After writing my blog, How to Improve the Moviegoing Experience: Seven Steps to Cinema Nirvana, I received lots of feedback about how on-target my thoughts were.
Going to the movies seems to be less and less entertaining these days. Many moviegoers gripe about ticket prices and the expensive (and often lousy) food at the concession stand. That’s before we even walk into the theater. Once inside there’s a host of irritants we deal with, from crying babies and fanatical texters to lengthy commercials and bad sound or dim projection.
I knew what bothered me but after asking for moviegoer pet peeves I was inundated with a host of other complaints -- some serious, some very funny. Seems like everyone has a tale to tell about a bad moviegoing experience. Here are 10 of the most interesting pet peeves I received:
1) Wearing enough cologne that I can track your scent. Or not taking a bath in a week and having your stink surround me. Either way my sense of smell is irreparably damaged.
2) Going with someone who has already seen the movie. They think they have to tell you what's happening. Thank you, but I’m intelligent enough to figure it out.
3) When nearly the whole theater is empty and the only other people that come to see the movie sit right next to you. It’s an empty theater, spread out!!
4) Couples that need to get a room. A little PDA is fine but when you’re going at it in front of me, that’s something I don’t want to see. Two movie tickets do not equal a cheap motel.
5) People who get to the front of the concession line and then don’t know what to order. It’s a movie theater! Unless you’re from Mars, you know what they have.
6) People who try to make witty comments during the movie thinking they’re funny. If you were any good you’d be creating what was on the screen and not in the back row of the cineplex.
7) People playing with candy wrappers all through the movie. We understand you’re OCD but just throw your Twizzlers wrapper in the trash.
8) Continual sniffling, coughing and clearing your throat drives me crazy. If you’re sick you shouldn’t be in the theater in the first place. Go home, take some Nyquil and zone out in front of the TV.
9) People sitting behind you who decide to rest their feet on the seat next to yours or on your seat back. Touch my seat again and you’re going to lose that foot.
10) People who clap after the movie. Who/what are they clapping for? Fanboys are notorious for this. Maybe it’s some sort of geeky ritual, only nerds understand.
I can’t help but to smile at these but when I’m in the theater they’re no laughing matter. Behavior is at an all time low and I think it’s reasonable to have certain standards of etiquette when going to the movies. Imax Filmed Entertainment president Greg Foster said, “Moviegoing is a communal experience. Manners do matter.” If that’s true then it’s the responsibility of the moviegoer and the theater owner to create a climate where everyone can enjoy what’s on-screen.