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Thoughts On Movie Etiquette

Created on Tuesday, 28 January 2003 21:00
Written by Matthew Toomey

Over the weekend, I was reading Roger Ebert's column and someone asked an interesting question.  The husband of a reader refuses to go to movies on thier own.  Ebert's comments were "When a movie is really working, we are always alone, because we are within the reverie it creates. Tell him that one of the reasons we go to the movies is to leave ourselves behind for two hours and identify with the characters--so if it's a good movie he won't be alone for long."


Valid comments.  So it let me thinking about movie rules.  Everyone has their little quirks when it comes to going to the movies.  After searching around the internet for a while, I came across the opinions of others.  So I thought I'd share them with all to provide some "guidance":


The following 5 Golden Rules are from Joey Di Girolamo and I have to say, I agree with all of them!


RULE # 1 - There is to be no talking during the movie or the movie trailers. It's fine to briefly talk BETWEEN the movie trailers to say something like, "we're definitely gonna see that," or "you're gonna see that one alone," but other than that, no talking.

RULE # 2 - We gotta be about a half hour early. Why? Because of the "just in case" factor. Just in case it's crowded, just in case the time was wrong in the newspaper, just in case she's gotta pee... and I wanna pick the seats, not settle for first row against the wall.

RULE # 3 - What's everyone's obsession with eating at the theater? Fine, if the person I go to the movies with wants popcorn, I won't bitch... as long as we're making good time. Otherwise, that's another line to wait in, lessening the chances of us getting a decent seat. By the way, call me an asshole, but if a girl asks me to get her food or a drink while the movie is playing, I'll laugh in her face.

RULE # 4 - No getting up to use the bathroom. Okay, I'll admit that this rule is a bit harsh, but it's SO distracting! And I hate that whole "what did I miss?" thing. You shoulda peed before the movie started. Or better yet, you shouldn't have ordered that huge Coke that was so big, people were swimming in it. And I don't care if it was only ten cents more than the medium.

RULE # 5 - No making out or feeling me up during the movie. Aside from being very "high school," it's annoying. There's a time and a place for everything, and the movie theater ain't the place to get down and dirty. Well, unless the movie's really, really bad.


They are 5 very important rules and I think they sum up everything important about going to the movies.  But on a more lighter note, here's a contribution from Dr. Daniel.  I don't agree with all but they're quite funny.


1) Never go to a movie with more than one person in tow. It's much too annoying trying to find a film that all seven members of a group agree to see, and you spend valuable "coming attraction" time herding them away from the snack bar.


2) Never be the first one into a theatre. There is a strange phenomenon in casual moviegoers that will not allow them to break ground in the seating process. If you and your companion are sitting in an otherwise empty theatre, waiting for the film to start, it is a guarantee that the next four or five groups will gravitate towards you and your seatmate. They will sit within three rows of you, and usually directly in front of you, so you are in direct earshot of their plentiful conversations that will continue throughout the movie.


3) Never complain about the prices of food and drink at the concession stand. Remember, the zit-faced candy teen has at least three chances to turn his back during preparation. Who knows what he could drip on it (and we're not talking butter-flavored topping)?


4) Never ignore your surroundings while at the ticket window. Listen to the people ahead of you and their selections. This will keep you from having to sit next to Emmett and his merry band of flatulating middle-schoolers.


5) Never read the stories in those freebie, cheese-laden Movie Theatre Magazettes. I mean, this ain't exactly Cinema Critique. The articles are probably written by the publisher's 19-year-old niece, Mandy, in her first year at juco.


6) Never cheer at the trailers. You'll regret it later.


7) Check your theatre seat for squeaky works, exposed springs, and suspicious stains.


8) If something's wrong with the focus, lighting, or sound, take immediate action. Be the hero. 


9) If you've seen the film, but your mate hasn't, don't explain the plot, don't give away major surprises, and don't nudge ribs. 


10) If you hear a funny line, don't repeat it. And don't laugh extra hard at the intellectual jokes to make yourself "seem smart."