Over at Vulture, David Edelstein asks how we should treat talkers and texters during the movies, as if the answer was not simple: set them on fire, and shush their charred corpse. Right? Guys? Am I right on this one?!

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Comments (32)
  1. Zero tolerance. See also: people who sit behind you and kick your seat, people who shout things at the movie, people who clap at the end. People who bring small children into a movie not meant for small children will be excommunicated.

    • I do think one of the problems is that the vast majority of theaters simply do not employ ushers. You’d think movie theaters could post a minimum wage teenager at the theater to go get the manager in case someone’s talking or being rude but of course they don’t because that costs more than doing nothing.

      I shouldn’t have to get up and confront the person, or leave the theater to go try and find the manager (who is probably off in some back room that customers aren’t allowed in anyway).

      The movie industry likes to blame big screen TVs and home theaters for people not going out to the theater anymore, and I’m sure that’s part of it, but another part is that the theaters are not doing anything to ensure a good experience watching the movie.

      After spending ten bucks and not being able to enjoy a movie a few times, you’re gonna stop going to the theater.

      • AMEN! I’ve learned this about myself: I have zero tolerance for people not acting polite during a movie I just spent $12 on, so I tend to wait 20 minutes and then leave and get my money back. They don’t ever say no because the employees at a theater are so underpaid that they just don’t care to put up an argument. Take advantage of the theater as much as possible, they deserve to burn!

      • Pro-tip from someone who used to work at a movie theater: you don’t need to find a manager, just find any employee. We LOVED kicking people out, for any reason. We used to keep track of how many people we kicked out each summer, to see who won by kicking out the most.

        • Haha, yeah me too. It was my favorite thing to do as an usher. It was better than sweeping endless hallways, ripping tickets, and picking up after a movie. One kid went into an R-rated movie with his friends directly after their previous movie got out and I clearly saw them. Like, at least be better about sneaking in. So I grabbed a buddy and we kicked those idiots out so fast. I think the theater cheered one time I did it.

          • One of my favorites was when the ticket seller told me that he sold one kid a ticket, then saw the kid go outside, talk to a group of friends, and they all went around the side where it is easy to prop open an exit door, so I walk into that theater and waited, watched the kid who bought a ticket get up and go down the hallway to the exit door. Once you go in the exit door, you walk down a dark hallway before turning into the theater. I waited right around the corner so they all turned into me and I just pointed outside.

        • I guess I would just feel bad doing that because most of the employees at my town’s theater are like fifteen year olds who hardly seem capable of the requisite authority to not just elicit an “I paid to be here, I’m not leaving!” response..

    • The last time we went to a movie at a regular theater we experienced all of that from the people behind us – the parents had two kids ages 4-5ish who sat on their laps because there were only two seats in the middle (there were plenty at the front of the theater)(we got there early to get good seats) and of course the kids kicked seats and talked the whole time. Bullshit. Now Mr. Truck and I got exclusively to movie theaters that have food/drinks (like Studio Movie Grill or Cinebistro) because people are (in general) less assholey and less likely to brings kids cause overall it costs more. Plus, you know, we get drinks. Also there’s a theater that won’t let anyone in under 21 after 8pm which is pretty awesome.

    • There is a theater near my apartment that has a “Crybaby Matinee,” which is an afternoon showing of movies for people who bring small children so that the rest of the population can go to the movies and enjoy themselves. It is a pretty amazing idea and I am surprised it’s not more commonplace.

    • The last time I yelled at someone in a movie theater, some teenz were sitting in front of us talkity talking and I leaned forward and said, “Did you pay to see this movie?” and this one girl turned around and said sort of loudly, “No we didn’t, did you pay to be a bitch today?”

      And I laughed so hard they all turned bright red and then left.

  2. We go all The Purge on one, and see if others get the message.

  3. I’ve done this twice. I get up, I walk BEHIND their seats, I put my mouth very close to their ear and, like I’m talking to a child, in a low tone I say. “I’m going to do you the favor of asking you once to stop talking.” That’s it. No threats. The even tone is what throws people off.

    • FLW, are you the Purge?

    • FLW! That’s perfect! It is so open to interpretation, they’ll have so many thoughts like: is he going to get us kicked out? Is he going to murder us? Are we being threaten? It didn’t sound like a threat but is it safe to assume it is? I love it.

      I think besides saying “SHHHH” to someone, the weirdest thing I did was stare at this little girl sitting next to me for Jarhead because firstly why is she here? She’s not going to like this movie. So anyway, I got in early and she came in just after me with her maybe big brother or maybe father and plopped down next to me. I didn’t think anything of it except that she stared at me through all of the commercials, through all of the previews, and through the beginning of the movie. Not only that but also she was kicking the chair in front of her and whining any time she was thirsty or hungry. No words, just whining. So I thought the most passive aggressive thing I could do to freak her and her brother/father out was to just stare at her — to turn in my seat and stare solely at her for a very long while. The dude hugged her tight after a while and she stopped her shenaniganry pretty quickly. The movie was… okay.

      I think the worst is that you hope so much that this movie is worth the bullshit you are about to put up with and the truth is it usually isn’t.

  4. I think what Gabe meant to write was “SMASHHHHHHHHHHH!”

  5. I’m very non-confrontational so this is going to be a VERY bad story. But once I was going to the movies with a friend of mine, and her cousin came along. I’d like to emphasize we were adults. And halfway through the movie, the cousin’s phone rings! She pulls it out and looks at it while it continued to ring! And then she answers it and has a five minute convo with her mom! She even says at the beginning of the convo, “Yeah, I’m at the movies.” And then they have a normal, non-movie related, non-emergency, non-critical convo! Using a regular indoor voice and not a whisper voice! I tried to make eye contact with my friend, but she was ignoring me AND not saying anything to the cousin. And then after the movie I expected her to yell at her cousin about it, but NOTHING! I don’t talk to this friend anymore, for unrelated reasons.

    I’m a writing major, and boy it shows!!!

  6. A pet peeve of mine is when you go to a movie with a platonic friend and they leave a seat between you. It’s like, we’re watching this movie together, why put on this charade? When I was younger I had a friend whose dad would sit literally ten rows away from the group of people he went with. It was weird.

    • Yeah I’ve had friends do that and it’s dumb. Just sit next to the person! You’re not going to suddenly be gay if you sit next to a male friend at a movie!

      • Oh I see, its a weird dude thing. We girls always sit together, the better to laugh over our communal salads.

        • Just speaking from my own experience, it’s been usually straight dudes who I’ve witnessed do the “leave a buffer seat so we don’t accidentally touch” thing, which is also what tends to happen at the urinals in the restroom. I have no idea what women do, as I am not one.

        • “one popcorn, and one salad for the lady”

      • That said, I did ill-advisedly make out with a platonic female friend a whole bunch one time when we sat next to each other at The Libertine. That may have been more to do with the movie choice than the seating proximity, however.

      • I tend to pick the seats because I have a preference. But when my male friend decides to sit a seat away, I get up, move to the next seat, and hold his hand.

        What is up with this “no-homo” ever thing? Have we not opened up to each other about life and love and sex and video games and movies and tv shows and school and the difficulty of divorce and the injuries we were embarrassed about and the jobs we hated and the jobs we loved and the crushes we never had the nerve to talk to? WE HAVE? Oh ok. So sit the fuck next to me you freak!

    • Wait, what? Are you covered in spiders? Because in THAT case, I would sit a million seats away from you.

    • holy crap that happened at lunch! One of my colleagues jokingly said “We’re going to sit like guys at a movie theatre- every other.”


  8. We’ve got to find a cooler way to say “turn down the brightness on your phone.” Like some techy-sounding slang that makes it sound smart and fun to do it.

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