“Jaw With John” – John’s Guide To Movie Watching

The other day I saw a great movie. But the lady behind me kept talking to her husband during the film. It was distracting when she would ask her husband what was going on and talk through emotional scenes.

I was appalled by this because I am only 18, and I would expect that an adult over twice my age could sit quietly for two hours and know proper movie etiquette.

Could you please write a list of rules concerning proper movie-viewing etiquette for those people who have never been told how to act in a movie theater? — Annoyed

Dear Annoyed:

This is my biggest pet peeve of all time. I love going to the movies. I cherish it. I had always been taught to sit quietly in my seat and watch the movie. The theatre is not my living room. I am not allowed to talk over the movie and misbehave in any way. That’s the way I always saw a movie and it’s how I still see them today.

And since you asked, here are my 7 rules:

1. Sit down and shut up. You’re allowed to laugh/gasp/cry but no commentary. If you can’t follow what’s happening or got up to go to the bathroom then you lose your right to know what’s happened.
2. Rein in your children. This isn’t daycare. Don’t let your kid run around the theatre, it’s annoying and disruptive. It’s also a part of #1.
3. TURN OFF YOUR PHONE. If you can’t go 2+ hours without looking at your phone, texting, or checking email then you don’t deserve to go to a movie theatre. You’re not that important.
4. If you have candy, open it BEFORE the movie starts. No one wants to hear the crinkling of wrappers during a tense or quiet or any scene for that matter.
5. If someone’s in front of you, don’t put your feet on their seat. That’s a no brainer. Most theatres have those bars at the front row where wheelchairs can be parked. That’s where you can put your feet up. It’s also where I prefer to sit.
6. If there’s relatively few people in the theatre, don’t sit directly behind or in front of someone. You have all that space to work with so spread out.
7. Clean up after yourself. I don’t expect you to pick up your popcorn kernels that are on the floor but I do expect you to pick up your popcorn bag/bucket, empty drinks and any other trash you’ve made. It’s called being courteous and it makes the ushers job that much easier.

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