Newark Movie Examiner Mark Jones
Congratulations, you’ve managed to save up enough money to go to the movies. You’ve paid the 10 to 12 bucks for a ticket (12 to 15 for 3-D, your first born for IMAX). You’ve gotten the most ridiculously oversized small soda imaginable, along with a few snacks that wouldn’t regularly cost you your life savings. You’ve suffered through the 8 or 9 previews whose total length is longer than the movie you came to see. You win. You’ve finally made it to the feature presentation. Then, for some unknown reason, all hell breaks loose in the theater you’re sitting in.
You see, there are people who willingly shell out their hard-earned cash to see a movie in the theater and don’t believe that just because they spent upwards of a million dollars to get in, that said theater is their home. But, there are others who believe that since they spent the same amount of money, it gives them the right to behave however they please, even if they happen to be ruining everyone else‘s time. For those selfish dunderheads I have made this list, consisting of five easy to follow rules for when you’re at the movies.
Sit down and shut-up
It may come as a great shock to those people who have an ongoing diatribe with the characters on the screen that the rest of the theater could care less about their opinion. That’s right, woman in the back row who‘s been repeatedly telling the actors what they should and shouldn‘t do, no one wants to hear you talk. Shut-up before an angry moviegoer gets up and duct tapes your mouth hole closed.
Also, if you decide to show up to a movie twenty minutes late, don’t draw attention to yourself, screaming at the top of your lungs. While you’re at it, don’t stand at the front of the theater having a conversation about where you’re going to sit. Enter quietly, find the nearest open seats, and sit down. When you’re finally seated, don’t try to figure out what’s going on in the movie through an out loud conversation with yourself. It’s your fault that you came in late to the 7:00 show instead of getting tickets for the 7:30 show like a rational human being would. Don’t make the rest of the theater suffer for your stupidity.
Don’t make a mess
Just because there are people hired to work at and clean up the theater you’re sitting in doesn’t mean you should treat it like one huge garbage can. Trust me, the poor high schooler with the dust pan and broom you pass at the end of the film isn’t getting paid enough to scrape your gum off the floor, clean up the popcorn you spilled then mashed up on the ground, or pick up all the half empty packets of ketchup and mustard you concealed under your seat. I know it’s hard, but try to show some class.
Don’t bring small children to R rated movies
A few years ago, I was in a packed theater on the opening night of Rob Zombie’s “The Devil’s Rejects.” For those of you who have never seen the movie, in the first scene, a dead, nude woman is dragged across the screen. This is followed by around 90 minutes of extreme violence, nudity, and language galore. Front and center at this rated-R-for-a-reason fun fest was a man and woman with three small children, the oldest no more than 8-years-old. At “Land of the Dead” I heard a small child begin crying about halfway through the movie. Recently, at a showing of “Orphan” a woman came in with her four small children and let them run loose through the theater, not even bothering to sit in the same section as them.
To the parents who bring their small children to movies that are definitely not for kids, I say this: not only should you be ashamed of yourselves, but also, social services should remove your children from your care. I can’t imagine that the price of a babysitter is more than the price of your child’s ticket, not to mention the price of the poor kid’s sanity, as these films will surely give them nightmares for weeks. If you can’t afford a babysitter, you shouldn’t be able to afford a night at the movies for five people. Wait for it to come out on DVD and watch it after you put the kids to bed.
Give people some space
Have you ever gone to see a movie about a month after its release, in the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday to try to avoid the madness of a packed house? While sitting in the empty theater did one other person show up and sit in the seat directly in front, behind, or next to you? It’s a big theater, guy. Spread out. You can’t tell me that one row forward or back is going to make a difference in your movie-going experience.
Turn off your cell phones
This seems rather obvious since it’s posted on just about every door you pass through in the theater, as well as there being several advertisements before/during/after the previews that tell you to do so. Still, there are some people who just can’t be disconnected from the outside world, even if only for a couple hours. Maybe they think everyone in the theater cares about their plans for the rest of the weekend. Or maybe they just downloaded a cool new ring tone and want to show it off. Either way, if you’re someone who not only leaves their cell phone on, but also answers it and has full conversations during a movie, let it be known that the rest of the theater hates you and is wishing great harm to come upon you on your drive home.
In closing, if you cannot follow these five seemingly simple rules, just stay home. The movie-going public will thank you for it.