How to Watch Movies at the Movie Theater
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How to Watch Movies at the Movie Theater

I have a ritual to watch movies, like most of you, but some people don’t and that’s OK. However, I’d like to share some unwritten rules of society, or movie watching etiquette, if you will, with all you dear readers. It’s the first of in a series of guides, so you should come back every now and again (read: every day over and over) to get more of this. I’m not gonna call it pieces of knowledge because you’d assume I know something I don’t. So, here you go ladies and gentleman.

1 – You need a movie to watch. This is the easiest step. You either heard it from a friend or saw a commercial or a poster or any other marketing product selling you this movie. It doesn’t even matter, because if you go Fandango.com or directly to the movie theater, you can make up your mind there. Make sure you’re comfortable enough, but try and wear pants; movies are at least over an hour long! Hats are OK. Capes are only OK if you’re at the 12:01 AM opening weekend of a fantasy blockbuster movie. Wands are never OK, even if you’re underage or a hipster.

2 – Buy a ticket. You need to go to a movie ticket selling website or directly to the cashier at the movie theater, either way, without it, they won’t let you in. You can try and sneak in, but chances are, you’re gonna get caught and after that no movie watching for you, daddy-o. On the Internet, you’re going to need a credit or debit card, but at the movie theater you can even pay in cash. If you are on a date, you might have to pay for your date as well, so bring extra cash.

3 – Buying treats. This part is tricky, since you don’t need treats to watch a movie, they won’t enhance your experience or degrade it however, and they’re a huge component of the movie watching tradition when you’re on a date. Your date might say they don’t want anything, but make sure you buy enough for the two of you. Treats can leave you with sticky fingers, so make sure you bring napkins and just because they sell fried chicken it doesn’t mean you have to buy them. It’s a movie and not the Kentucky Derby.

4 – Find your seat. On this step, you need to make sure you get a spot where you can actually watch the movie. It can’t be too close, because movie screens are really high, so try it at the middle of the theater first. But if that is still too close for you, you can go all the way to the back. And have your head check, man. That might be indication of something wrong with you. Or your eyes. What do I know? I’m not a doctor. If you’re too late and most of the good seats are taking, it’s OK to stand on the aisle looking like an idiot squinting, trying to spot one that is available to you. Also, if you have a date and you wish to seat together and you find two separate seats on the same row, it’s OK to ask for people, that got their on time, to scooch over. They might make face, but in the end, if you’re successful, you’ll get to seat with your friend side by side and that’s always neat.

5 – Watch the movie. OK, from this point on you are ready for a home run. Make sure your eyes are constantly open. Don’t worry, it’s OK to blink, don’t feel self conscious about it, go on, give it a try. If you’re reading this guide at the moment the movie is playing, some people might get mad, the same is true to taking calls, texting and facetiming. So try and apologize and let them know this is your first time. They won’t understand and they might physically attack you, but I won’t cover that in this guide. Sometimes you might fall asleep at the movie and that’s perfectly normal, though it’s a waste of your money, but if someone bought your ticket, don’t even worry about it, just don’t snore, that’s too jackassy.

Bonus – After the movie ends, you’re gonna have something to talk about with people, so this is really important to remember: if you fell asleep, don’t tell people you did see the movie, otherwise they’re going to make fun of you and I can’t stress this enough, YOU DESERVE IT. Now, then, if you did saw the movie, but you didn’t understand it, make sure you hear other people’s opinion first, it’s OK to say “I’m not sure how I feel about it.”, but make sure you ask the people you’re talking to what they thought about it and they you can mirror their reaction.

All right, I think you’re ready to go, so have fun or not, but now you know what to do!

What’s your movie watching ritual/etiquette?

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Written by Tag Brum

Tag Brum lives in Brooklyn and writes things from a computer whenever wi-fi is available.
You can follow him on Twitter @tagbrum.

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