How to Have Movie Etiquette

Do you ever get annoyed at the loud chatter, constant fidgeting, or pushy queues at the counter when you go to the movies? This article will show you how you can have movie etiquette.


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    Don't push or bump into people while waiting in the queue. Have your money ready so you can pay quickly and don't queue-jump. If you are bumped into, don't be rude. Just be polite.
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    Buy your snacks before the film starts. Do this so you won't disturb people by getting out of your seat all the time when the lights go down. Remember to switch your mobile off - out of respect for other movie-goers, most movie theatres have reminders to turn your phone off or at least set it to silent ring or vibrate only.
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    Keep talk to a minimum during the film. Laughter is a sign of appreciation for a comedy film - but constant arguing or overly enthusiastic laughter isn't always appreciated.
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    Do not text or take a screenshot. Though turning off your mobile has been mentioned, some people do need to stay connected, and setting the phone to silent or vibe is a good option if you must remain available (if you have a relative in the hospital, or own a business, etc.). Taking a quick look at a text message is distracting to others around you, but responding to it is rude. The light is very bright to those around you, so go out to the lobby or hall to reply. And taking screenshots should be right out anyhow - this is a copyright violation.
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    Keep your child/ren under control. If you have small children with you, don't allow running around the theatre or making too much noise during the movie. Nothing is worse than a parent who refuses to quiet his or her children - the rest of the audience does not appreciate paying good money only to have your little "darlings" ruin the experience. If you cannot afford a babysitter, consider renting movies and watching them at home.
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    Try not to move from your seat too much. Getting up once or twice is okay but always fidgeting around or changing seat mid-film can disturb people around you. Putting your feet up on the seat in front of you also isn't appreciated much.
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    Avoid making a mess. Do your best not to spill drinks over the seats or drop too much food on the floor. Leaving your chewing gum under the seat is also not a good thing to do.
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    Clean up after yourself. Know that when you exit the theatre, you should take all trash you accumulated with you and dump it in the waste containers as you leave.


  • Don't take young children to movies that are too loud, too intense, too frightening, or too old for their age, especially if the start time is past 9pm. It's wrong to expect them to remain quiet when they're scared by the loud noises or terrifying images they are too young to understand, and it's just as wrong to expect other moviegoers to put up with a crying child through the most exciting or intense scenes in the film. After 9pm, even if your schedule permits you to stay up late with your child, the majority of other moviegoers have chosen the late start time for the precise purpose of avoiding lots of children in the auditorium. You may feel that you paid to see the movie and are entitled, but so did all the others who did not bring young children. It is unfair to subject an entire audience to the noise your child makes, and just as unfair to expect a child to remain silent for two or more hours. If you are unwilling to get up and take your child out of the theater if she/he fusses, it would be much more considerate of you to refrain from bringing him or her to the movies.
  • If someone is disturbing or distracting you, just speak up. Don't get hostile, but do say, "Hey, could we have a quiet moment please?" or "That light is bright. Can you please take it outside?" or "Please soothe/calm your baby." Making a simple statement is fair enough when someone is preventing your enjoyment of the movie. Others will usually chime in to support you, but are sometimes hesitant to be the one to pipe up first.
  • If the offending person ignores you and continues to distract and disturb, don't say any more. Get up and get an usher, and then ask for a partial refund - you have missed part of the movie due to the theater's failure to properly staff so that an usher can be present for the early part of the film, when most of the unruly people are most active.


  • Don't allow things to escalate to a fight. Some rude people can be defensive and hostile when called on their rudeness. It's better to simply walk out and come back to see that film another time if you cannot enjoy it. Ask for a return ticket, or if the theater is a constant problem, insist on a refund and tell management that until they correct their staffing issue and place an usher in each theater for at least the first 15 minutes of each film, you will not be returning there.

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Categories: Etiquette | Cinemas