Cinema Etiquette 101
A cranky contribution from my new pal M. O'Cognac
We’ve all been to the cinema and one time or another had someone just get on our wick through their rude inconsiderate behavior. Normally this might irk me for the movie and then afterwards I’d let it go but on a recent outing I had not one but four of the offenses below committed by a couple sitting next to me thus ruining my enjoyment of the film so much this blog post was born. Below are a few “gentle” reminders of how not to behave at the cinema.
The most common offense by far but that does not excuse incessant jabbering so please shut the F up or in the exceptional case where you really must ask a movie related question to your friend, keep it short & to a whisper. I & your other fellow movie goers do not want to hear it. Having experienced how the Dutch stereotypically engage in full scale conversation in the cinema, my trips to the cinema back home are a relative spa-like experience but still there are the few that just won’t zip it and continue to babble on through the movie. Quite frankly it’s usually about something so inane, it could wait until the movie was over or better yet just skip the movie and go have this oh so important gossip over a coffee.
Sitting in a relatively packed theatre, the couple next to us, I came to ascertain from their constant breaking of the no talking rule, had been out for drinks beforehand. Nothing wrong with that, we’d consumed a bottle of wine with dinner just prior. However, if you have a weak bladder and a trip to the bathroom before and after will not suffice then don’t bother coming to the movie or if you must insist - find a seat far away from me thanks very much.
No Mobile Phones
Why do some people seem to think that a mobile phone is fine to use as long as it’s on silent. Yes, you’re phone should either be off or the very least on silent. Silent is not a problem and happens to be own default just because it’s more convenient on an iPhone. A ringing mobile is a complete no no and in the accidental cases letting it ring should be a hanging offense. It should never, ever be answered and once the movie starts should not be seen again until the credits are rolling. Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, that person you’re texting or whatever other reason you use to justify using your phone can wait! If they are more important that the movie and the person you are with then you are a) being rude to your companion, b) ruining the experience of the people around you with the beaming light distracting them and c) an idiot for bothering to pay in to the movies to stare a screen no bigger than my hand.
Keep To Your Own Seat
This is a relatively rare occurrence but my recent experience prompts its inclusion. There is always the “ah shucks, I have to share an arm rest” scenario when the theatre is packed. That’s fine, it’s all part of the game but to the wonderful couple beside me in their inebriated state, I say thanks for taking this to a whole new level. It certainly was a first for me. When my neighbors started messing around and with flying arms inadvertently elbowed me in the side not once but twice, I began to seethe. One of the females (I can’t refer to them as ladies) on the return from her multiple bathroom breaks actually sat on the arm rest. Seriously if you are that drunk or badly coordinated that you can’t actually sit in the seat properly then just go home! Thankfully by this stage I was leaning to the other side of my seat in an effort to stay safe but the next flailing arm was greeted with a poke in the arm and a sharp gesture to cut it out or I may retaliate. In hind sight, I should have done that a lot earlier.
While there was no little person related incidents on the evening in question and where possible I avoid times more suitable for the very young, I have witnessed and been totally astonished by the behavior of one set of parents in a late evening movie. Sitting with my bff there is the sound of a baby crying, no baby in the movie but low and behold at 2o’clock there sits a couple and what seems a very young crying baby. Now I'm a fairly empathetic person & can sympathize for the loss of a couple’s social life post baby but when it starts to impact on my social life and especially if you are a complete stranger to me then either get a baby sitter or stay at home! The movie theatre is absolutely no place for a baby and if you take the risk, when the kid inevitably starts screeching, don’t keep bouncing it or passing it back and forth between you – get out of the cinema immediately. Do not pass go, do not collect $100, go straight out that door.
Now, I don’t think any of the guidelines above are so difficult that you need a PHD to comprehend them and IMO, are purely common sense, basic manners and a pinch of cop on thrown in for good measure. I go to the movies a lot and like to be entertained. I don’t wish to have experiences that warrant any further cranky blog posts!