What happened to Movie Theater Etiquette?


At the risk of sounding like an old man, I feel the need to let some steam blow on how going to the movies isn’t like it was ten years ago. Now, I’m not going to blame it all on cell phones and the people who don’t understand the twenty different messages to turn them off, but they are a part of the problem. Along with the cell phone users, there are the teenagers that can’t shut up, the little kids that run all over the place and parents that just don’t care and many other things. I know that movie theater’s are trying to make sure that everyone is having a good time and able to enjoy the movie without imposing dozens of rules but I think they could do a little better than they have been lately.

Let’s go ahead and get the cell phone users out of the way since the problem could be solved as easily as everyone just turn the damn things off and ignore them for two and half hours. Honestly, we’re all paying $15 to watch this movie, if you aren’t going to pay attention to it why waste your money. At this point I almost want to encourage theaters to confiscate all phones before walking into the auditorium, now I know they won’t do that and many people would get up in arms about safety and their rights and all that B.S. This problem has been around for way too long, in my opinion I think anyone that is caught using a cell phone after the previews are over should be kicked out, as far as a refund goes I’ll leave that up to the theater but I wouldn’t give them their money back.

movietalkingNext up on the list are teenagers, again at the risk of sounding old, let me say that I didn’t act like I’ve seen some teens do in a movie theater. Now I’m not going to say all teens are horrible movie goers because I know they aren’t but those few can give the whole group a bad name. I’m not complaining about the fan girls that swoon or scream when their crush comes on screen or the group of kids that laugh hysterically for minutes on end. That’s all to be expected the ones I’m talking about are throwing popcorn and candy at each other, yelling and screaming inappropriately, kicking the chairs in front of them and doing God knows what else. I want to say it’s the parent’s fault for not teaching their kids how to behave in a movie theater but I know that when a group of teens get together well they lose the ability to make good choices. Honestly there isn’t much we can do about them other than rat them out to theater staff when their antics get too unbearable.

Since I’ve already mentioned them, let talk about parents and them bringing their wee-little ones to the movies, great idea, I’ve taken my almost three year old a few times. I think if we take them when they’re young and teach them how to behave we wouldn’t have the majority of problems we have in movie theaters. First mistake I see parents make is they take their 2 or 3 year old to see Saw or Paranormal Activity and expect them not to cry or scream until they lose their voice. Now either they’re young first time parents or just don’t care that they are traumatizing their kids. Seriously there are tons of age appropriate movies that come out all year long, I’m sorry if you don’t like Disney or Pixar movies but its not about what you like it’s about what they like. I’d love to show my son Jaws or Alien but it’s just not appropriate.

no_mobile_co5Another problem is parents let their kids run all over the place and don’t say anything to them, I can understand not wanting to yell at your kids in a movie theater but they still need to know that’s not okay, whether you put them back in their seats or take them outside for a quick talk. As parents it’s our job to teach them how to act. I know it’s not easy to get kids to sit still and quiet for long periods of time, the first time I took my son to the movies he crawled from seat to seat and would talk loudly thinking I couldn’t hear him over the movie but by the third movie we saw he was sitting in his seat or my lap and having popcorn through the whole movie. It just takes effort, which I can sadly say some parents aren’t putting in, I’ve seen parents completely ignoring what their children are doing and worse I’ve seen some that are on their phones while their kids are misbehaving. I’m sorry if I seem harsher on parents than anyone else but as one I can say if you don’t want to teach your kids how to act at the movies then don’t take them and ruin the experience for everyone else.

Wow, I feel better, thank you everyone for sticking with me through that rant but I’ve been bottling that up for a long time. I know I didn’t mention every little thing that bugs me when going to a movie now days but if I did we’d be here all day. What really blows my mind is when I’m talking to my uncles and they tell me that when they were kids they had to get dressed up to go to the movies, it was a special event for them. Today people go to the movies in their pajamas, but I guess that just speaks more toward our attitude towards movies and art in general. Anyways, I’d love to hear what bothers everyone else when they go to the movies, whether it is something other moviegoers are doing or something that the theater itself does.