Movie Theater Etiquette: A quick lesson for adult babies


I can’t believe I’m even writing this. You would think that grown adults would know how to behave during a film. It’s really easy: SIT, WATCH THE MOVIE AND SHUT UP!! If only it were that simple. But, the adult babies that frequent your local movie plex need a quick reminder through this blog post that other people paid a good chunk of change between tickets and snacks to enjoy their movie and you’re ruining it for the rest of us.  So, for the ignorant adult infants, here are some quick guidelines that are extremely easy to follow and will enhance not only your theater experience but also will avoid you getting the dreaded “Shhhh”, “Excuse me, I’m trying to hear the movie,” or “I’m going to get the theater manager.” Here are a few simple rules to live by.

Don’t kick the chair in front of you!!

I never realized that human beings have little to no control over the swinging of their feet until I became a constant theater patron. I can’t tell you how many times I have been sitting there and all of a sudden I feel the thump in my back.  By the way, I have a three thump limit just like I have a three times talking limit.  It’s like an unholy trinity of annoying.  I’ll turn around and get angry, which I hate to do, but, that’s what you get when you act like an adult baby.  In fact, that’s the worst part about the seat kicking. Sometimes it’s kids but more than often it’s a grown adult!  Also, when you kick any chair, it has a reverberating effect down the row.  So, just because your foot smacks into an empty seat doesn’t mean someone a few chairs down doesn’t feel it.  Moral to this story: Keep your feet to yourself!!

Don’t talk!!

Talking can have ramifications that even go beyond the talker.  I’ll tell you a quick story.  I really do try to be patient with people.  I love the theater experience because of the communal aspect of movie watching you don’t get at home.  You can find yourself laughing, crying, and screaming with strangers.  But, my experience seeing “Brokeback Mountain” turned very sour and made me look bad.  I was sitting in the theater with my lovely wife.  There were a total of maybe 20 people watching it that afternoon and we were slightly giddy at the idea of a nice quiet screening almost to ourselves.  Then the old lady above popped our bubble by constantly commenting on everything that happened in the movie, no matter how mundane.  It started with, “Oh, look at all the sheep” in a normal voice you could hear 10 rows down.  Then, it was followed with “Those are pretty horses. I like their hats,” and “That’s a pretty countryside.”  It was about the 7th or 8th comment that I turned and gave the dreaded “Shhhhhhhh.”  She stopped for all of 30 seconds and then it was “That cowboy is handsome” in a booming voice.  I turned around and gave the death stare followed by a second “Shhhhhhhhhhhhh.”  By this time, my wife starts giggling because I almost never get mad and she knows this is my biggest pet peeve.  It’s quiet for maybe one minute and then the old coot says “Is this movie in Montana?” Well, that was it for me.  I turned and whispered as loud as I could, “Will you shut up?!”  This had a two pronged effect.  It did actually get the woman to finally be quiet but it also sent my wife out of the theater laughing loudly. It couldn’t have happened during a worse time, too. It was during one of those sensitive conversations after gay coitus and it made it look like my wife was laughing at the movie and we were homophobes.  The moral of this story is: Your talking can ruin the movie!

Don’t take your children to films that aren’t age appropriate!!

This seems to be happening more and more lately.  You’re sitting in the theater about to watch “Kill Bill” and some idiot walks in with a 5-year-old kid.  Are they taking them because they think they’ll enjoy it? God no! They’re a breed of selfish jerk that doesn’t care gets inflicted by children’s behavior — or lack there of — as long as they get to do what they want. On top of the kid being annoying, talking during the whole film, and being impressionable to hardcore sex and violence, the parent never seems to get that this might be the wrong thing to do.  They sit in blissful ignorance watching the movie because they’ve learned to tune their kid out, but we haven’t!!  Moral of this story: Leave them at home for all R-rated features!

Shut off your cell phone!!

Honestly, this actually doesn’t involve people talking on their phones anymore. I don’t know if it was from verbal or physical threats but almost no one talks on their phones anymore. Now they text!  In fact, how many times have you gone to the movies and some prick keeps flipping up their phone, which is very bright in a dark theater, and texts away thinking, “Well, I’m not talking on my phone so it must not be wrong.” No, you’re doing something just as bad.  Every single time you flip up your stupid cell phone to text your asshole friends, you’re pulling the audience out of the movie and focusing on the bright glow of your texting addiction. Take two hours out of your life to leave your gadgets off and enjoy the movie or go the fuck home.

If anyone has any great stories about annoying people in movie theaters, please leave them below as well as other things you may find annoying that I might have forgotten!


6 responses to “Movie Theater Etiquette: A quick lesson for adult babies

  1. LOL, couldn’t agree more — and why is it that the talkers always choose moody, quiet movies to go to? One such jerk ruined The English Patient because he (being I’d guess, forty) just couldn’t deal with the sexual tension and actually said at one point “Dude, they’re totally gonna get it on!”

    Seriously, he should have gone to a Disney movie or something.

    • I had that with “No Country For Old Men.” It was me, my date, and one other couple in the theater. That was it. We thought we lucked out because we’d wanted to see the movie for so long.

      The other couple wouldn’t shut up. They ruined the ending because we couldn’t hear what was going on. And we were like 5 rows away.

      I think dumb people talk in smart movies because they can’t really follow what’s going on.

  2. You hit the nail right on the head Brian.

    Also, just to branch off of talking and to target nerds: Don’t watch MST3K before going to a movie. MST3K-ing might be funny to you and your friends but not to others. In fact, depending on the movie and its audience, no one will get what you are doing. Even if it’s a really POS movie, by reviewers and general audiences alike, there are still others who really enjoy it. Also, you are not Mike, Crow (Bill Corbett) or Tom (Kevin Murphy). They are professional comedians and writers. Ugh, I’ll stop here. I’ll just keep on going.

  3. nice post. very funny.

  4. Movies like Avatar, and, Lord of the Rings, and such, I have found it’s best to see them during an off night for idiots. Monday, Tuesday evening. The first Lord of the Ring movie was ruined by screaming kids and people who just lacked common sense. That was the last time I went to a mainstream theater of a Saturday.

  5. I like this. Good stuff. Made me laugh.

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