At the Movies: Crimes We’ll Take You to Court For

2009 September 3

We see a lot of movies—a lot meaning sometimes six or seven in one month. So, considering how many movies we’ve seen, it should also come as no surprise then that we’ve encountered a ton of criminally bad moviegoers. Sure there are the loud talkers, but did you know there are other crimes you can commit at the theater?

And if you’re guilty of any of the following, Ann Richards might have to rise from the dead and take your ass out.

Loud talkers/obnoxious laughs/stage whispers

An audible whisper is the same as talking, so go ahead and ask your friend whatever you were asking. Along with ringing cell phones, this is the No. 1 most offensive crimes to perpetrate at the theater. Nothing you ask or say to your friend is going to be as interesting or funny as the movie, so don’t even bother. We especially hate the bad audience members who keep asking what other movies a particular actor or actress has been in. Mom, we’re talking to you!

Line repeaters

This is in a separate category from just talking loudly because it is four times more obnoxious than merely talking loudly. We’re talking about the guy who will laugh at a line in the movie and then repeat said line to his companion. We get the joke, buddy, we’re watching the same exact movie here. We hate sitting next to one of these criminals.

Texting during the movie

We all know that talking on our cell phones is a big no-no during the movie, but even remotely pulling your phone out is unacceptable. The blinding white light of your cell phone really detracts from what’s happening on the screen. This category means that you cannot text or even check your phone during the flick. We make exceptions for doctors—you’re allowed to at least check that thing.

This category also applies to movie critics with the clicky light pen. You don’t need those to take notes. You can see the notebook perfectly fine. Not only is the light annoying, but that little “click click” is pretty awful too. Thank you.

Having an offensive odor

Besides sitting next to a loud talker or line repeater, this is one of the worst offenses. If you smell bad, don’t sit next to someone. We’re not just talking B.O., folks. We mean anyone who smokes a lot, chooses not to wear deodorant or anyone who’s eaten anything stinky in a while. Have a friend sniff test you to see how offensive you are just to make sure.

Showing up late and asking us to move

We are very punctual movie goers. We love watching the previews; we stake out the perfect seat—which we’re told is three quarters of the way back, directly in the middle for optimum sound and audio; we hit up the bathroom; we keep our seats warm. It’s an exact science by now. So, nothing is more off putting then when moseying latecomers barge into the theater, eye the seats to the left and the right of us and not-so-politely ask us to shift. Sure, we’ll move—we don’t want to look like the villains, after all—but we don’t like it one bit, and we’ll certainly not make eye contact with you. Do us a favor and show up early. You have been warned.

Eating loudly

Popcorn is a fairly quiet snack. A pickle is not. We love pickles at the movies, yet even we know how loudly they can be when you’re eating them in a theater, so we’ve honed a perfected pickle eating method, which consists of very little loud chomping. We also tend to take bites during loud scenes and avoid chewing during quiet and/or romantic scenes. Please pay us the same courtesy.

Also, if you’re going to sneak food in, the No. 1 thing to NEVER EVER bring into a theater is an apple. We kid you not, we sat next to someone who brought an apple into a movie and ate it during some very quiet scenes. A pickle may require some loud chewing, but it has nothing on how loud an apple can be.

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