So you want to be a well-adjusted movie goer? Maybe you are a novice at movie theaters and need to learn how to avoid the curse of the Masked Popcorn Brigade! Or maybe you are a Master Audience Member, but you’ve spent too much time watching epics in the privacy of your own home, and need a refresher. Here is:
Bloomeria Lumiere’s Official (in progress) Guide to Movie Going Leveling Up!
Don't be a sanctimonious, mush-for-brains, blowhard prima donna.
It's that simple.
But some people don't seem to get it, so I'll elaborate:
1. Be on time. Particularly when attending a smaller theater that doesn't have light canceling hallways, be on time so you don't interrupt the movie. If you happen to be a few minutes late, come in quietly, and find the closest empty seats. It doesn't matter if they aren't the perfect seats or the best available seats. You came late. Take what you can get.
2. If you are more than 15 minutes late, why even bother? Wait for the next showing or see something else.
3. Be quiet.
3a. Movies are communal experiences, so laughing, cheering, even booing at appropriate times is fine. Even screams or shouts of "don't go in there!" are appropriate during horror movies (the latter, only if you are an adept movie-going Master. If you need this list, you probably are not, so refrain.) If you aren't sure what's appropriate, stay quiet and see what the rest of the audience does, and then follow suit.
3b. If you have a question, don't ask it out loud. Seriously. Either it will be answered or you can ask it after the movie is over.
3c. Eat your food/Drink your drink quietly.
4. If, in the first 10 minutes of the movie, you find that you are unable to maturely handle something that happens on screen/are so upset (or enraged) by something that happens on screen that you won't be able to experience it quietly, then please do the rest of the audience a favor and leave.
5. Don't kick (or punch, or tap, or pull on) the chair in front of you.
6. Turn off the cell phone. All the way off, so the temptation to play with it isn't there. Turning off the ringer isn't enough - the light is annoying, too.
6a. If you must leave your cell phone on, then put it on silent, and sit in the back of the theater, so the light won't bother anyone. Don't answer the phone if someone calls.
6b. If you absolutely have to answer the phone, then get up and leave the theater as unobtrusively as possible.
7. If you have to leave the theater (and we have all had to at some point), then get up, and quickly leave as quietly as possible. Return in the same manner.
8. When the narrative is over, the credits are rolling, the lights come up, and you stand up to leave, take a look around. Is anyone still watching the credits? Are you in their way? Yes? Move out of the way as soon as possible.
9. When leaving the movie theater, refrain from any comments with more details than "That was awesome!" or "That was interesting." If you have negative comments, save them until you are in the car/away from the movie theater parking lot.
If you can do all of these, then congratulations! You can now level up to Journeyman! Go forth and enjoy your movie, and keep an eye out for the Masked Popcorn Brigade. They tend to lurk in the shadows, waiting for unsuspecting audience members to let down their guards and answer their phones.