For The Love Of God, Shut Up When You're In The Theater

For The Love Of God, Shut Up When You're In The Theater

I will find you, and I will end it.

It was a wonderful crisp night, my father, brother, and I all packed into the van and drove off to our local cinema. It was Christmas night, and we had just left our grandparents' condo. For Christmas, I had bought my father and brother tickets to go see "Star Wars: Rogue One" with me and they were hyped. Star Wars was a big thing for us, especially for my dad, who had seen the first one back in 77' over 20 times. He even hobbled into the opening night showing of "Episode VII" just two days after a total knee replacement surgery. Needless to say, we were excited.

I made us get there nearly 90 minutes before because seats were not reserved and I DID NOT want to have crappy seats. Turns out that was a dumb decision because the doors didn't open until about 20 minutes before the screening anyway, but nonetheless we had solid seats right in the center of the theater. I had my Twizzlers and soda and I was ready for some kick-ass Star Wars.

Then it happened.

10 minutes into the movie I hear something. At first, I didn't understand it, what it was. Then there was a quiet, emotional scene, almost near silence. Except the man snoring a few rows down and to the left of me. When it was blatantly obvious his family of four or five woke him up, but that did not stop this massive man from falling asleep. Suddenly the entire movie was ruined for me. I could not focus on anything else but this man's snoring. I struggled the whole night with whether or not to say something, but I didn't want to ruin other people's movie, but it was already being ruined by this asshole. And so all the way until the credits he snored and snored and eventually his family just gave up. No one seemed to care except for me. As if I paid $12 ($36 if you count the tickets I bought for my brother and dad) to sit and listen to someone snore over the movie and wanted this to happen. Once the movie was over and everyone was leaving I was heated, I said somethings out loud, they heard me, brushed it off and walked away. Meanwhile, apparently, my brother and dad didn't hear it all, which is total bullshit but whatever.

I'll say this once, and only once. When you're watching a movie in a public theater with other people, SHUT UP.

I know what you might be saying, "look it's Christmas, maybe the guy was tired after a whole day with his kids and family and just wanted to have a moment to rest while entertaining his family." I don't buy it. If you're tired, GO HOME, GO TO BED. Do not come to a dimly lit room and snore in front of 50-100 other people who paid good money to sit and watch a movie. And his entire family is just as terrible for letting it happen the entire movie. If I had brought someone to a movie, whether it be my dad, mom, brother, girlfriend, Obama, literally anyone, and they started snoring, I would wake them up and tell them to wait in the car. There's no place for that in the theater.

But snoring dad's aren't the only problem in theaters. You know what I'm talking about: those damn teenagers. If you are a teenager and going to a movie, please understand that everyone else instantly hates you as soon as you sit down. Because you can't help but be an obnoxious, loud, rude, piece of annoyingness. This past summer my girlfriend and I went to see Now You See Me 2 and it was literally us, and older lady, and three kids that sat right behind us. They constantly kept getting up, leaving the room, coming back in, talking, doing literally everything possible but sit and watch the movie. Finally, one of us broke. My girlfriend (bless her soul) got up, turned around, and told them to shut up. They stopped.

The movie theater is not your little hangout to talk and be on your phone, it's not your couch to fall asleep and snore on, it's a place to sit and enjoy a piece of film.

Now I understand there is a fine line. Little kids like movies and little kids have no manners or understand good behavior (and their parents certainly don't tell them to be quiet). So if I see "Secret Life of Pets" at noon, I'm going to be sitting next to a little girl who wants to sing every song in the movie and tell her mom every time a dog comes on screen (this is a true story). But I can't get mad at that, I am in the little kid's territory, that movie isn't for me and honestly "Secret Life of Pets" isn't exactly a cinematic masterpiece (I went with my mother). But when I'm seeing "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" at 11 o'clock at night and the kid in the row in front of me says something every time a monkey shows up on screen, I'm going to have a problem with it (and I said something). That kid shouldn't even be at that movie, and I'm not letting him ruin it for me.

Of course, when you see trash movies like Transformers, I honestly might be more interested in what's happening off-screen. But when I'm watching "Inception," or "The Revenant," I am deeply engrossed in the film. The score, the cinematography, the acting, all of it. I want to be sucked in and I don't want let go until the credits roll. Some might say I'm taking it all too seriously, but it's what I love about films and there's simply no way to replicate the experience you get when seeing a film on the big screen with a theater quality sound system.

Since seeing Star Wars I've made a pledge to myself. I'm not putting up with it anymore. Because I've found that once someone is told to shut up, they usually do. So I'm coming for you, movie ruiners. Never again will you ruin another movie I pay way too much to see. I'll give you a stern look. I'll tell you to shut up. Then I'll call you out in front of everyone (because I know I'm never alone in this). And if you keep going, I'll be that guy, I'll get the manager and I'll enjoy the rest of my movie with you in it. I will die on this crusade if I have to, because I will not let you rude people ruin these fun things we enjoy seeing. With "Baby Driver," "Spider-Man," "Dunkirk," "War for the Planet of the Apes," and "Dark Tower" coming out over the next few weeks I'm going be in the theater and on patrol. This is a call to all movie goers to shut down this funny business when you see it. Let's start a legion of diligent film watchers who don't put up with bullshit. The movie theater should be a quiet place with the occasional laugh or maybe, MAYBE, cheer.

Other than that please, for the love of God, shut up.

Cover Image Credit: Jake Hills

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A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.

Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

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3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-Z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

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30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

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My AP Environmental Science Class' Cookie Mining Experiment Shows Why Capitalism Is Destroying The Planet

Who cares about the environment with profits this high?


With the AP exams in May approaching quickly, my AP Environmental Science class has wasted no time in jumping right into labs. To demonstrate the damage to the environment done by strip mining, we were instructed to remove the chocolate chips from cookies.

The experiment in itself was rather simple. We profited from fully or partially extracted chips ($8 for a full piece and $4 for a partial) and lost from buying tools, using time and area and incurring fines.

This might seem simplistic, but it showcased the nature of disastrous fossil fuel companies.

We were fined a $1 per minute we spent mining. It cost $4 per tool we bought (either tweezers or paper clips) and 50 cents for every square centimeter of cookie we mined.

Despite the seemingly overbearing charges compared to the sole way to profit, it was actually really easy to profit.

If we found even a partial chocolate chip per minute, that's $3 profit or utilization elsewhere. Tools were an investment that could be made up each with a partial chip, and clearly we were able to find much, much more than just one partial chip per tool.

Perhaps the most disproportionally easiest thing to get around were the fines. We were liable to be fined for habitat destruction, dangerous mining conditions with faulty tools, clutter, mess and noise level. No one in the class got fined for noise level nor faulty tools, but we got hit with habitat destruction and clutter, both of which added up to a mere $6.

We managed to avoid higher fines by deceiving our teacher by pushing together the broken cookie landscapes and swiping away the majority of our mess before being examined for fining purposes. This was amidst all of our cookies being broken into at least three portions.

After finding many, many chips, despite the costs of mining, we profited over $100. We earned a Franklin for destroying our sugary environment.

We weren't even the worst group.

It was kind of funny the situations other groups simulated to their cookies. We were meant to represent strip mining, but one group decided to represent mountaintop removal. Mountaintop removal is where companies go to extract resources from the tops of mountains via explosions to literally blow the tops off. This group did this by literally pulverizing their cookies to bits and pieces with their fists.

They incurred the maximum fine of $45. They didn't profit $100, however.

They profited over $500 dollars.

In the context of our environmental science class, these situations were anywhere from funny to satisfying. In the context of the real world, however, the consequences are devastating our environment.

Without even mentioning the current trajectory we're on approaching a near irreversible global temperature increase even if we took drastic measures this moment, mining and fracking is literally destroying ecosystems.

We think of earthquakes as creating mass amounts of sudden movement and unholy deep trenches as they fracture our crust. With dangerous mining habits, we do this ourselves.

Bigger companies not even related to mining end up destroying the planet and even hundreds of thousands of lives. ExxonMobil, BP? Still thriving in business after serial oil spills over the course of their operation. Purdue Pharma, the company who has misled the medical community for decades about the effects of OxyContin and its potential for abuse, is still running and ruining multitudes more lives every single day.

Did these companies receive fines? Yes.

But their business model is too profitable to make the fines have just about any effect upon their operation.

In our cookie mining simulation, we found that completely obliterating the landscape was much more profitable than being careful and walking on eggshells around the laws. Large, too-big-to-fail companies have held the future of our planet in their greedy paws and have likewise pulverized our environment, soon enough to be unable to return from.

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