I believe that the movie theater is sacred ground. It’s an institution that should be respected and held in high regard for its unbelievable ability to give us a place where we can see the latest in cinema magic. It’s a unique experience unlike anything else in our society, and it should be revered and treated with dignity!
However, respect for the theatrical experience has taken a bit of a nosedive. It’s tough to go watch a movie nowadays and leave without incident. Just recently our viewing of Hereditary was ruined by a few youngsters on their phones, screen-hoppers, etc. Not the best film for that to happen to, trust me.
But there are a few things that you and I can do to improve our overall experience, because we all want our time on this tiny blue planet to be enjoyable, and we all want our movie-watching to be the best it can be.
1 – Arrive early
I know it’s cool and hip to reserve seats now and skip the endless number of previews (seriously, 25 minutes of trailers is a BIT much!), but getting there early allows you to take in the energy and the anticipation of the film you’re about to watch. Try it if you haven’t in a while. It’s worth it. If you’re not reserving your seats, get there 15 minutes early so you can get the seat you want and you won’t have to wade through the crowd.
2 – Dress for the occasion
We like to dress for the event when we go to the movies. And when I say dress, I mean throw on whatever t-shirt goes with the film. I went out and bought a $5 Jurassic Park shirt so I could wear it to Fallen Kingdom, and it was fun, and it was neat, and it made the night all the better. Just recently we took the whole family to see The Incredibles 2, and we dawned our masks and Incredible shirts and we took pictures and just had a great time. Try it!
3 – Put your phones away
I shouldn’t even have to say this, but you know, 2018. When the trailers start, put your phones away! Seriously! Turn them off! Just turn the thing off, put it in your pocket, your bag, your cup holder, and just forget it exists for two hours. Not only will you feel better being off your phone, you’ll be more present in the film, and you’re spending too much money on a ticket to be on a device that you’re always on anyway. Let it go!
4 – Don’t be critical right away
I know the tendency is to find things to pick apart in the film, but if you just resist the urge for a few moments and instead look to what you preferred in the film, I think you’ll find the experience much more rewarding and fulfilling. Movies, like any art, shouldn’t be subjugated to our buzzword criticisms (caveat: if you’re prone to the critical side and you find actual enjoyment from this, criticize away, but just don’t do it at the expense of others’ enjoyment).
5 – Talk about it!
This doesn’t contradict rule 4. I think it’s fun to talk about movies after you’ve seen them, but without the need of trying to break everything down and rip it to shreds. If it’s a movie you genuinely love, it makes it all the easier. Riding in the van with the kids after Incredibles 2 was awesome because we got to talk about all the fun things we saw. It’s also fun to theorize a little bit and create some of your own fan-fiction.