Like most of America, everyone is going to the movies to watch the highly anticipated movie IT over the weekend. The movie is excellent by the way but that is not the point of this rant. The purpose is to address a topic that everyone notices when they go to the movies. No, I’m not talking about the 30 mins of trailers before the actual feature. I am talk about the growing rude and obnoxious behavior that occurs at the theatre when the movie is playing.
As I was swiping through twitter, I came across a twitter rant from @sebbyskywalker. He saw IT over the weekend and praised how amazing it was but there was a problem saying, “Good News: #ItMovie is amazing! Scary, chilling, best horror movie of the year. (Clown emoji) Bad News: the crowd I saw it with was the Worst!!!!!! (angry face emoji)”. Reading that reminded me of the annoying few people behind me who were talking almost through the entire movie when I went to go see the latest horror film. They had no objections talking in normal tone loud enough for at least 2 rows behind and forward to hear them. No shame in their game. Not only that, they would kick the back of the seat my friend next to me was sitting in.
There has been a decline in taking a trip to the movies over the years. I’ve heard it’s because of the rising price of a movie ticket, the concessions are too expensive, or they would rather just watch it on their HD or 4K TV and save money. While all of that is true, a reason that keeps people away is because some people in the auditorium ruin the experience for the rest of us. You know who they are, people who treat a public theatre as if it’s their private living room.
This is an epidemic that has got to stop. Yes, I’m calling it an epidemic because it seems to be happening more often than none an it’s difficult to get rid of it. No one wants to go to the movies anymore because it takes away from the experience of just escaping for 90 mins or more. With the help of the wonderfully talented and funny actress Regina Hall A.K.A. Brenda from Scary Movie, here are a few of the huge offenses people face when trying to enjoy a time at the movies that needs to end.
Using smartphones during the movie.
Answering the phone, texting, and of course smartphones to stay connected has turned our attention spans to an all-time low. The use of cellphones in theatres is so high, A message before each feature to silence cellphone and no talking and texting in the theatre. To even have to ask people to do that before the movie starts is a sad reality as it should be common sense. The problem is the bright screen from these phones are eye catching and distracting. It is also a chump move because you know it’s annoying and you do it anyways. Just because the screen is bigger than your phone screen doesn’t mean we don’t notice. Also, why is your ringer on? Most of the time when it does ring, you don’t even answer it because you think answering it is rude but the phone going off isn’t. For those who do answer are even bigger chumps because you don’t want to step out and miss any of the movie so answering it is the best option. I really question the thought process with that one.
Solution: Keep your ass home if you can’t put your phone away for the duration of the movie. If your social life is that busy and important, you shouldn’t be at the movies. No offense but if you don’t have the respect of others around you to keep your phone away, you are not welcome.
If you have to be at the movies, sit in the very last row in the back so no one can see you on your phone and always sit in an aisle seat so you can easily get up and step out to answer your phone call or text. THINK people.
People who speak about everything and with loud voices
I am very perplexed by these types of people. I don’t get it. For some reason, you have to talk through the movie and when you have something to say, you want to make sure whoever you are talking to can hear what you’re saying so you talk as if you are in a bar with loud music. Bars are for yelling in a conversation, not at the movies. Insisting on having a conversation, especially on something that has nothing to do with the movie you are seeing is really annoying. It seems that even the type of movie you go to warrants the worse behavior. I’ve seen people go to a movie targeted for kids and the talkers would swear in front of all the child audience. In a drama movie with a lot of silent and long looks on the screen there is a dick in the audience who made a joke and laughing so loud through a dramatic moment killing the mood. In a horror movie, these talkers will be yelling at the screen trying to tell them what to do so they don’t die or get caught. WHY? WHY? WHY? Is it really important to be the center of attention during a time where everyone should be quiet and watching the movie? I am all for losing yourself in a movie you are watching through escapism but you have to know you are sitting less than a foot away next to someone who can hear you and are distracted by your jabbering and hollering’.
Solution: Keep your asses home if you can shut up for 2 hrs. If conversing interaction is how you best watch a movie with your friends than just watch it illegally like most people do. I don’t know what you get out of going to a crowded theatre and talking through the whole damn thing. I am not just talking about the youngsters. All ages young and old are guilty of this. You know who you are. Asking after every scene, “What just happened?”, “Why did they do that?”, “Look at the fake special effects.” Yada yada yada. There is no workaround on this one, if you can’t whisper what you have to say to the person next to you, don’t say anything at all. Another thing, even if the auditorium doesn’t have that many people, still isn’t a reason to start talking. If you are at the movies, keep quiet.
Bringing babies and young kids to the movies.
I don’t have kids so I might be a little out of my depth on this one. I know this, when I make a life decision to have a child in my life, you best believe that part of that decision making is that I choose to give up some of the fun things I use to do when I didn’t have a child. Less time with friends, going out to clubs and bars, and going to the movies during the first few years of the child’s life. I get that it’s hard to find someone to watch your kid while you want to enjoy time out but depending on the movie you go to, there are just some movies you do not bring a child to. Especially if you haven’t taught your child how to watch a movie. It all starts at home. If you allow your kid to act up and move around while watching a movie at home, of course they are going to do it in a full auditorium full of people. I have seen kids run up and down aisle or even stand and move in between rows.
For some reason, parents believe that by not doing anything lessens the distraction of others. NOPE sorry, we see your kid, it’s annoying and you need to leave or put a stop to it. Moviegoers, if you go to an animated movie or something for kids, you are kind of asking for it but if I put up money to watch a movie that is my age appropriate, I don’t expect to see a child in the audience. Not to point out the obvious reasons why children shouldn’t be at the more adult movies in the first place. These movies are not supposed to keep their attention. They will get bored and start acting up. I understand parents paid for the movie and they don’t want to get up and leave in the middle of the movie but you have to know that letting your kids cry and behave badly at the movies is disrespectful to the people around you. Ignoring a crying baby in a movie theatre is just wrong in general. You get no sympathy from anyone around you. If you don’t have the means to step out with your child and miss some of the movie as to not make everyone else’s time there a waste then you shouldn’t be there.
Solution: Keep your ass home. There are times when it’s appropriate to bring a child to the movies and there are obvious times you shouldn’t. Be aware of your boundaries and be respectful of others if you decide to go to the movies with your children. Especially those who are known to act up in public every time you leave your home. In a few years when they are old enough to sit through a movie quietly is when you can bring the routine of going to the movies back into your life. Trust me, people are using every strength in their body not to ask you to leave. It’s not personal it’s just common decency not to make everyone’s time miserable.
Some other honorable mentions are loud food eaters and dropping their sodas all over the floor damaging the floor and possible bags, purses, and things next to them. Folks who do this, you have only one job to do at the movies and that’s is sit still. You know that when you kick or shove the back of the seat that is in front of you they can feel it. If you felt the chair then they felt your foot pushed up against it. Be aware and cut it out.
Now this behavior is not all their fault. One reason why this continues to happen is because everyone who is trying to enjoy the movie are not brave enough to say anything. I personally pick my battles and not yell at someone for a first offense but if you notice that it’s an ongoing pattern that will not stop during the movie, say something. You have a right to tactfully ask them to SHUT THE FUCK UP!! Of course, the way you choose to express your frustration could result in a more negative and even more disruptive outcome. I get it. You don’t want to make things worse so you just keep quiet about it. Just remember, they don’t have the right to be an asshole at the movies. Unless these people know the error of their ways, they are none the wiser. Who knows, for the most part these rude moviegoers may have it in their minds that they are not doing anything wrong because no one is saying anything to stop them. It is up to us to #takebackthetheatre.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and other independent theatre have the right idea by enforcing an immediate exit to those who decide to use their phones or talk too loud during a movie. I know that business don’t want to turn away any paying customers because that is money to the theatre. For people who love to go to the movies as one of their favorite past times are going to decide not to pay the money to have a shitty time. More theatre brands need to jump on board and make it apparently clear that this type of behavior is not called for and will not be tolerated. Give them a refund and send them on home. They will soon get the idea and think twice before going out to the movies if they know that someone is going to speak up the minute they want to act like they are watching it at home. Until everyone speaks up we are going to continue to have the same experience at the movies.
So, the next time you see a bright cellphone out, loud talkers and eaters, and even screaming babies. If it doesn’t look like they are going to fix the issue, kindly pull a Patti LuPone and ask them to step out or to cut it out because you paid good money to see the movie and you should get the experience you paid for. To quote popular drag queen Tatianna, “Choices”
Share your thoughts and stories when going to the movies. Do you constantly experience and witness the same rudeness when you go to the movies? Comment below and thanks for reading my post. See you at the movies.