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Re Porter - Etiquette at the theater
bethany porter

I love going to the movies. One of my favorite memories from 2019 was going to see “Avengers Endgame” on the Thursday night premiere with my Marvel-loving friend Tyler. 

The theater was packed. I bought the tickets a week in advance to make sure we would be able to see it. We ended up in the middle aisle wedged in between people we did not know, but it was pre-pandemic so it was fine. Everyone in that theater was there because they were excited and loved Marvel movies and it was great. 

With that being said, I love going to see movies, but could do without the people most of the time. More and more I am finding new annoyances at the theater especially during the pandemic. When I drag my friend Emily and her husband to go to the movies with me, they know how uptight I am during movies I want to see, especially Marvel movies. I even told her to tell her husband the “Movie with Bethany Protocol” before we went together the first time. I would like to think I am easy going despite my previous statements, but I think there are certain unspoken rules that people should know about going to the movies.   

One of my biggest pet peeves is when there is an entire theater full of seats, and someone chooses to sit in front of me. If someone is sitting around where I usually sit, I will skip a row to avoid sitting in front of them. I understand when the theater is packed, but when there are multiple options and someone decides I want to stare at their head for the entire movie, I get annoyed.

One thing you would think is common sense, especially now, is if you are sick, stay home! I went to see “Shang Chi” last month and the theater was fairly packed. A man who sat to my left in the next aisle was clearly sick, coughed the entire movie, and was not wearing a mask. No one wants to hear you coughing during a movie they paid to see, so please stay home and wait until you are better. 

Snack choice is also important. Someone once sat behind me cracking open pistachios and throwing the shells on the ground. It was rude and loud. 

Talking during a movie has always been one of worst movie theater offenses. I went to see “Captain Marvel” with a friend a few years ago and she made comments to me the entire time. She had something new to say every 10 minutes and it was so hard to spare her feelings and not tell her to be quiet. I decided I would not be seeing “Endgame” with her then and there. Mastering a whisper is really important if you must talk during a movie.

If none of these unspoken rules have registered with you after reading this, at the very least you now know not to ever see a movie with me.

Standard reporter Bethany Porter can be reached at 473-2191.