Movie Etiquette [08/20/01]

Recently, there seems to be a growing trend of rudeness and inconsideration at the movie theaters. In fact, the last few times I've gone, I've had to contain myself so as not to yell profanities at other movie goers. For this reason, I have decided to detail a list of rules which movie-goers should consider before heading back to the theaters. While I know that most of the offenders will ignore these suggestions, if I can change the mind of at least 1% of movie goers, my work and frustration will (at least partially) be justified.

Don't take kids to adult movies - Seriously. If you want to see an R-rated love movie, leave your kids at home. They're just gonna get bored, make a lot of noise and run in-and-out of the theater, looking for something to do. Don't ruin the experience for other people.

No cell-phones or beepers - This should go without saying. If you have to be so connected to the outside world, then why are you taking two hours out of your life to stop and watch a film. If your phone goes off and you bother to answer, you deserve to get hit in the head with a flying bucket of popcorn.

Don't talk - If you're a talker and can't sit through a movie without making comments, stay home and wait for the movie to come out on cable or video. Most of the movie-going world doesn't care what your opinion is, and we don't want to hear it muttered along with the script of the film. The only time this is forgivable is if the movie is so bad that you are actually heckling it. This is not advisable in a packed theater, though.

Don't spoil the movie - Please, whatever you do, don't walk out of a movie and talk about the "surprise ending" that you didn't see coming. Most likely, everyone else in the lobby hasn't seen the ending coming either and WILL NOT appreciate having the movie ruined for them before they even take a seat. This is a good way to end up in a fight.

Use the bathroom before the movie - Do yourself and the rest of us a favor and use the bathroom before you sit down to enjoy the movie. If you know you can't last two hours without a visit to the bathroom, then sit at the end of the aisle, so as not to interrupt all the people you'll have to squeak by the get out.

Show up on time - There are a number of ways you can find out when the movie is going to show. Try and be responsible enough to manage your time well. Showing up five or ten minutes into the movie is disruptive and rude. If you can't show up on time, then don't bother. On the other hand, showing up during the previews and commercials is all right. Those are intended for short attention spans anyway.

Babies - Yes, babies are cute and all, but they have this innate ability to start crying at the most inopportune time. This is disruptive to not only for everyone else, but for either the father or mother who will have to take the screaming child out. Hire a baby-sitter or ask a family member to watch the child. You'll be doing all of us a favor.

Don't leave your kids - Handing your kids a couple bucks and telling them to hang out at the theater is the worst thing you can do as a parent. The movie theater is not a day-care. Letting your children run around wild like this just shows poor parenting skills. You know they'll misbehave and try to sneak into the first R-rated movie they can. If you don't want to watch your children, leave them at the mall. At least there, people aren't trying to enjoy a film.

Don't make out - There's nothing more pathetic than going to a movie to make out. Save yourself the money, drive your car out to your local make-out point and save the rest of us your sickening kissy-fest.

- - Vane

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