It's the time of year that most have a bit of extra time on their hands and there is hardly a better way to spend this freedom than going to the movies. But the movie-going quest isn't a willy-nilly adventure and should be treated with the correct level of respect and gravitas it deserves. Here follows, in no particular order, ten tips that all movie-goers should embrace.
1. Don’t miss the previews if you can help it. Sure you can see the latest trailers on Facebook or YouTube, but few are done its rightly deserved justice. After all, there’s nothing like the big screen and its equally big sound.
2. If you’re not one for crowds, book the early show. Almost no one pitches for the 9am screenings and you can, almost always, have the entire cinema to yourself. Upon which you can pretend that you paid up every seat for your viewing pleasure. Be warned though, sometimes you can become a tad too aware that you’re all alone, at which point you’ll begin to realise that it’s rather dark and that creepy things normally hide in the dark.
3. Do undertake the intensive and necessary task of correctly spicing your popcorn. Though this may be a long and mentally demanding journey towards acing the perfect spice-to-kernel ratio, your taste buds will thank you halfway through your tub of popcorn. Are there worse things in life? Yes. But unspiced popcorn doesn’t have to be one of them.
- If you’re conscious of eating in public and don’t want to be heard crunching away, wait until the film picks up and the sound intensifies, during which you can chomp and crunch away to your heart’s content without anyone hearing. Sort of like singing at the top of your lungs while wearing headphones!
4. Do arrive and sit down in your seat early. Don’t be the person who has to slide and squish past everyone while spouting apology after apology. Save the sliding past perfect strangers for economy class.
5. Do spring for a packet of sweets if your budget allows. Films trend towards much longer running times these days and you’ll have something else to snack on when you’re at the halfway mark.
6. Don’t be the person who kicks the seat in front of you. You’re not six, control your limbs. Also, unless you actually own the cinema (if you do you can do whatever the heck you want), don’t treat it like your personal living room.
7. Do put your cellphone on silent. Back in the old days, you know like 2010, most people had the courtesy not to answer their ringing phones. And let’s be honest the ringtone is almost always awkward.
8. There are specific types of movie-goers you shouldn’t be. If you identify with any of these, please consult a spiritual healer so that you may be cleansed:
There may be some people not feeling a particular film and who wish that it could get to the final credits yesterday. They usually make their boredom known to everyone in the vicinity by sighing loudly. Here’s the deal though – not everyone is as un-entertained as you. There is always the option of leaving. Just follow the bright light towards the end of the tunnel.
Incapable of simply watching the film, the fidgeter has, besides refreshments, either several pockets or bags they continuously rummage through. What could they be looking for? A sensible and serious script for Marvel’s Black Widow? You’re never going to find what you’re looking for friend.
[Insert automatic eye-roll] There are those that giggle throughout an entire film. Sure, some films are funny and induce giggles, some even outright laughter, but only at the appropriate points. I will never understand how anonymous person in row D giggled during Dunkirk.
Even though I could simply refer to point six, it bears repeating – the cinema is not your house. Do not take off your shoes, do not stretch out and place your shoe-less feet, or any feet, on the seat in front of you. And for the love of Meryl Streep, do not kick the seat in front of you.
Those that get up and leave the cinema regularly. It’s a two-hour film Susan, not an 11-hour economy class flight to Chicago.
9. Don’t gobble up all your delicious movie popcorn before the film has even started. This isn’t an easy task considering that previews and ads these days can run for almost twenty minutes. Be strong fellow movie-goers and know that there is still a lot of film time ahead for which you will need a proportionate amount of popcorn. Eyes on the prize.
10. The biggest ‘do’ of them all - have fun! Going to the movies is an experience unlike anything else. I’ve loved going to the movies since the days of the original Power Rangers, circa 1997, and Mortal Kombat. There is something special about all that anticipation landing and finally getting to see movie magic on an enormous screen with epic surround sound.