Movie Theater Annoyances: How to Cope

So there's this movie you want to see. Maybe you've been waiting for a few months, you saw the trailer, you've rounded up a friend or two to head out to the local multiplex. It should be as easy as simply finding the right seat and settling in with some popcorn, but long gone are the days when common decency was a part of the discourse. Nowadays, a few preparations are necessary to properly enjoy your time at the theater and the horrors of humanity that await therein. It's best to have a strategy for dealing with people -- recognizing your opponents is the first step.

Mr. Loudmouth

Oh this gentleman loves to hear the melodious sound of his own voice. This man commands the theater, pointing out obvious plot developments or exclaiming loudly over how great the previews look and how much he wants to see those movies. Yes, sir, that's the point. This person also ends up being someone who wants to point out what's realistic or unrealistic or what's lame or not lame -- it's endless. Now, dealing with this sort takes a discerning eye. When you enter the theater, take a step out of the way of foot traffic and scan the crowd in your desired seating area. Do you spot anyone who's talking loudly already? Does his date look embarrassed to be with him? Avoid, and sit elsewhere out of earshot. If you happen to be trapped into sitting near this type of person, you can try a cowardly "Shhh" if you dare or try moving a few seats down, but be sure to sigh loudly.

The Chair-Kicker

One light tap on the back of your seat could be someone re-adjusting their foot, so don't get riled up yet, but continual bumps and kicks deserve some sort of polite request for a cease-fire. Sometimes people don't realize that they are even doing it, so I find that if you turn around and politely smile and say, "Could you please stop kicking my chair?" they are usually somewhat embarrassed and stop immediately. However, the Chair-Kicker is almost always a child, so be careful when dealing with the situation. If you ascertain the circumstances to be too fraught with potential for a fight with an angry parent, then simply move a few seats down and dream of the day when you have a child of your own to chastise for being careless.

Projectionist Who Leaves the Lights On

This will ruin your movie experience. About one in 10 times you visit the theater they forget to fully turn off the overhead lights even though they dim them during previews. You are then treated to a view of your neighbors' knees, the dirty hair of the people in front of you, and a sub-par movie experience. This is an easy fix, provided you are not sitting in the middle of the row and hemmed in by people on every side. Simply excuse yourself (or send your significant other), find an usher, and politely tell them that the lights weren't turned off. Don't wait to see if the situation will improve on its own because it won't.

Anyone Who Brings Young Children to R-Rated Films

There's no place in my soul to excuse the sort of person who would bring a young child to a rated R film. There's nothing more disturbing than seeing an entire family, with children under the age of 10, enter the theater to see something grossly inappropriate. The ratings are there for a reason, but people routinely ignore them; people will shell out money so their child can sit with them during Saw VI just because they're too cheap to get a babysitter for the evening. The worst is when the children or babies start crying and the parents just tell them to be quiet instead of leaving the theater. Unfortunately for other filmgoers, there's not much you can say to these jerks who care more about what they want to do than what is good for their children.

The Overly Social

There they are: whispering to each other, texting constantly through the film, screaming endlessly at any marginally frightening moment, getting up in groups to go to the bathroom, laughing too loudly, just generally being a thorn in the side of any filmgoer. There's pretty much nothing you can do except avoid going to the theater during opening weekend of any movie, and try to avoid seeing a film at night on the weekends. Your best bet is a midday showing during the week or a Sunday afternoon screening.

Now you decide, what annoys you the most at the theater?

What Annoys You The Most at the Theater?(survey)