Night time movies attract crowds who are out on the town. Crowds who just decided a moment or two prior, “hey, let’s catch a flick!” Crowds all hopped up on chain restaurants and booze, crowds who can’t freakin’ wait to talk through the movie. To continue coordinating plans after the lights have dimmed. To (shudder)… text.
Matinees, on the other hand, while not always a guaranteed knucklehead-free environment, certainly reduce the probability of risk. Matinees are for folks want to watch a movie. Folks who avoid crowds at the theater. This now you.
While we’re at it…
2. Weekdays are the best days.
Weekend movies are for folks who think of movie-going as a pass-time—a Saturday night out with some friends. This sort of person is more interested in the outing than the movie, and as such, will prioritize the outing over the actual viewing. For this reason, we must avoid them at all costs.
While everyone else is at work (or better yet, having breakfast) we are at the movies.
3. What kind of loser goes to the movies by themselves? You do!
Your newly applied rulebook will alienate you from your group of movie-going friends, who will find it nearly impossible to accommodate the necessary changes you’ve made in your (now better) life. As such, one must be prepared to go it alone.
“Let’s just go Saturday night!” they’ll say.
“Your rules are insane,” they’ll say.
“You’re starting to look sick and talk funny,” they’ll whine.
But you mustn’t give in. After all, how much socializing is actually done during a movie? If you said anything other than, “absolutely none at all,” then start at the beginning, memorize the commandments, and head back when you’re ready.
When you do find yourself privileged enough to enjoy a movie with a friend, choose said friend wisely. Are they prepared to honor all of the commandments? Does this friend respect movies at home? It’s one thing to suffer knuckleheads in a theater, it’s another thing entirely when you’re the one who brought them in.
4. Plan your escape.
One can usually determine during the trailers if a crowd is unprepared to respect the movie. If all is silent during the trailers,more than likely, all will be silent during the movie. If, however, the audience is fidgety and bustling during the previews, they’ll likely carry on into the film as well. Let’s consider the scenarios that occur most often, and how to deal with each.
- If the riffraff is localized to one person or party, we can ask them politely to pipe down. Surprisingly, this often works, if not after a bit of an awkward exchange.
- If the knucklehead is spatially placed anywhere off center, move as far away from them as humanly possible without sacrificing optimal viewing. I trust you’re in a reputable theater with quality accommodations, so the loudness of the movie itself will filter a good bit of noise if it’s far enough away.
- If the party is a huge group of teens, or if the commotion permeates several areas of the theater, it’s time to wave the white flag. Head to the box office and say—smiling, and very friendly-like—that you hate to be that guy (or gal), but could you possibly trade your ticket in for another showing due to amount of distracting noise from the audience.
I have done this many, many times, and have never been declined a change of ticket. Heck, most of the time they throw in a free pass or a popcorn coupon as well, but that’s not why we do this, remember? We’re here for the movies!
5. Wait, if you must.
Let’s face it, midnight movies are perhaps the seediest hotbed of all when it comes to knuckleheads. While we might, under extraneous circumstances, consider an evening showing, we’re done with midnight movies forever. While we’re at it, we have to face the fact that opening day/weekend for big blockbusters are tremendously risky, as are all nighttime showings for horror films. It only takes one knucklehead to absolutely ruin a moviegoing experience. Are you prepared to take that risk?
Eliminating as many risks as possible makes for a more immersive and stress-free movie going experience. This is, after all, what we’re after.