Movie Theater Etiquette – Ms. Bailey


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THE BIG PICTURE: Movie Theater Etiquette

I get it. We no longer dress up for the “picture show” in our finest high button shoes to hear a rousing piano solo before the black and white film begins, but why! oh why! must we be without the slightest modicum of decorum at the movies? Here are my Top 5 Rules of Movie Theater Etiquette


  1. Not so Smart Phone. This would seem basic and a lot of people have wised up from actually taking calls in the theater and have learned to put phones on silent or vibrate. “Hey I can’t talk right now, I’m at the movies” is not the right answer. That’s what voicemail is for. However, now that we text, Tweet and Instagram our every move, people (especially the young and tech savvy) find it impossible to go 90 minutes without connecting. There are several problems with this. But the main one is the kryptonic light emitting from your smart phone. It is a real eye sore.

  2. The Buffer Seat. In a large mostly empty theater, it seems as if there is always the person or persons who decide to come and sit directly next to you. If there is space in the theater, spread out a bit. If you are tall and there is a petite lady behind you, check to see if that person can see. On the flip side, if the theater is a packed opening night crowd, acknowledge that you may not get your “buffer seat” you may just have to suck it up, take your jacket it out of the seat and make room for the couple who is looking for seats together in a theater of buffer seats.

  3. Seats and Feet. It kills me to see people take their stinky little shoes off as if they are at home and kick their feet up on the seat. Even if I am rows behind, I still see your toes, and I did not pay for that! Additionally, sticking your feet between the seats or on seat backs is equally disturbing to those in the row in front of you as you push them back and forth with your every move. Keep your feet to yourself!

  4. Children and Babies. Refrain from bringing small children and babies into theater. Not only is there the issue of crying babies and out of control kids, but adult and R-rated movie audiences expect an adult crowd because of the content. There are many theaters that now offer Mommy/Daddy & Me movies during the day where babies are welcome.

  5. Clean up after yourself. Yes the theatre will remove your trash. And yes, they will sweep. But theater employees are not your butlers. And I know your mother raised you better. Be a gent and a lady and actually remove your trash when leaving the theater. It is flat out tacky to leave it.


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