5 Movie Theater Etiquette Tips

5 Movie Theater Etiquette Tips

By Tess Farrand, Staff Writer

No texting, to filming the feature movie, or underage children at R-rated movies…. These are some regulations at movie theaters that we all know. Nonetheless, we’ve compiled a short list of some etiquette tips that will help to enhance your movie-going experience and the experience of those around you!

1. Know your seat number before the entering the auditorium

Reclining theater seats? Yes, it’s true! These cozy recliners are sweeping across the country! If your theater doesn’t have them yet, they may have them soon. Now, when you buy your ticket, you are in control of what seat you select. Yet, this switch takes some getting used to….

More often than not, people forget what seat they picked by the time they enter the theater and spend precious time digging through their wallets or purses to find their ticket; if they haven’t thrown it out by then. Moreover, if you’re late there’s nothing worse than having to dig through your concessions and personal items to take a peek at where you are sitting. An easy fix to this is to have it in a convenient spot to glance at it: pocket put it on the side of your drink, so it sticks to the condensation.… Feel free to get creative.

2. Open your candy during loud scenes

We’ve all been there. The couple is about to have their first kiss, the tension is building in the scene… but your new “friend” in the seat next to you just can’t wait another minute to open his/her M&M’s. Suddenly, you can’t focus on anything but the crackle of the plastic. Boom. There goes the illusion of action in the movie….

Of course, there’s grace for everything! Who knows, perhaps they didn’t want it until the movie started, or they don’t realize that it’s that loud, or maybe you are that person. To avoid any unnecessary distraction, wait until there’s a change in action on screen or the music turns up a notch. This is the best way to dodge glares from other movie theater guests!

3. Tell a manager or staff member if the movie freezes or malfunctions

It happens, but rarely. The commercials are running and suddenly they halt, or the main character keeps repeating the same lines of dialogue. You tell yourself, “hey maybe this is just in the movie,” but after a minute you rethink….

That’s when it’s time to take the plunge and venture out to the lobby to find a manager. At most theaters, they’re in charge of the projections. If you can’t find one, a movie theater staff member will relay the message. Just remember your theater number, so they know which movie to fix and no more worries!

4. Wait to tell your companions your commentary

“Oh yeah, that actress? She’s from… hmmm, I can’t remember?” “No Sally don’t go upstairs!” “No way that would happen in real life….”

All of these are potential comments that you might feel tempted to lean over and tell your buddies about. There’s nothing wrong with commentary, in fact, Hollywood would be dead without it because moviemakers need to know how to improve. However, when audiences are seeing a movie for the first time, it’s not only distracting, but it doesn’t allow other people to form their own thoughts. Instead, make mental notes about your ideas and criticisms for after the movie. Once the credits roll, if you still remember them, then share with your pals.

5. Throw out your trash after the movie

Oftentimes, movie theaters are open until the wee hours of the morning because of midnight screenings and concession clean-ups. But after you walk out of the front doors, someone comes behind you to gather all the debris of the last 120 minutes, and it’s not always pretty. Gum, retainers, spilled drinks….

Why not just take the few extra moments to gather your drink from the drink holder and toss your leftover popcorn in the trashcan? The movie theater ushers clean oodles of popcorn each day and a [relatively] clean theater helps with their tight clean-up schedule. This is a great way to practice being a good Samaritan and help out some hard-working people!


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