Saturday, November 15, 2008

Movie Etiquette Guide

Husband and I recently visited our local single screen theatre to see the newest Bond film, Quantum of Solace (I highly recommend it but that’s a different story). The lights dimmed and the previews started. The group of 6 in front of us didn’t quiet down but I just figured it was because it was the previews…I’d give them a chance until the movie started. One girl in the group kept her cell out and was texting while chattering with the rest of her little group. Again, I figured she’d quit once the movie started, no need to get annoyed yet. Everybody knows you show Bond respect, right? Green screen with rating then black….We open to an amazing chase featuring an incredibly sexy Aston Martin…chattering quiets but doesn’t stop, cell phone backlight fills my vision. Strike One. Crash, shift, close up on Bond…..chattering stops, cell phone backlight glares. Strike Two. WOW! Did he just do that? ...giggle from cell girl and backlight again. Strike Three. I tap her shoulder and ask her to put her phone away. “What?” she asks. “Put your freaking phone away please” I say, emphasizing in just the right spot. She gets it. I don’t see a cell again. One would think that if somebody asked you to stop one disrupting action that all others would desist as well so as not to cause the wrath of having to be asked to stop something else. Nope. The girl continued to giggle and talk but I was too worried I would strangle her and it wasn’t frequent enough for proper action to be taken. Her friends however, did not quit. One guy in particular was especially awful. He would hold on lengthy conversations with his neighbor. We coughed, shhh, but to no avail. Then over an hour in, husband finally leaned forward an asked him to be quiet. Eurika! He shut up!
Had this been my first encounter in a period of time, I would have let it slide as a fluke. But, unfortunately, our society has fallen into a state of movie rudeness. Perhaps society is too broad of a term…I shall redefine it as 16-25 year old singles. What happened to this generation to think it was ok to behave so inappropriately while in a theatre?

I have the answer. Apparently, these people have not been given their official “Movie Theatre Etiquette: A Dummies Guide”. So, in order to help rectify this atrocity, I have decided to post it on my blog. (I am not saying any of my 3 readers are such baboons, but perhaps they can spread the information once it has been so eloquently put by Yours Truly)

Lesson One: How to Behave
1. Cell Phones
a. Ringer set to SILENT or VIBRATE ONLY
b. No texting unless in pocket or screen thoroughly covered so the backlight cannot be seen by other patrons.
c. Do not answer any received calls. If you feel the need to answer a call, kindly excuse yourself to the lobby.
2. Talking
a. WHISPER ,WHISPER, WHISPER. To help the person you are talking to hear you, lean towards them and aim your mouth at their ear.
b. There is positively no need to go into an Aviation history lesson just because there is a plane in the movie. Keep comments to a minimum.

Lesson Two: How to respond to bad behavior

If the Offender is behind you:
Might I recommend using the following in order. Only jump to a later step if the behavior is especially atrocious or if you want to nip it in the butt early, as I did above, because you have a hunch you have an especially rambunctious bunch.
1. Half turn: Without moving your body, turn our head to the side and give a small glare out of your peripheral, making brief eye contact.
2. Full Turn: Turn your body to the side and give small and brief glare to Offender with head facing them head on.
3. Full turn and “Hello?”: Do full turn and add one of the following- A “what the heck” look, a whispered “hello?”, a point at the screen, or a “Shhh” with a finger to the lips.
4. Verbal Warning: Ask them to be quiet. Depending on how many of the previous steps have been taken, an amount of rudeness may be called for. Use Foul Language with discretion or go for a mild alternative like I did above.
If the Offender is in front of you (probably the trickier because no mild glances can be given)
1. Non Offensive noise: Make a non offensive, but clearly deliberate, noise. For example, a clearing of the throat, cough, sigh, etc.
2. Shhhh: Classic and effective
3. The Tap and Ask: Make a quick tap to the Offender’s shoulder or seat depending on position. Then ask kindly for them to stop. Depending on how many times the above have been repeated or on how much you foresee a problem occurring again, altering levels of rudeness may be required.


Melissa said...

I totally hate those annoying rude people that ruin the movie for everyone else, and usually I end up right next to them. grrrr.... one time this kid was sitting right next to my cousin, and he kept meowing....yes, like a cat. Finally my cousin turned to him and said, "Dude, SHUT-UP!" That quickly ended the meowing.

Newbee said...

I love it! I think you should frame this the size of a movie poster to be viewed at all theaters. It would be fun to read and a to help educate! Bravo!