How To Have Proper Movie Theater Etiquette

Talking, Crying, Chewing, What Ever Happened To Movie Theater Etiquette?

The unofficial rules you should follow if you go to the theater.

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Dear Moviegoers,

Movies are often made to be viewed on the big screen, which is why we go to the movies. I personally like the experience. The loud sounds, the big screens, the popcorn and candy, the darkroom. I pay a lot for that experience.

That's why, at the risk of sounding petty, I have to ask: Please, stop going to the movies if you're just going to be annoying.

I mean, whatever happened to movie theater etiquette?

It's like people have forgotten how to behave in a movie theater!

I know it might seem silly, but I pay too much for tickets and snacks to have my seat kicked and listen to other people whisper. I don't know when it happened, but people seem to be disregarding the societal rules we've established to make going to the movies fun. In case you're one of those people who've forgotten how to act, let me remind you.

Please, for the love of god, arrive on time. It's distracting when someone shows up late and is awkwardly maneuvering around people to find a seat. At the very least, sit on the ends of the rows instead of climbing over other people to sit in the middle of the row.

Along with that, please remember that there is limited space in the theater. Whether you're finding your seat or simply readjusting during a long movie, be mindful of the space you have. I don't want my chair kicked repeatedly because you can't get comfortable. If you're sitting in the middle of the row, don't get up repeatedly. Keep your elbows in if you're sitting next to someone. Respect others' personal space.

Turning your phone off is another way to show respect for your fellow moviegoers. I don't want to hear your cell phone ring. If, for whatever reason, you really need it on, please silence it. If you're expecting an emergency call from your sister in labor or you're worried about the babysitter, maybe you shouldn't be at the theater.

Since you're expected to keep your phone quiet, you should be quiet, too. I don't want to hear you and your friends whispering behind me for two hours, and no one in the theater wants to hear your commentary. If something funny happens, feel free to laugh. If something terrifying happens, you can gasp. If you're at the theater solely to get attention, please take your over-the-top reactions to a sporting event or something.

If I go to see the newest Disney-Pixar film, I expect to see children there and it doesn't bother me. I don't care if you bring your toddler to a children's movie, especially since it was made for them. I do not, however, expect children to be in the audience if I go to see the newest slasher film. In that case, I will be annoyed. I mean, come on — who takes their young children to see an R-rated in the theater?

And, like, I would expect anywhere else, you should be eating and drinking quietly. Wait till a loud scene to open that candy wrapper (or be smart and sneak your own candy in — you can buy it at Target and put it into Ziploc baggies that don't make noise and can hold lots of candy). Don't suck on the straw when you're clearly out of soda. Chew with your mouth close.

Please, have some respect for other people.

I don't want to come off as a snob, but there are certain rules for seeing a movie in the theater that people seem to disregard nowadays. It might not be a big deal to you, but it is to me. I go because I'm interested in the film being shown and because I want to see it on the big screen with popcorn and a slushie. The cost of going to movies is expensive, but it's worth every penny when I can actually enjoy it.

Sincerely,

One Frustrated Moviegoer

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'Unplanned' Is The Movie Of The Year

Abby Johnson's story is real, powerful, and deserves our attention.

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A suspended Twitter account, an R rating, and only 1,000 theaters showing it with an expected $3 million in sales. Flash forward to when "Unplanned" started showing...it's doubled in expected sales, beaten records left and right for views and money it's bringing in and is currently ranked #4 in the US. Besides unexpected and outstanding statistics, it's a movie about something new. Something Hollywood has never covered. Something that is raw and truthful, holding nothing back even if it's hard to watch.

Abby Johnson's story is real and powerful. She's seen every single side and hidden corner of the pro-life/pro-choice movement in her own personal life, which makes her the perfect voice for the unborn and unplanned.

You can't hear her story or watch "Unplanned" without relating to at least one part of it.

Is it graphic? Yes. But is it over dramatized? Nope. Everything within the first 30 minutes of "Unplanned" is what happens every hour of every day in America and we call it equal rights for women. Personally, I've always been pro-life. But after leaving that movie, I've never been more pro-women. I was angry watching it. Women are lied to about everything in Planned Parenthood. Women are coerced into killing their own children and then told that it's not even a child yet. These women are scared, hopeless, and looking for an instant solution and Planned Parenthood takes advantage of it and makes money off it. If you're a woman and reading this, why AREN'T you angry yet?

This movie was everything the world needed after New York dropped the ban on late-term abortions. This movie is everything this country needed to see. For once, someone took a risk and threw hard, real, truth out into the world and didn't sweep it under the rug.

Pro-life, pro-choice, whatever you are — this movie is the movie of the year. The only excuse for those who don't go and see it is that they too like to sweep things under the rug.

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'The Jonathan Larson Project': A Tribute For An Artist Gone Too Soon

No day but today.

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I first listened to Jonathan Larson's magnum opus piece, "Rent," when I was fourteen years old. I was a mini-Broadway fan at the time, slowly discovering musicals that I knew meant a lot to other fans. As someone who had only previously listened to strictly rock musicals or the standard musical theatre style, "Rent" was a show that had blended both genres. When I finally finished listening to the show, I was hungry for more. I turned to the internet looking for more shows from this composer, Jonathan Larson.

I knew that "Rent" was Larson's first major show, written in 1996, so I expected to fall through a rabbit hole of eighteen years worth of musicals, each one better than the one before it. I expected to find interviews of Larson on YouTube, talking of his early days as a struggling composer but now having countless Tony Awards, a modern-day Sondheim. But when I typed in his name, I only found two musicals listed, "Rent" and "tick...tick...BOOM!" the latter being a posthumous, off-broadway release.

The morning of "Rent"'s first off-broadway preview performance on January 25th, 1996, Larson died of an aortic aneurysm at 35-years-old. He never got to see his show go onto a successful Broadway run (12 years to be exact, and the eleventh longest-running Broadway show of all time), win four Tony awards (including best musical), and receive the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (one of only nine musicals to ever receive the honor in the Pulitzer Prize's almost one hundred year history). His previously written one-man show "tick...tick...BOOM!" was rewritten and was given an off-broadway run in 2001.

As a young teenager, this was shocking to me, as it had just dawned on me that you could work your whole life toward a certain goal, and never see it come to fruition. In "Rent," the character Roger sings of his "One Song Glory," and unbeknownst to Larson, he was writing his own. "Rent" remains one of my favorite musicals, even after spending almost six years listening to, what feels like at this point, a hundred different shows. This show spoke for a whole generation, and with it's genius score paired with Larson's story, it has always stuck with me.

It's now 2019. "Rent" premiered twenty-three years ago. Larson, if he were still alive, would be 59. And this year, he came out with a brand new album.

Theatre historian Jennifer Ashley Tepper produced and directed a concert, and later this album, titled "The Jonathan Larson Project." The songs that are included a range from cut songs from "Rent" to music that was written, but never recorded or performed. As I sit here, currently listening to this album, I wonder if Larson was planning another show, some of these songs to be included.

The songs received new orchestrations, and five young, well-known musical theatre actors bring them to life. Krysta Rodriguez, one whose voice I can only describe as a force of nature, shines in her solo pieces, most notably "Out of My Dreams." Andy Mientus' contemporary alternative voice fits so well in "Valentine's Day" (a song that was in a few early versions of "Rent") and "SOS." Three newer actors on my radar, George Salazar, Nick Blaemire, and Lauren Marcus have all blown me away with their performances as well, most notably Salazar's powerful "Iron Mike," Blaemire's bittersweet "One of These Days," and Marcus' hilarious "Hosing the Furniture."

I have to give it to Tepper to putting this all together, and I am so happy that this album can open the floodgates to young theatre fans like I was, discovering Larson's genius.

In the final track, "Piano," you can hear Larson performing a demo of the song before it fades into the modern-day, as if Larson was there, performing with them. Through his artistry, he lives on and will continue to live on years after his death, having left a mark on the world.

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