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10 Movie Theater Etiquette Tips

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

My husband and I were at the movies last weekend, and a couple behind us made comments during the movie. These were not loud whispers, but regular conversation voices. We looked back at them twice, but they did not stop. After 20 minutes we got up and moved. In thinking about this, should we have turned around and told them to be quiet?


Movie manners

Dear Movie manners,

Moving to another location in the movie theater was the appropriate action. If glancing back at them with a slight frown did not work, then it is best to change seats. After you changed seats, if their talking still could be heard, then speaking with the theater manager was the next step. In general, the best way to deal with rude people is to avoid them. Verbal confrontations only escalate the situation, which could end up becoming serious and lead to bodily harm.

Below are some guidelines for proper cinema etiquette.

10 Movie Theater Etiquette Tips

1. Arrive before the movies starts. Entering after the movie has begun is disruptive for other patrons.

2. Stay seated. Go to the restroom before the movie begins so that you will not have to go during the movie. This is especially important if bringing children. If you have a bladder problem and know that you will be taking a restroom break during the movie, then choose an aisle seat near the exit. If your seat is not on the aisle, and you must use the restroom, then leave. But, when you come back, stand at the side and return to your seat during a non-captivating scene in the movie.

3. Changing seats. Change seats if patrons around you are disruptive to your viewing.

4. Disruptive patrons. Let the manager or usher know, and they can handle the situation.

5. Turn off cell phones, pagers, watch alarms and other electronic devices. If you forgot to turn off your cell phone, and it rings, immediately turn it off. Do not answer the call.

6. Do not talk, whisper, sing, or hum during the movie unless the movie is interactive and welcomes audience participation, i.e. The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

7. Eat and drink quietly, especially during the silent moments in the film.

8. Keep feet on the floor and not on the seat in front of you. Never push or kick the chair in front of you.

9. Age appropriate. Do not bring children who are too young or immature to view an adult movie.

10. Take your trash and dispose in appropriate containers.