Rules For The Moviegoer


The last time I went to a movie theater is the last time I will ever go to a movie theater.  (You should know I say this every time.) This time, though, I really mean it. I mean, really. My sister and I went to see Beastly (only because of Mary-Kate) and we ended up in a brawl with a one-legged woman and her fiance. She wouldn’t stop blabbing her mouth and before I knew it I went Sybil on everyone’s ass. It was not becoming. She said I was a movie snob, I said to take a walk, and the night ended in supreme depression over missing MK’s creepy white eyebrows. I vowed, then and there, for the sixtieth time, never to step foot in a movie theater again.

Shawn and Mary, my dutiful parents, have raised me and my sisters well when it comes to movie-manners. They were silently instilled – a lead-by-example kind of thing – and before we even breached, we understood them as purely rational notions rather than unwritten Rules. It wasn’t until my first sleepover at 6 years old that I realized not all little girls valued movie courtesy like I did; while my bratty friends gossiped over pigtails and J.T.T, I strained to hear Sandy express her hopeless devotion, my blood boiling.

Alas, the snob was born.

I feel as though it’s time to share the wealth, pass the torch of theater etiquette to you Internet darlings who will stand as the children I will inevitably never have. If you know them already, my apologies for the redundancy and kudos to your parents. If you don’t, you should be ashamed of yourself.

1. Never talk during a movie. This should go without saying, but it seems America has lost all concept of what’s socially considerate and what’s plain rude. Food for thought: if you’re extremely sensitive to any sort of noise during your movie experience (popcorn-digging, unruly coughing, husky grunts of approval), I would suggest skipping early matinees and/or 8 o’clock viewings at popular venues. While the matinees bring out the senile, the 8 o’clocks attract prepubescent children most likely experiencing their first hickey. Both make you want to kill yourself.

2. If you absolutely have to talk, do not say something like “OMG. This part is the best! OMG, I can’t wait for you to see it…” The predictive movie-commenter is Hitler in our house. Serious control issues, people. There is nothing worse than having a retarded sidekick give you a play by play of what is about to happen, holding their breath in anticipation for what’s to come and then making sure you got it. (Is she laughing? Did she understand the joke? Maybe I should explain it to her…Nothing worse.

3. If someone else is talking during the movie, let them know who’s boss. Come prepared. Tasers, brass knuckles, Anthraxed funnel cakes. Pepper spray to rob them of their sight forevermore. Be inventive in your strategies to shut a loudmouth up. These days, it takes a lot to get your point across, and the eight minute window of movielessness/ previews does not allow for much error. Be precise and don’t be afraid to kick a bitch in the voicebox.

4. Always veer away from the crowd. You’ll notice that the middle-section of movie theaters are almost always full while the wings are almost always empty. Sheep mentality, folks. Don’t fall for it. Also, stretch your legs onto the seats in front of you. This will enable you to claim territory that’s not really yours. People will just assume you are saving them, or they’ll be too afraid to ask. (Note: It’s beneficial if a member of your party looks like my dad: bearded, buff, and badass.)

5. Don’t text, talk on the phone, slouch, laugh, question, fall asleep, be too eager, be too dull, pretend you understand what’s going on when you don’t, act interested in what’s going on when you’re not, or repeat lines that were just said. No one will like you. Especially me.

Now, if you diligently follow all of these steps and you still find yourself in a chaos of screaming babies, wait for the DVD. By that point, you’ve really no choice but to distance yourself from society all together. The people who frequent movie theaters are slowly becoming the same people who order fish from IHOP. The future looks dim, my friends.