You buy a ticket for a movie. You get some popcorn and head into your assigned theater. Until recently, you would scope out whatever seats were available, pick a spot, and settle in until the show starts. The worst is when someone comes in at the last minute and they want you to scoot down, or they give you a look like you should give your seat to them, even though they came in during the previews ,and you were there 20 minutes early.
Now some theaters have started to implement assigned seats. If you end up at one of these theaters, you find your row and then your seat number. Then, what sometimes happens is, someone is already sitting in your seat. Someone who is entirely baffled by assigned seats and how they work, or someone who just plain doesn’t give a fuck. Now, the decision has to be made, based on how crowded the theater is, you have to decide if it’s worth trying to explain to these people that they are in the wrong seat ,or if you just simply sit in another seat.
Once seating has been managed, it’s smooth viewing from there, right? Well, it depends on when you go, where you go ,and the luck of the draw with the crowd.
Something is lacking in public performance spaces, and that is etiquette, my friends. Whether at the movies, the theater, comedy club, lecture etc., we all need to use this thing called common courtesy. It’s simple: silence your phones and shut your mouth. If for some reason you are unable to do this, leave said area and go to the lobby where it is acceptable to talk and/or have your phone out. Now that sounds easy enough, right? WRONG!
I’ve learned that, along with the lack of etiquette, there has come about the sense of entitlement. People want to fulfill whatever needs they are feeling, and they want it fulfilled now! You want to talk or take your phone out through the previews? Go for it! I particularly like to watch them, but I am not going to chastise someone for doing it. Once the lights dim, and the movie/ show etc. begins, then all bets are off. More and more frequently, people ignore this. It is damn right distracting trying to focus on the screen/ stage and seeing a very bright cell phone screen lit up four rows down across the theater. Just one phone distracts, but sometimes it can be several. Usually, someone yells out, “Turn off your phone!” Sometimes that works. Other times, the person keeps on doing what they’re doing or yells something rude back. Well, there goes a few minutes you’ve missed. Hope nothing important happened.
Next, there are the twat waffles who talk about the movie as it is happening. They talk about the actors, something it reminds them of, or need everything explained. These are not whispered conversations, oh no, that would be too easy. These are conversations you would have at the volume of sitting around the dinner table. This in fact just happened to me on Thursday.
Joel, Kristen and I went to see Molly’s Game at the Waterworks theater. (This theater allows you to assign yourself a seat when you buy your ticket.) When we went up toward our seats, a man was sitting in my chair and had his stuff in Joel’s. Since the place was hardly packed, we decided to choose our battle and let this go. We went to the other end of the row and took three seats on the end that we had seen were not taken. A few minutes before the movie began, an elderly couple came and sat next to us. All seemed well, but I should’ve known better. We’re not even five minutes into the movie, and the woman exclaims to her husband, “Did she just say what I think she did?”, at a regular conversation decibel. Several times during the movie, they would start talking to each other, but then they broke cardinal rule number one, they answered their telephone.
They answered their goddamn telephone! The telephone which should have been silenced or shut off for the movie. The phone rings several times as she slowly peruses her purse for it. I see her pick it up. I think, “About damn time!”. Then, horror of horrors, she answers it! After saying “Hello? Hello? Carol is that you?”, she mercifully hangs up. This is only because Carol ,apparently, wasn’t there. Then she has the audacity to say to her husband, “What did I just miss?”. To which her husband said, “I don’t know. I couldn’t hear it.”
Are you fucking kidding me? I don’t care what age you are, this is never acceptable! I have seen this happen time and time again. It’s all ages, genders, races, etc. People will answer their phone and have full conversations as the movie/show etc. is playing. The entitlement in that act makes me sick! It’s that trait of believing you are more important than those around you that is worst of all. Society has an abundance of this going around.
Bottom line is this: Don’t be a douche canoe! Be considerate to other paying customers. You are not the center of the world! Be aware of others and practice the golden rule: Do to others as you would have them do to you. You follow this, and the world would be a better place.
Yinz be considerate!