Sunday, May 4, 2014

10 Things: Movie-Going Tips

Going to watch a movie? Great! Here's 10 things to keep in mind and strongly urged for you to do or don't do. (Not covering the "turn your phone off and no talking" bit. That should be assumed.)
  • Do Your Research Ahead of Time. -- Seriously. Look online, in the paper, ask friends/fam. DO NOT hold up the line on a weekend evening asking the box office person what each movie is about and who is in it and if it is child-appropriate and what caterer they used during production. It's frustrating to everyone involved, including the people behind you. Don't be that asshole.
  • Don't Pay In Change. -- Yeah, that spare change you've been saving for weeks in the Ziploc bag you just upended onto the counter? AND they're mostly not-rolled pennies? Theatre is not code for bank. Most of the time you can go into an actual bank or grocery store and they have automatic sorters that will indeed give you bills if you just try. You can even be an introvert and still manage to convert your cash ahead of time. Don't be that asshole.
  • Underage? Parent/Guardian Stays. -- Doesn't matter if the adult drops you off or verbally okays it, by MPAA regulations, you need that parent/guardian to stay with you for the entirety of the movie. It's not "illegal" but we do get a hefty fine if caught. People do get by sometimes, but it isn't wise to expect it every instance. And saying, "They let me do it last time," doesn't friggin' matter, nor does the p/g driving back angrily and trying to bully management. Suck it up and find a cool adult without causing a scene. Don't be that asshole.
  • Take Your Trash With You. -- It honestly doesn't matter if it's the theatre-bought giant bucket of popcorn or that 20oz. Dr. Pepper stashed in your purse. After the movie, take your trash and throw it in the bin. The more of a mess the previous attendees leave, the longer it takes for the crew to clean and the longer a wait you have standing in line for seating to be available. And too, if the crew is rushed with a filthy auditorium, the higher chance you're going to encounter floors either slick with butter (coconut oil) or sticky from dried soda. A little effort by everyone can make a big difference. So. Don't be that asshole.
  • Don't Drop Minors Off. -- Yes, all parents want a night off. But cinema employees are not your babysitters by paying for a ticket. Do not think the crew is responsible for keeping track of your child. And absolutely do not freak out at the staff when you cannot find your child after you failed to ask when the movie is over and you leisurely roll up four hours after end credits. Technically speaking, if you drop your minor off without an adult assigned to supervise them, that's child abandonment. And realistically, if they wanted to, they could call the cops on you. Don't be that asshole.
  • Read The Back Of Your Ticket. -- It does usually have important info, including some text about how theatre staff can tell you where to sit and to refuse service by offering a refund. If you decide to go opening night and surprise upon surprise: it's a sold out one you luckily got a ticket to, be prepared to adapt and possibly sit next to *gasp* a stranger. If you don't like it, get a refund and go another time or wait til it comes out on DVD/Blu-ray. Don't argue when a manager tries to make sure everyone who paid for a seat gets a seat and absolutely do not argue when you are sitting in a wheelchair attendant spot and are asked to move. Don't be that asshole.
  • Don't Treat Employees Like They're Idiots. -- Sure, most employees at movie theatres are not rocket scientists. Mistakes happen and can usually be fixed with calm discourse. And if they are actually rude, notify a manager. Blah blah, all that normal stuff. But if you choose to lie, if you choose to try and sneak into an auditorium, if you get caught doing something unsavory, don't expect the staff to smile and let you have your way. They can check your ID. They can check your ticket. They can ask you to leave and/or have security escort you out. And in worse-case scenarios, they can call the cops. So don't let your feelings of entitlement escalate a situation. And don't use the race card when you're in the wrong. Don't be that asshole.
  • Don't Demand A Refund If You Didn't Like It. -- No, really. You picked the movie and nothing was wrong with it on the theatre's side of it. It's like ordering food, eating all of it, then wanting it taken off your bill. Maybe the manager will give you a refund to finally shut you up. But they shouldn't. They shouldn't coddle you like that. Which goes back up to the research tip about knowing what you are getting into. And if you did not like your choice, eh, that's something you found out. Make a mental note and move on with your life. No need to make other people miserable. No one cares that you didn't like the acting or the cussing or that there were exposed mammaries in it. Don't be that asshole.
  • Disruptive Child? Do Not Ignore Them. -- If it's someone else's and they're in a PG-13 or R film, notify a staff member. Yeah, you might miss some of your movie, but weigh whether hoping silently that the child will calm down on their own is as time-efficient as taking a minute or two to let a manager know. If it's your own, take them out of the auditorium. Sure, that sucks that you're missing out on crucial storyline, but you have a child. It's your responsibility. Don't tune out your crying baby or toddler running up and down the aisles. Some children are just not ready to have quiet time for that long. And do not hesitate to approach management for a refund or a return pass. Usually they will happily do it since they won't have to handle a disruption complaint from another attendee later. Don't be that asshole.
  • Don't Have Sex In The Auditoriums. -- Fornicating in public places. Sure, thrilling. But it's also disgusting. No, not your kink in this regard. I'm speaking of where. Hundreds if not thousands of people temporarily live in that space for one and a half to three hours a day. I've seen some pretty horrendous stuff left or smeared on seats, on floors, and on the walls. And usually, we only have maybe ten to fifteen minutes to "clean" before we have to move onto the next auditorium. Do you really want your private parts dragging across that? Don't be that asshole...or you might get an infected one.

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