Cinema etiquette – or lack thereof

Flower phone

I enjoy going to the movies. There’s something about the big screen and the surround sound that’s very enjoyable. Enjoyable, that is, apart from other movie goers.

Most people are pretty good. They know the cinema etiquette, but some don’t. Or they’re just SO important that nobody else matters.

I think there are two main things that you don’t do at the movies. One is talk. A quiet whisper here and there is fine, but not continual chat. The second one is not using your phone. I’ve had two lots of different people break these rules recently.

A few weeks ago The Surfer and I went to see Enough Said. We sat about two thirds of the way back in a relatively quiet cinema on a Friday morning. Two women sat a bit further back from us and talked. And talked. And kept on talking. I’ll give people a few chances then I’ll usually say something. As it was quite distracting I turned around and asked them to please be quiet. They were. Then they left about half an hour later. They probably went to a coffee shop to continue their conversation which is where they should have started it in the first place.

We watched the rest of the movie in peace.

Yesterday I took JJ to see Frozen. It’s just been released. It’s school holidays so the cinema was pretty packed. There was a group of boys a few rows behind us and they didn’t have any adults with them. No, it wasn’t them I’m going to talk about. They were pretty good apart from one boy groaning every time a song started in the movie. I didn’t realise it was a musical movie. It wasn’t too musical, just a few songs here and there.

It wasn’t the three year old girl near us who kept standing up and moving around because she was obviously too young to be there in the first place. No, it was her father who kept getting his phone out and texting. He did it once. He did it again. And when he did it again I leaned over JJ, who was sitting between us and who’d also expressed his disdain for this behaviour, and asked him to please put his phone away as it was distracting. The man asked who it was distracting. Doh! I told him it was distracting my son and I. He said, ‘sorry champ’ to JJ. And as he was putting his phone away he said, ‘how rude’. At first I thought he meant that he realised he was being rude and saying it in a passive aggressive manner but later I thought he may have meant that I was being rude.

I don’t know and I don’t really care as he didn’t do it again. Not too long afterwards he picked up his three year old daughter, the one who was moving around and complaining a bit, and took her out not to come back.

Does anyone else encounter these problems at the movies? Surely it’s not just me.


  1. says

    Maybe I’m just getting old and grumpy, but I totally agree.

    As well as people talking and being disruptive, I’ve also been quite surprised a few times to see young children being taken to M-rated movies.

    • says

      Maybe we’re all getting old and grumpy. But with that comes knowledge and I’m happy with how I acted at the cinema the other day. Not happy with being called rude though. Trying not to dwell on that.