Last Saturday I enjoyed my first double showing in quiet possibly a decade. It was a man date with my close friend from out of town, and we thought, “Why not?” We both wanted to see Edge of Tomorrow and X-Men: Days of Future Past, so we struck a deal with the Mrs., headed out the door, and soon found ourselves in the comfy confines of reclining theater seats.
As we were waiting for the previews before X-Men, I was reminded by the AMC red circle minions to turn off or silence my phone. My friend and brother-in-films made sure to remind me to turn it off. It was at this point that I was a little taken aback. I never turn off my phone – I’ll silence it – but I never turn off my phone.
So I did. I turned it off. I wasn’t annoyed to the level of Zoolander, but it felt strange to have it off. Then I started to think about all other theater etiquette that I may or may not subscribe to. Here are my thoughts.
New Movie Etiquette
On cell phones, silence them. I don’t like to see bright-lit LED screens all over the place. But if I see someone with their phone out and they’re trying like hell to hide it from me, then I don’t mind. It’s the thought that counts. The theater space isn’t sacred. I’m sure every film instructor in America wants to line up to throat-punch me, but I’ll stand behind it. I don’t want kids shouting or people talking on their phones or using the click click click button sound feature, but if they’re honestly trying to hide it and it’s silent, that’s fine with me.
On eating popcorn and candy, I don’t want to hear it. First, kudos to all the amazing ways people hide food in their clothes and purses when sneaking it into the theater. And if you want to buy the large popcorn and run for six refills, by all means, go for it. But just don’t be loud about it. Chew with your mouth closed (as I am reminded by my better half every morning over my Cheerios). And when you’re finishing your ICEE, once the slurp hits, it’s like God telling you you’ve had enough. Before I have to do more than a Seinfeld-esque half turn and shoot eye lasers at you.
On laughing at funny moments, please do, but not if you have an annoying laugh. You know who you are…You know who you are.
The next time you go to the movies, I challenge you to challenge your own believes on movie etiquette. You may find yourself less prissy than you think. Unless you’re a film student. Then, well, I hope you don’t end up screaming at ushers for talking at the end of the movie.