5 Tips for Polite Movie Watching

My Sin City Cinephile moniker was not fashioned on a whim. I love watching movies, especially on the big screen. But lately, the poor behavior of other patrons has me more selective when heading to the cinema. I’d prefer to enjoy films when they come out without first debating whether they’re worth the potential annoyance of other people’s rudeness. In light of my recent encounters, here are a few simple tips to prevent ruining the movie experience for others.

Show up on time.GiantWatch


I’ll admit this is something I struggle with in most areas of my life. I’m working on it. I am. But showing up fashionably late to a party is far more acceptable than entering a dark theatre during an opening sequence. The people who showed up on time should get to watch that part without you pulling in the light from outside the room or the silhouette of your head popping up in the screen. Even when there’s reserved seating, it’s still upsetting to have someone tripping over themselves as they shuffle by blocking the picture. If seats aren’t assigned, there’s the added aggravation of their phone light as they search for a seat. Which brings me to tip 2.

Turn off your phone.







Period. It pulls people from the movie. Think of it this way, the light from your cellular serves as a beacon to locate the thoughtless culprit. Unless you’re a surgeon, your messages can probably wait for the completion of the film.

If you must eat, do so quietly.

Loud crunching and cellophane completely disrupt the experience. Take care of wrappers before the film starts. When your drink gets low, don’t shake the ice or stir your straw around. And, please, I beg of you, if the scene on screen is quiet, tense, or important in any way, wait to shove another bite into your mouth. Some people prefer to snack during a movie, and I can appreciate that. I do it at home. But, consider those around you who have to hear your feast. Every slurp and crinkle rips through the theatre.

Don’t block the screen.

Large hats and propped up feet block the view of others. I recently watched Marc Abraham’s biopic I Saw The Light about Hank Williams. The only person who needed a cowboy hat on in that theatre was Tom Hiddleston.


Stay quiet.

The occasional laugh cannot be helped, in fact it’s usually encouraged. But keep your witty commentary for private viewings. Last month, I had the misfortune of sitting in the same row with someone who spent the entire film doing the worst job pretending he had not seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens already by “predicting” what happened in each scene. It took all my strength not to force choke the guy. Not only is this distracting, but it spoils the story for first-timers.

Speaking of spoilers, as a quiet time bonus tip, when you leave the theatre, don’t talk about the movie as you pass by those waiting to see it.

“I can’t believe what was in the box!”









Thank you for reading. Hopefully you didn’t need these suggestions, or they served as a helpful reminders.

What bad movie theatre habits bother you? What did I forget? Do you have an experience that backs up any of these tips? I’d love to hear it. Leave a note in the comments.

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