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Movie Etiquette

Talking, sometimes. Texting, never.

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How many seats can I save?
It’s simple: You can save one seat for each person in your party who has already purchased a ticket. So, friend in the popcorn line: Yes. Friend en route with Fandango receipt: Yes. Friend who hedged and said she might tag along for Spider-Man 3: No.

Can I text-message if the movie gets dull?
Can you shine a flashlight into the eyes of people behind you? No. Just because something doesn’t make noise doesn’t mean it isn’t incredibly, annoyingly distracting. If you have urgent business to conduct, walk outside.

Do I have to clean up?
Tough one. But we side with Jerry Seinfeld on this, who said, “We have a deal with the theaters: You rip us off with overpriced, oversized crap we shouldn’t be eating in the first place, and when I’m done I just open my hand.” That said, don’t be a pig.

Can I talk during the movie?
We’d like to say, “No, no, never, no, absolutely not.” But the days of respectful silence are gone. During the pre-film ads, speak as much and as loudly as you like. Whispers and derisive yelps are permissible during trailers. During the feature, you must limit yourself to the occasional whisper. Silence is preferred, but a hushed “Wait—didn’t she die in that car wreck back there?” is okay. There is one exception to these rules: the brilliant, brave comment in the terrible movie. For us, it was at I Know What You Did Last Summer, in a particularly histrionic scene of Jennifer Love Hewitt’s emoting that a guy shouted out “Oscar clip!” and provided the high point of the night.


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