problem in a stadium style seated theater, but in case we are in a traditional cinema, keep your feet off my seat. Also, please make sure your kid is not kicking the back of my seat either. Also be aware that the seats in front of you are not footrests, peoples heads will be where your dirty pair of shoes once rested, show some courtesy.

Open your smuggled drink prior to the start of the feature. Listen, if you want to circumvent the horrible prices at the concession stand, be a polite crook and open that bottle or can prior to when the dialog I paid ten bucks for starts. That goes for that crinkly bag of chips too!

Do not bring in a full course meal. I am so sorry you missed dinner, it is not like the theater posts the times the movies start in about fifty locations. How could you possibly know that the rest of the theater does not want to smell your sandwich, pizza, or even fried chicken? Stop at the concession stand and buy some popcorn, maybe even a few Jr. Mints, if you are hungry. Or even, perish the thought, use that brain of yours and allow enough time to stop and eat BEFORE coming to the movie.

The rest of the audience does not care about your ad libs. If you are compelled to improve upon the quality of writing you are witnessing on the silver screen, kindly limit your ad libs to a whisper to the person next to you. If your friend is five rows in front of you, keep it to yourself until the end of the movie. The rest of us are not there to discover the next Tarantino.

Your cell phone should be in your pocket. Cell phones, Blackberries, iPods, and pretty much any other electronic item you have with you should be a secret. The crowd has not gathered in front of this screen to view your phone’s key pad, or watch you take a blurry picture of Edward Cullen. I am going to assume everyone knows that these devices should be off or on vibrate during the movie. If you are uncouth enough to answer the phone while in the theater, you most likely have not read this far into this column. Therefore, I will not even mention that little piece of rude behavior.

So there you have five simple rules to follow in the theater, an written code of conduct if you will. Remember, have a little courtesy and show the other patrons some respect. Everyone paid to be here and watch the movie, no one paid to sit in the dark and listen to you, your phone, or listen to you eat.

See you at the movies!


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