Top 5 Bad Movie Theater Habits

Grace Johnson-DeBaufre, Writer/Op-Ed Editor

Are you a perpetrator of one of these theater crimes? If so, take heed of these warnings.

1. Inappropriately Close Sitting

Movie theaters are huge, so there should be plenty of room for everyone. Now, I understand the need for sitting at close quarters with a stranger when the theater is crowded, like at a midnight premiere. But when the theater is practically empty at four o’clock in the afternoon, there is no comprehensible reason for a person to get up in a stranger’s business. The other day, I was in an empty theater, so empty that every person could have his or her own row, when a woman sat in the seat directly adjacent to mine. I have never met her before. I was seriously considering going to the bathroom and then sitting somewhere else. Why would a person so blatantly ignore another’s personal space? It’s just awkward to experience a movie with someone you don’t know, so please be wary of encroaching on another’s territory.

2. Silence your Cell Phone

This movie theater crime baffles me, because unlike the others, which are more guidelines than actual rules, this one is an actual rule by the theater. They always tell you to silence your cell phone in one of those weird theater PSAs (public service announcements). I know those things are annoying and repetitive, but you can only ignore them if you have already learned the lesson. A lot of people put their phones on vibrate or silent (some don’t even do that, and that is an offense worthy of stoning) and then pull it out to check the time or text. I know you have something terribly witty to say to your friend (if ‘hey’ and ‘lol’ count as witty), but I’m sure it can wait two hours. And, to be honest, if you have to check the time or engage in intellectual banter with your friend, then you probably aren’t that interested in the movie in the first place. Spare the rest of us the annoyance of seeing your “night light” (seriously, it’s like those people are afraid of the dark), and turn it off.

3. Get a Room!

Going to the movies to make out is a time-honored tradition of dating. It’s also kind of sleazy and impractical. Now I’m not telling you that you are wrong to make out with your girl/guy, just that it’s dumb to do so in a movie theater, especially if you do it in the front row. Why would you want strangers to see you? It’s not like the theater is pitch black during the picture. People can still see you and they don’t particularly want to. And it’s a waste of money! I think that you will be too busy to pay attention to the plot, so why spend the money. Pretend that you are going to the movies and then sit in the parking lot and make out. You’ll save $20 and you’ll have more privacy.

4. Sharing with the Theater

We all love to share, and I personally walk a fine line with this next movie theater-don’t. Therefore, I am not going to crack down on those of you who like to quietly whisper your commentary to your companion. However, at some point quietly mocking the movie you are seeing becomes obnoxiously forcing your opinion on the entire theater. Even if you are really excited about the movie, no one else wants to hear your high-pitched shrieks of glee (I’m looking at you, people who un-ironically watch the Twilight movies). Also if you have comments on the film, keep them at a volume that only the person next to you can hear, especially if you are saying something stupid.

5. Pea-sized bladders

Don’t be that one person who has to get up multiple times during a movie. No one appreciates having to pull up his or her legs so that you can pass by. It’s just embarrassing for you to get up more than once to relieve yourself. Have you ever worried that people are looking at you and thinking, Wow, someone has a bladder problem? Well, they are. So save everyone the awkward experience, and go to the bathroom beforehand or sit at the end of the row.