Movie Meme: Cinema Code of Conduct

It’s been a while since I’ve been involved in a meme, but this one is not only easy but handy for all moviegoers out there. Thanks to fellow blogger Wynter Tyson from Cinema Scream for instigating this fun event!

The idea of this Cinema Code of Conduct came from UK’s film show Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review, hosted by Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo. The former is a film critic who’s words have graced the pages of numerous newspapers and magazines, is a regular presence on the nation’s TV screens. Simon Mayo is perhaps one of Britain’s most recognizable and popular radio presenters. The 2-hour show contains film discussion, interviews, reviews and the home of the occasional ‘Kermodian rant’ – it’s what their fans would call wittertainment at its wittertaining 😀

Well, the idea of this meme is for the film community to show our support by posting the code of conduct poster the show’s created, as well as come up with our own 11th rule (anything, location specific, person specific, general, philosophical, deadly serious, funny, abstract etc etc). So, voila!

Here’s my 11th rule, which most of you in living in the chillier climate would agree:

Theater seats are for PEOPLE! Please refrain from setting your giant parkas, woolen or furry coats or any other winter paraphernalia in the seat next to you. This especially applies to popular movies where every single seat counts! To those who live in warmer climates, the same rule applies to you, too. Unless you buy a ticket for your PURSE, the seat next to you should be left empty for others to use.

Well, if you want to support a pleasant movie-going experience at the cinema (and who wouldn’t?), feel free to add your own rule in the comments below as well as visit Cinema Scream’s blog for a list of other decrees my fellow bloggers have come up with.

56 thoughts on “Movie Meme: Cinema Code of Conduct

  1. Interesting. Wouldn’t popcorn- the staple of any movie-goer’s diet- violate the “No eating of anything harder than a soft roll” rule?

    Glad to see “No Arriving Late”. That’s my biggest pet peeve.

    I guess my addition is “No sitting directly next to me in a theater that’s more than half empty.”

    1. Hi John… I generally despise the popcorn noise, especially in a quiet movie. But yeah, arriving late is my pet peeve too, I always arrive at least 20 minute early… I’m so notorious about it to a fault. Ha..ha.. I totally agree with your addition. I’d even move so I can get the entire row to myself & my hubby 😀

  2. I’m generally OKAY with the eating thing. Just DO NOT BRING CHINESE FOOD. Even hot dogs and nachos don’t smell as pervasive as Chinese take-out. But if you also have to eat/make noise while eating, at least TRY to wait until after the super quiet/sad/reflective moment/scene. Look a big explosion! OPEN YOUR BAG OF CHIPS NOW!

    1. Or anything seafood! I don’t eat fish so I can’t stand the smell but fortunately that rarely happens. Good tip there about opening snacks… I actually did that the last time I unwrapped a piece of candy. It’s a lot easier in a movie like Expendables than in most Terrence Malick’s films 😀

      1. Holy cow… do people really bring Chinese food and seafood to the theater? Or do theaters sell them?

        Part of me thinks it’d be ridiculous to walk into a theater with a Maine lobster. Another part of me admires the cajones to just not care, kind of like Costanza wearing sweatpants in public.

        1. Ha..ha… I sure hope they’ll never do! At least I’ve never seen ’em anywhere in MN, thank goodness. Cojones is one thing if it doesn’t annoy others (other than eye sore in Costanza’s case), but the smell violation is one that’s tough to tolerate.

  3. Good rule Ruth. Tho I often done it 😉 but only when the next seat is empty like 10 minutes after the movie starts, because that means no one will sit there

    1. Oh yeah, if the movie’s started and nobody’s sitting next to me, that’s where my coat goes. I don’t care so much for late people anyway, I am however courteous to those who arrive on time and the theater is almost full.

  4. Ted S.

    Good stuff and I agree with all the rules, some people are so rude when watching a movie in theater. One of my worst experiences was when I went to see Casino Royale and some morons decided to bring in their toddler to see the film. Well the child started crying with about 30 mins left in the film and these morons didn’t take the kid outside. Now I know they want to see the film since it’s the exiting part but man your child is crying, take the kid out side so everyone can enjoy the film or don’t bring the kid to the movie to begin with.

    I used to go see movies in theater a lot but now that I have my own little theater, I just wait till it they come out on Blur-ray and watch them on my own private little theater. No people talking, eating, sneezing, burping, texting, kids crying, etc.

    1. That is just horrid, Ted, man that is just plain rude… I mean, it’s just basic courtesy to take the kids outside. And yeah, what are they doing bringing little ones to Bond flick anyway?

      Well if I have a mini cinema like yours I probably would forgo going to the movies, too 🙂

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    1. No buttery popcorn? At the movies?

      My faith in humanity is shaken.

      Actually… this gives me an idea for an entry somewhere down the line. Not having my faith in humanity shaken, but rather the film-going experience.

  8. It’s a good rule, but I have to say I’m often guilty of putting my coat or bag on the seat beside me. It’s just that people often insist on sitting right beside you, although there are dozens of other seats available. I need my space! 😀

    1. I’m guilty of that too, but only if there are still plenty of seats left. My rule generally applies when the theater is full or almost full… just a common courtesy 😀

      1. Stephanie

        If the theater isn’t full, which it usually isn’t whenever I go, I need a triangle of seats around me empty. One on each side, and the one in front. It really bothers me when people sit right next to you when there is an entire theater to choose from.

    1. Ha..ha.. I’d say if there isn’t anyone sitting within even 7 seats of you, you can do that Ross.

      My 12th rule: Never listen to Ross about who to see. ESPECIALLY concerning Gerard Butler 😉

  9. VideoMafia

    Living in NYC that outside food rule will never work! I once had an gentleman seated next to me pull an seemingly endless number of McDonald’s Filet O’ Fish sandwiches from his person! Considering food prices and the quaility its understandable to bring outside food in (yes, even the bucket of Kennedy Fried Chicken I saw you with . You know who you are!) if its an neat non-funky smelling dish why not? If we ban outside foodstuff than we gotta get rid of anything sold inside in a box-JuJus, Raisinettes, etc. that’s noisy as well.

    1. Yikes! KFC has such a strong smell… that’d bug the heck out of me. But you’re right, the cinema food prices is ludicrous! I mean 4 bucks for a hotdog??! I’d rather be hungry than spend that kind of moolah.

      I guess I should be thankful that theaters here don’t allow outside food then, though I think they should allow drinks. My friend made the mistake of ordering a venti frappuccino type drink and he’s practically forced to gulp it up before going in!

    2. Zradoben

      Maybe, just maybe people might be able to survive for two hours without eating a three-course dinner in the cinema? Some sweets are OK, but does it have to be 4000 calories worth of fried animal corpses? Seriously, have a snack BEFORE or AFTER cinema, f. X’s s.!

  10. Elizabeth

    I suggest that you leave off the perfume. Gross, annoying, and distracting. And on top of the smell of popcorn, nachos, and hotdogs, a little nauseating.

    1. Good one Elizabeth. It’s a good rule of thumb not to wear perfume if you’ll be in a crowded confined space anyway. Some people are allergic to it too, that it might actually be harmful to them.

  11. Buford

    We all know it’s rude to sit right in front of someone else when there are plenty of empty seats…but I don’t like it when someone sits directly behind me either. I feel like I’m blocking their view, and I hunch down in my seat so I don’t disturb their experience because I know it’s annoying when someone tall sits in front of you. This may only be me, because I try not to offend anyone if I can help it. I hate being a jerk that way.

    Am I the only one?

    1. If only more people are as courteous and polite as you Buford 🙂 I guess you can’t fault someone for being tall… so I don’t think you have to hunch in fear of blocking someone. I generally avoid sitting behind someone tall as I’m only 5’3″ but most theaters these days have stadium seating anyway so it’s not as big of an issue.

  12. Ange

    Don’t get up and down during the movie… if you have bladder issues, rent the movie when it comes out and watch it at home where you aren’t bothering anyone else or getting in the way…

    Also, people, stop throwing popcorn at the person in front of you… it’s stupid and a waste of food… and even if you are throwing the popcorn at a friend you know from somewhere else, you might very well miss your desired target…

    1. If people have bladder issues, they should try to sit at the end of the row and near the exit. And throwing popcorn should be forbidden! It’s just disgusting and juvenile… I hate having popcorn stuck under my shoes from walking in and out of my seat.

  13. Andrew S.

    I half disagree with the “No Talking” rule. I’ve had horrible experiences with people talking in the theater, but I’ve also had some good ones in movies that practically demand audience participation. I’d say know the time to make comments.

    And the last one I’d extend to “Take a Shower!” I sat next to this girl who smelled like burnt leather and eau-de-Abercrombie during the opening Friday of Toy Story 3, and it took me out of the film whenever I got a strong whiff of it. This nearly happened again during The Deathly Hallows, but I had the good sense to convince my party to move to the other side of the theater before the film started.

    1. I’m ok with people making comments if they do it discreetly and keep it to a minimum. But yeah, taking a shower is definitely a nice to have though it’d be impossible to impose such a rule 🙂

  14. mickx

    I don’t know how it is in the US, but here it’s pretty standard for cinemas to have numbered seating, so you’re going to know well in advance where you are going to sit. If you want to have specific seats you buy the tickets a couple of days early so you don’t even have to stand in line at the ticket counter allowing you to come a little later.
    Which brings me to rule.. 14, is it? If you go to a movie in opening week, knowing it’s going to be packed, don’t take someone else’s seats just because you only got front row. I usually don’t bring this up if i know it’s going to be pretty empty.
    I’m just telling you to get up from my seats, because i would be sort of embarrassed if i had to be told to move. And, as long as we’re doing this, if i politely remind you that you must have accidentally taken my seat don’t give me that look like i’m the one bothering you

    1. No, we don’t have numbered seating here, it’s first come first serve. We do have that in theater plays though, but people should still come a few minutes early as to not bother others if their seats are toward the middle. I think having decent manners have become a lost art these days.

  15. Sara

    Unless it’s a comedy don’t laugh at the movie or make fun of it. You may not like it but I didn’t pay 8.50 to listen to your version of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (which chances are you’re nowhere near as funny as they are). You may find it corny, but you take those feelings somewhere else.

    Don’t bring a small child to a PG-13 rated movie anyway! Do you really think they will understand it?

  16. Tom Kiley

    Don’t bring little kids to R-rated movies. I can’t tell you how many time I’ve seen this and I don’t think it’s good. I didn’t see my first R movie until I was fifteen, and then I saw it with my father.

    1. Excellent rule! I agree parents should have more discretion in deciding what movies to bring little kiddies to. Even PG-13 stuff are becoming less appropriate for them, let alone R-rated ones.

  17. Mike

    I don’t mind so much people arriving late, it’s when they arrive late and make a bunch of noise as they are trying to find their seats. The same goes for people going to the bathroom, just go, it doesn’t require a conversation about where you are going.

  18. Martha

    This falls under the no talking rule, but I would like to emphasize one aspect: stop asking questions. If you don’t know the answer to your question it’s because 1. you came late, or 2. the movie hasn’t revealed it to us. If the movie does not in time clarify your confusion by the end, you either 1. came late, or 2. just watched a bad movie. Either way you can file your comments/concerns/complaints to your significant other in the parking lot.

  19. Rowena

    No hitting on/fondling the random lone stranger next to you! Venturing to put an elbow on the armrest is NOT a come-on (at least not without other friendly signals).

    Once, when I’d gone to see a movie on my own, the guy next to me tried to take hold of my hand midway through – and when I pulled away, proceeded to ‘pat’ my knee in a rather too friendly way. The place was packed, and an exit would have disturbed lots of other people (and besides, I’d paid to see the movie, dammit!), so I scootched over as far as I could get away from him, and threatened (quietly!) to throw my drink in his face if he touched me again – and fortunately he left me alone. But it did rather distract me from the remainder of the movie!

    If the person next to you is alone, they probably want to be. Going to the cinema isn’t a blinddate, folks!

    1. Oh my, that’s probably the craziest thing I’ve ever heard! Good thing he stopped bothering you after you threatened him, but yeah, I imagine that’d take you away from the movie. I sure hope that’ll never happen to you again.

  20. SGA

    Good God you guys bitch about the tiniest things, if someone needs to use the toilet they should be allowed to without people commenting about it, it is a normal bodily function…

    Popcorn on the bottom of shoes?!OH NO!! my word you all have luxury cinemas if this is seriously what you’re complaining about, movies are meant to be an experience, not just a ‘sit down, shut up til the end’. if i have a comment about something or a question then i quietly ask the person next to me…which is fair enough seeing as I too paid the fee to get in.

    try going to a cinema in Qatar, they talk loudly on their cell phones throughout, walk up and down, shout at each other across the room, bring in 5 course meals, play on their video games, bring babies into the movie (literally babies)….pretty much anything but watch the movie

    Also if the seat is free im going to put my purse on it because id rather that then have it stolen.

  21. Superdeformed

    I agree with all of these! My rule #11 – if you are well-aware that a screening is sold out, e.g. every midnight IMAX premiere ever, don’t leave a “comfort zone” empty seat as you take your spot. We’re all going to have to sit next to each other, we might as well do it before the movie starts instead of having to be prompted by the usher. This can make the difference in couples or friends not getting split up for the show.

  22. No talking, that’s one of mine. I do like a good munch in the movies but there is always that awkward effort to minimise the noise so I annoy the person sitting two rows in front. That’s you Ruth! 🙂

    1. He..he.. maybe one day we should do a double date with our dear spouses 😀 I actually don’t like to munch when I’m at the movies, not sure why. But if my pal bought some popcorn then I wouldn’t mind eating ’em. I just like to concentrate on the movie I’m watching that doing anything else is just distracting. Weird huh?

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