I’m of the belief that you can never go wrong with the classics. Coca-Cola, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Pepperoni Pizza, and writing boiling point about how movie goers need to sit down and shut the fuck up. It’s been said a million times and with a million good reasons: a million or more people just won’t sit the fuck down. Or shut the fuck up.
Why do I feel the need to revisit this topic? Well, this past Saturday I took some time out of my busy schedule to spend a relaxing evening at the local cinema. Watching Insidious. It’s a pretty solid flick by the way, so maybe you should check it out if you can find a theater that has a crowd far better than mine.
Oh, and in case you’re not all that interested in the sit down and shut up talk, stick around anyways – this is a general etiquette class for not being a douche while watching a movie.
There’s etiquette to be learned before you even get into the movie theater, but for the purposes of this article we’re starting as you walk through the doors of the screening, not of the building. So let’s say you’ve arrived. You’re walking into the 10:45pm showing. You check your watch, what does it say? It should say 10:25-10:40. Maybe 10:45 if you stopped to get some concessions. What I’m saying is get the fuck in the theater on time. It’s distracting when you’re walking around with your God damned cell phone flashlight trying to find four seats together when you’re late to the theater.
Listen, seriously, get there on time. Get there early. Most theaters show a between eight and fifteen minutes of pre-roll, whether it’s advertisements or trailers or a combination of the two. With that in account, if your clock says anything more than 10 minutes past the show start, get the fuck out of here. What happened? Why are you coming in so late? Sure, if there was some hellacious traffic accident, fine. But if you’re just lazy and carrying two dishes of nachos with cheese and a side of jalapeños, fuck you.
So now you’re in the theater, Milk Duds in hand, and the previews haven’t started. Excellent. Find a seat. Sit in it. Wait for the movie to start. Don’t stand around in the aisle. Don’t do anything but sit down and wait for the show to start. Talk to your friends. Hey, you can even play on your cell phone at this point.
Okay, point over, the lights are coming down. The trailers are starting. Once those lights dim, your cell phone goes away for good. You don’t use it as a flashlight. You don’t take texts. You don’t play Words with Friends. You don’t check the time. You put that mother fucker away for the next two hours.
Now, while I would prefer you didn’t talk much during the trailers, at this point it’s okay to turn to your buddies and say that the Captain America looked fucking awesome and explain to your girlfriend that the actor whose name she’s fishing for is William Fichtner and yes, he was in The Dark Knight. But keep it to a minimum.
Once the studio cards start rolling for the feature film, talking finishes. Moving finishes. Everything that isn’t paying attention finishes. Now, it’s quiet time.
Seriously, this isn’t a rock concert. It’s not Power Rangers on Ice. It’s a movie. I’m not paying twelve-fucking-seventy-five to hear you read every card on the screen or explain the relationship between characters, or say “Oh no” or shout anything to the characters on the screen. Hint: they can’t fucking hear you, dickhead. So shut up.
See, it’s not hard. That’s how civilized people see movies. We arrive on time. We find our seats. We sit down. We speak quietly amongst ourselves while appropriate – and when the movie starts, we sit there in silence and enjoy it. We laugh when it’s appropriate. We scream when it’s scary- well, maybe you do, I don’t cry for shit. But the point remains the same – get in on time, sit down, shut the fuck up and enjoy the show. Because me, you, and every reasonable person goes past their boiling point when dealing with your bullshit.