Five Simple Rules for Every Moviegoer

I was really hoping it wouldn’t come to this, but I see now that I have no other option than to give a lesson in manners and etiquette. You people have no idea how sad a day it is when I’m lecturing on the subject of etiquette. I’d direct you to photographic proof of my lapses in decorum at a wedding just last weekend, but my breaches in etiquette were so egregious that I had the negatives burned, and the photographers were threatened into secrecy. Admittedly, those were probably big faux pas themselves, but I digress.

Now where was I? Oh, yeah, manners and etiquette!

You see, going to a movie while it’s in theaters is a communal experience. Along with you and your friends, there are almost certainly other people that paid to see the movie as well. In a situation as communal as this, there’s a social contract of sorts that all involved parties should strive to uphold. Isn’t taking other people into consideration simply part of living in a civilized society?

More and more people seem to forget that they and their friends are not the only ones there to see a movie, though. They feel that they are free to act however they want. They feel that, as long as they’ve paid for a ticket, they’re free to act however they wish. They are complete and utter dipshits.

So, in the interest of cutting down on asshole shenanigans at the movies, I’m going to go through a list of things to keep in mind while at the theater.

Be Punctual – Now, I realize that I can be a little anal about getting to the movies on time. When I go to the movies, it’s because there’s something I want to see; it’s a very rare occurrence for me to go simply to go. Because of this, walking into a theater once the feature has already started seems like an incredibly subpar way to start the movie. More so, it disturbs the people who are already in the theater and watching the movie. I realize that sometimes being late can’t be avoided, and that you can’t always wait until the next showing, so this is a pretty flexible rule with me.

Don’t Carry On a Conversation – Let me be clear here, I’m not saying that you need to be stone silent the whole time. Leaning over to your friend for a quick, quiet aside is fine as far as I’m concerned, but it should be just that, quick and quiet. If you’re carrying on a running conversation throughout the movie, you’re forcing it on other people who are trying to watch the movie. Save the conversation for after you’ve seen the whole thing. Especially since the person you think is the killer in the first five minutes isn’t who it’s going to turn out to be in the end, anyway.

Don’t Text – The last two movies I saw in a theater were Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom and Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. While these movies are on polar opposites of the movie spectrum in terms of style, there is one thing they have in common: they are both movies that have a very distinct, and striking visual style. When I saw both of them, I KEPT ON HAVING TO WATCH LIGHTS DOT THE THEATER AS PEOPLE WERE TEXTING! When someone else is trying to pay attention to something do you have any idea how utterly frustrating and distracting that is? Here, I’ll demonstrate by repeatedly flicking you when you’re trying to watch something.

Don’t Try to be Mystery Science Theater 3000 – If you shout things out during a movie, you’re an asshole, and I will throw things at you. Big things. Heavy things. And with amazing accuracy.

Don’t Talk On Your Phone – I swear to god, if I catch you talking on your phone during a movie, I’ll lay you out with a haymaker that Ivan Drago would be envious of. It’s that simple.

So, these are five simple rules to go by when hitting up the movies this summer. Once you guys get these basics down, we’ll be able to work on finer points of movie theater etiquette, like stop encouraging Adam Sandler and Michael Bay to work in the movie industry, and how you should have your child taken away if you take them to a R-rated movie.

If you kids don’t mend your wicked ways, I’m going to sick Minch on you!


Written by:

Nick Newert




3 thoughts on “Five Simple Rules for Every Moviegoer

  1. Nick, I agree with you. I don’t even enjoy going to most theaters anymore because they’re full of disrespectful people. The worst is when you’re sitting up high and in the back, and the whole seating area is just awash in cell phone lights. Seriously, people? Why bother paying for the movie at the theater if you’re just going to sit on your phone the entire time? Turn it off! 

    •  @annedreshfield Same. I usually enjoy sitting in the back, but not when I have to look at all those screens. When I was living in London, there were actually a few theatres that would remove people who were talking/texting. We need to import that policy into the states!

      •  @AdamBritten Here’s why I hope to see at least one movie at the Alamo Drafthouse during my life.

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