Movie Theater Etiquette

true romance movie theater scene

Among the many complaints moviegoers (and also those who no longer movie-go) have about the theatrical experience, the expense involved is consistently near the top of the list. Some of that has to do with other ancillary costs like gas and babysitters while the concession racket is also substantial, but the price of tickets, which is the one thing you have to pay to get in the door of the auditorium, is something that people always seem to have a problem with. They’ll pay it, but they’ll let you hear about it if you’re working the box office on a Friday night. Even though I don’t have to pay for most of the movies I see (one of the perks of this job), I have to admit the price is pretty steep considering the gamble these days — not just regarding the quality of the feature but also the quality of your fellow audience members. I’ve always thought the idea of lowering prices or at least offering discount tickets is a good solution for movie theaters wanting to attract more customers, particularly on weeknights. It’s not an out of nowhere concept. Many chains have deals where you get cheaper tickets by buying them in bulk (often these are in turn sold cheaply to students or employees of large local companies), and others have tried designating a special night of the week (Tuesday is common) to either charge less for admission or do a two-for-one deal. Unfortunately, the discount tickets aren’t usually accepted […]

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Snacks

Chicken tenders. Mozzarella sticks. Pizza. Nachos. Mini corndogs. Popcorn. Buncha Crunch and Sour Patch Kids and Twizzlers, oh my. No, this is not a rant against the fat content and caloric hit of your local movie theater’s many concession options, it’s a call to find the most silent pick for in-theater snacking. Feel free to put whatever you want in your mouth (we’re the last people who will deny the unique charms of eating a dozen mini corndogs as you watch a horror film, and there’s few things better than getting a full meal at your local Alamo Drafthouse while indulging in an otherwise silent theater), just so long as it’s not making a loud noise as it goes through your struggling-in-the-dark hands and past your lips. In short, popcorn has to go. This aggression will not stand, man. (At least, as long as there are people out there who somehow make popcorn-eating sound more like gravel disposal.) Cellophane-wrapped candy bags can fell even the most considerate moviegoers, those who think that opening them slowly somehow means that they’re making less noise, a cruel trick of plastic that just enrages everyone sitting near you. Can even soda survive?

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twilight_theater

The biggest news of the week is something that happened a bit quietly yet wonderfully: FSR got a great (if we say so ourselves) new TV critic/columnist named Inkoo Kang, and she kicked things off excellently with her first recap of The Newsroom and a piece on Breaking Bad‘s proposed spin-off. Stay tuned for lots more smart and in depth coverage from her going forward. Aside from that, it was a fairly quiet week, except for — I guess we were due for another debate — the clamor about whether texting/tweeting should be allowed in movie theaters. And while we’re not sure Hollywood or the theater industry should be moving in that direction, we did look at some other things at least the studio side of the biz can learn this year regarding filmmaking and trailer-making. Once again, this post is where you’ll find a brief recap of the best news and original content from the past seven days, not including all our latest reviews, interviews and trailers, which you can find easily with the links on the site header. Start your weekend right after the jump.

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Reject Recap: The Best of Film School Rejects

There’s at least one big piece of movie news you heard about this week. That’s right, Kevin Kline has finally been cast in the role he was born to play: Dakota Fanning‘s love interest. Oh, and you might have heard that J.J. Abrams is going to direct Star Wars Episode VII: Ewoks Suck, Dude. But with the holiday and the inauguration and the football championships and following the everlasting story of the fake girlfriend of Manti Te’o, you might not have been able to read every necessary film-related article or blog post on FSR or the rest of the Internet. Fortunately, as always, the Reject Recap is here to help. Playing a video of Beyonce’s performance from Monday on mute and pretending she’s reading the following words while you do the actual recitation out loud is recommended but not required.

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Boiling Point

In one of my earliest Boiling Points I discussed seat saver’s etiquette. I had watched a lone person try to save nearly an entire row of seats and thought that was just ridiculous. Listen, if you’re all going to go to the movies together, go together. This isn’t Marine Force Recon, you don’t send out a small commando team to secure a theater. Not cool. In many theaters around the globe, assigned seating is gaining traction. This allows you to pick your seat out ahead of time, online or in the theater, and then arrive just before the show starts. This means you don’t have to stand in long lines outside the theater, queue up early, or storm the theater like a bunch of inglorious bastards. Assigned seating makes the experience easier, right?

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Earlier this week, Deadline Wherever reported that during a panel at CinemaCon, exhibitors discussed the option of allowing patrons to text during films. It was pitched as an attempt to attract younger audiences to the theaters, even though it doesn’t actually address the reason (price of films, quality of the home video experience and rampant online piracy) why teens and college students don’t go to the movies as much as they did in the 70s and 80s. At Film School Rejects, we support a staunch no-texting policy (and no tweeting, Facebooking, web surfing, Wikipediaing, playing of Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja) at all theaters. However, instead of pointing out the fallacies of this idiotic suggestion, we’re taking a look into the future. Here is a possible timeline of what might happen were texting allowed in movie theaters. Gird your loins and enjoy this cautionary tale from Cole Abaius and Kevin Carr.

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Boiling Point

Recently at CinemaCon, Amy Miles, the chief executive officer of Regal Entertainment, birthed the idea that movie theaters should maybe consider allowing texting at certain types of movies – basically movies that asshole teens would most likely be seeing. With great and obvious reasons, everyone got up in a tiff over the statement. Tim League, CEO of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, which has a famously hard-line stance against phone usage during screenings, responded appropriately: “Over my dead body will I introduce texting into the movie theater.” Granted, if you text during a movie, you’re an asshole, but is it really the worst thing in the world?

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly collection of movie news and editorial links that will certainly be living long and prospering. Both because it is what our super hip Commander-in-Chief commands of us and because of you, the faithful reader. We begin this evening with a shot of President Obama and Star Trek‘s Nichelle Nichols in the Oval Office, giving up  the “live long and prosper”  salute that originated in the first episode of Star Trek: The Original Series’ second season. The two racial barrier-breakers met recently, with the photo following from Ms. Nichols’ Twitter feed. It’s room for hope, you know, that the Star Trek future will eventually come true. Also, Obama’s a nerd.

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theater-horrorstories

A man shoots another man in a Philadelphia movie theater because he and his family won’t stop talking during Benjamin Button. We try and figure out if he’s one of our readers…

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Let’s all go to the movies! What do you need to bring? A wallet. Your keys. Basically the list is over.

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