Since I live too far from the thriving metropolis of Paducah to do any serious drinking and still make it home in one piece, I go to the movies a lot. There’s just not much else to do around here that’s still fun when you’re sober. I usually average around two movies a week, so it’s not unusual for me to encounter people who don’t seem to understand how the movie-going experience is supposed to work. If you’re one of these people, I hope this article helps.
Let’s start with buying tickets. This seems like an easy process, but some people manage to fuck it up. It’s important to decide what you want to see before you get in line. I don’t want to stand around listening to you and Mrs. Dumbass try to figure out whether The Men Who Stare at Goats is a porno, and neither does the person working the ticket booth. You can find out what movies are playing (and even read reviews, cast and crew details, and other useful decision-making information) online, in the newspaper, and even on your phone before you ever get to the theater. If all else fails, or you’re illiterate, there are a bunch of big posters with pretty pictures hanging on the outside of the building that you can look at before getting in line. And speaking of lines, if you and your little throng of adolescent obnoxiousness are more than 3 feet from the end of the line, you’re not in line. Don’t start quoting Dane Cook to me when I get in line in front of you.
Okay, you’ve got your ticket. Now it’s time to go to the concession stand. If you’ve ever been to the movies before, you already know what’s available there. They’ve had the same shit since Dillinger’s days at the Biograph. If this is your first time seein’ the movin’ pitchers, it’s still not too hard—popcorn, hotdogs, nachos, and candy. They’ve even got the containers up on top of the popcorn machines so you can see the sizes. Seriously folks, this ain’t Spago’s. Get your popcorn and get the fuck out of my way. And don’t complain or make jokes about the price of the snacks. The prices are high because that’s how the theater makes money, and everybody knows the prices are high. Your complaints won’t change anything and the poor bastards behind the counter hear the same jokes hundreds of times a day. If you can’t afford $10-$20 for popcorn and drinks, maybe you should be looking for a better job instead of wasting your time at the movies.
Once you’ve got your munchies, you’ll need to find a seat. Again, this is not rocket science. The way today’s theaters are built, there are really only a few bad seats (usually the first couple of rows). Find an empty seat and sit down. When you’re doing this, be aware that personal space preferences increase as the number of people in the theater decreases. If the house is pretty empty, give the other people a little space. I’ve already got plenty of friends and I’m not taking applications for new ones. Also, the farther away you are the less likely you are to annoy me. The only exception is if you’re Patricia Arquette and you’re there to fuck me so hard I kill Gary Oldman, steal a suitcase full of blow, and run away to
When the movie starts, that’s your cue to stop talking. You’re not in the trailer anymore, so you need to be considerate of other people. I came here to ogle Amanda Seyfried, watch Jason Statham beat the hell out of a bunch of people, or be deeply disappointed by Roland Emmerich, not to hear about Aunt Earline’s foot operation. And if you’re talking because your wife can’t follow the plot of Last House on the Left and you’ve got to explain it to her, maybe fine cinema isn’t for you. I’m sure there’s an episode of John and Kate Plus Eight More Rat’s Asses Than I Give that you could be watching instead. The only time it’s permissible to talk during a film is if you’re of African-American decent and you’re talking to the characters on screen during a horror movie.
Eventually, the movie will end (even Transformers 2). DO NOT APPLAUD. The people who made the movie aren’t here, so it’s really kind of pointless. I’m sure Bruce Willis appreciates your support, but he isn’t watching you via hidden camera. Before you leave, grab all those (now empty) food and drink containers and throw them in the trashcan on your way out. The people who have to clean up after the show will appreciate it.
That’s about all the time we have this month. Look for future installments of the For Morons series, including “Turn Signals and You: A Moron’s Guide to Driving” and “ATM Machines: Convenient Technology or Satan’s Plaything?”