Movies. I like ’em. Lots of people like ’em. Some people even still go see them at the theater, although Disney CEO Dave Hollis’ recent speech at CinemaCon was far from optimistic. Check out this LA times article for more on that: http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-disney-disruption-20170328-story.html. Ryan Faughnder, the author, wrote, “The picture is bleaker, however, among teenagers — the hoped-for next generation of moviegoers — whose attendance fell 16% last year to 6.1 on average, according to a recent report by the Motion Picture Assn. of America.” Are dates to the movie theater becoming a thing of the past?! But, the humanity! SAVE THEATER DATING!
ANYWAYS. What I really want to talk about is theater etiquette. I’ve been to theaters in the US, Japan, and Thailand and each experience felt very unique.
*imo, there is something of a romantic–dare I say sexual?–enigma attached to the theater. Go with your partner, snuggle up in the dark, steal a few kisses. Ok, that’s probably oversimplifying it, but it’s definitely there!
*no assigned seating. free for all! yeahhhhh! Although, I remember more than once going to the movies and being forced to sit separately from friends. ugh, the nerve.
*correct me if I’m wrong on this, but don’t a lot of people just leave their empty popcorn and drink cups in their seats for ushers to clean up at the end of the movie? That’s how I remember it, but maybe I was just young and careless.
*movie dates, yeah, they happen. but kissing! never seen it. so maybe the romantic is there minus the sexual?
*assigned seating, guys! how orderly.
*you pick up every little last bit of popcorn that dropped on the ground and make sure it makes it to the garbage on your way out. and separate all the recyclables. it’s just what you do, you know?
*you stay until the very last credit rises and sets over the screen. out of respect for the artists? hmm, I suspect it has more to do with safety. The theater remains darkened as well and I for one don’t want to fall a break a hip (in my aged state…).
*alcohol on demand. yeah, that’s fun.
*baby theater times. Because you don’t just bring them to regular screenings. God forbid they cry!
*assigned seating. and get this, VIP seats. we’re talking serious loungers, where they bring you food and drinks, and massage your legs!
*complimentary movie goods. If I recall correctly we got magnets, pens, and paper. Free stuff, score.
And now I am off to live in India–Mumbai, in fact. The home of Bollywood. I look forward to reflecting more on this subject in the future.
Time to wind down this post, dear Internet–in case you haven’t caught on, that means you reader–have you noticed any quirky theater mannerisms in countries you’ve lived or visited??