Seating etiquette at the movie theater

JHoaglandJHoagland Posts: 13
edited December 1969 in The Commons

Here's a question about seating etiquette at the movie theater...

My wife and I went to the movies this weekend. We got to the theater early so we could pick just the right seats: an upper row, right in the middle.
A few minutes before the movie started, a guy came to our row and asked if we could move down one seat so he could fit all four of the people in his group. There was an empty seat next to me, so we moved down one seat. There were plenty of seats in the closer rows, but we didn't want to be rude and make a scene by telling him to sit in another row.

The question is this: should we have moved? Like I said, we arrived at the theater specifically so we could pick the seats we wanted. Or should we be polite and move when a group of 4 (or 5 or 6) comes in late and wants to sit together. Why didn't they arrive just as early so they could get all their seats together?

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Comments

  • Male-M3diaMale-M3dia Posts: 2,012
    edited December 1969

    Doesn't sound like too much of a big deal to move, since it was only one seat difference... especially if they had asked nicely. It's not like the person asked you to move to a different row. However, it depends on how you feel. If the person in front of you had big hair and couldn't see past their head, I guess it would be different.

    After all, you could have gotten stuck in traffic and you could have been in the same situation where in order for you and your wife to sit together someone had to move a seat.

  • jmperjmper Posts: 0
    edited July 2012

    Me...
    My wife and I don't like to sit right next to people in the theater unless it is just crammed full. More elbow room and such not to mention, no one up in our personal space.
    I've been in the same situation as you, asked to move over 1 seat which then would place us with people on either side while other rows were not that full. This is after we "settled" into our seat with the gallon of soda and bag-o-popcorn set just so between us.
    Annoying.
    Now if the person had a physical disability, sure no problem, but just to fit into the row...I wouldn't ask someone to do it but I guess some people just don't care.

    Post edited by jmper on
  • jmperjmper Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Just realized I didn't give an answer to what I did. (lol)
    I said there is more than enough space one row in front and behind, why not take those.
    So, we didn't move.

  • McGyverMcGyver Posts: 1,003
    edited July 2012

    Did he say left or right? You could have moved over one seat in the wrong direction just to be obnoxious.
    Yeah, but thats the guy who probably does that with everything in life.
    There are "Posers" -people who pretend to be something they are not... and then there are "Imposers"... The guy who arrives at the last minute and jams himself in the door so the conductor has to stop the train and make sure its safe -thus making everyone late, the guy who asks if he can make a right turn ahead of you from the left lane and then starts asking directions from a pedestrian on the corner, the guy who waits until the light is about to turn green to ask the car next to him for directions, the guy with 60 cans of cat food who asks if he can slip ahead of you in line cause its "just some cat food"- then attempts to pay with 40 assorted expired coupons and loose change and has to argue each expired coupon, the guy who cruises the long line of exit traffic till he finds some kind sap who will let him cut the line... Unfortunately the Imposer is often a clueless git and refusing a request from the Imposer often paints you as the bad guy. Sometimes it is a one off thing, a first offense or a genuine plea for human assistance... But then there is the professional Imposer... that semi sentient bipedal leech who rolls through life relying on the good nature of other people to accommodate his stupidity or lack of forethought.
    The Imposer never reads signs, no matter how big and orange they are and regardless of how many there are he always seems to miss ALL of them... The Imposer often seems to have evolved outside the realm of human society and seems to be clueless as to what is a reasonable good natured request and what is bad etiquette... they often have no concept of personal space (like that guy who's toes must touch your heels when waiting on line) or body language ( like when you turn around because of close-standing and stare at him with murderous intent and he looks around and in back of him like "who are looking at? couldn't be me... I'm nifty!)... More often then not the Imposer will make you look bad for not helping him out and make you look stupid for the same.
    In rare instances, you can spot the Alpha Imposer... that the guy who imposes AND is aware it is in bad taste or not cool... they usually stand out because of how they ask (NEVER ask me a favor by addressing me as "Bra"or asking me to do you "a solid"... I'll give ya' solid...) or body language... thats the guy you refuse but with style...
    IMPOSER: "Excuse me... could you scooch over so we can fit here?"

    POSSIBLE ANSWERS:

    "No thanks... I'm not sitting in the pee chair"

    "Oh... but thats where Helen and Dave are sitting" (there is no helen or dave)

    "Sure you can sit over there, but the seat is really funky... I think someone spilled something in it, or a kid had an accident"

    "My Wife likes where she is sitting, but YOU can sit in my lap if you like (Wink-wink)"

    "Khennestro dah cinto yandak?" (indignant)

    "Thats where that old guy died last week.. eeeech, you sit there"

    "For how much?"

    "Okay, but I want the little girl's popcorn... is that okay sweety? If daddy gives your popcorn away cause he is lazy?"

    "I don't want to sit back in the seat I just peed in... not again..."

    "No... its a trap... the cameras are watching us... DID LASLOW SEND YOU?"


    It really all depends on the person, and how obnoxious you feel like being.

    Post edited by McGyver on
  • jmperjmper Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    POSSIBLE ANSWERS:

    "No thanks... I'm not sitting in the pee chair"

    "Oh... but thats where Helen and Dave are sitting" (there is no helen or dave)

    "Sure you can sit over there, but the seat is really funky... I think someone spilled something in it, or a kid had an accident"

    "My Wife likes where she is sitting, but YOU can sit in my lap if you like (Wink-wink)"

    "Khennestro dah cinto yandak?" (indignant)

    "Thats where that old guy died last week.. eeeech, you sit there"

    "For how much?"

    "Okay, but I want the little girl's popcorn... is that okay sweety? If daddy gives your popcorn away cause he is lazy?"

    "I don't want to sit back in the seat I just peed in... not again..."

    "No... its a trap... the cameras are watching us... DID LASLOW SEND YOU?"


    It really all depends on the person, and how obnoxious you feel like being.

    LOL, like the pee one. Good stuff.

  • edited December 1969

    Good grief. It's not like he was asking for JH's firstborn. Anything could have happened to prevent them from arriving at an "acceptable hour", but unless the theatre is insanely small, I dont see the issue.

    Man, are manners really that much of a lost art?

  • Zev0Zev0 Posts: 3,637
    edited December 1969

    In my country when you get buy a ticket they show you all available seats. You book one and that is your seat. Nobody asks you to move unless you're in the wrong seat:)

  • McGyverMcGyver Posts: 1,003
    edited December 1969

    Yeah, but I'm imagining JH wouldn't have mentioned it or asked about it if there wasn't something "off" about either the person asking or whole manner in which it was asked... which is what I'm guessing. From the bulk of the things I've read by JHoagland, he seems to be a kind helpful person. So to be irked enough by a person's request as such, I'd imagine there was something more to the situation than was worth writing.
    I'd guess... for all I know JHoagland hunts nuns or collects kitten heads as a hobby. But generally if a nice person asks a question like that there usually is something about the other person that bothered them.
    Thats my guess.
    Secondly I had a similar issue a few weeks ago... Me and my wife arrived early (way early) for a movie (MIB 3) and found some perfect seats. there were very few people in the theater (maybe 20), nobody in back of us and no one in front of us and nobody on either side as well. After the preview had almost ended a couple comes in and asks if I could move over....
    Eh?
    1) Why in all holy hell would you want to sit right next to me? Me... really... I'm kinda creepy and crazy looking.
    2) They were younger than us, go sit somewhere else and grope each like any normal young couple at a boring movie should for god's sake.
    3) Bugger off, it's an empty theater... find your own seats or come early.

    So I told them there was something nasty and sticky on the seats next to my wife.
    Look, if it was a full theater and it was the only way they could sit together, sure... I'd cut you some slack... but come on... an empty theater and you want to sit RIGHT next to me? You want me to hold your hand during the scary parts too?...
    No, really bugger off... cause the only other thing he could of meant was to move a few seats over in which case, go straight to hell... either you want to sit in my lap or you want me to move over so you can have better seats. Yeeeeah.... NO.
    My instincts said weird couple, don't do it... and I was right... they laughed at odd things that weren't funny and he kept "whispering" the plots of the previous MIB movies (like when you make that shushy whispery sound with your voice, only everyone can hear you from across the room... like a Homer Simpson whisper) and in the end they left their ton and a half of snack garbage behind for usher to clean up.
    Which is bad form in my opinion since there is a HUGE can by the exit, yet most people leave their garbage behind for the poor underpaid ushers to pick up.

    I try to help people and be nice and pleasant... but there are some people who are so damn clueless they make your head want to explode. Are manners a lost art? I don't know, it just seems like most of the time, most of the people whom you come across are so lost inside their own heads, they don't even notice what they are doing or how it effects others around them... no manners? No when they are awake they probably are nice people, but when they are in normal zombie mode, they tend to be rather annoying and clueless.

  • RomancefantasyRomancefantasy Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I don't see anything rude about not wanting to move from the seats that you showed up early to reserve, while some last minute Larry just strolls in and demands your great seats. In fact if I was an inconsiderate selfish lout, I'd use that as a plan to get great seats too. Yeah, just find some loser who actually shows up on time and then "politely" ask them to move so me and my buds can sit together. Nice. ;-)

  • Norse GraphicsNorse Graphics Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Zev0 said:
    In my country when you get buy a ticket they show you all available seats. You book one and that is your seat. Nobody asks you to move unless you're in the wrong seat:)


    True. You only move to allow people to pass to their seat(s).

  • Velvet GoblinVelvet Goblin Posts: 376
    edited December 1969

    Zev0 said:
    In my country when you get buy a ticket they show you all available seats. You book one and that is your seat. Nobody asks you to move unless you're in the wrong seat:)


    True. You only move to allow people to pass to their seat(s).

    The IMAX theatres are like that here. All others are unreserved.


    I have to say, I've never had anyone ask us to move, except when the theatre really was legitimately full.


    On the other hand, I have had to listen to people talk through movies, text through movies, and continue to kick the back of my seat.


    This is why, unless it's an IMAX movie, and I just don't think I can get a similar experience at home, I don't go to movies any more. It's no fun any more -- if you're actually there to watch the movie.

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 16,060
    edited July 2012

    ...I avoid the whole scene by waiting until a film has made its rounds at the first run cinemas and cycled down to the rep houses. For one, admission costs a lot less. Two, they are usually smaller so viewing angles tend to be better throughout the auditorium Three, they do not get as crowded, Four, many where I live are basically cinema pubs where every other row of seats is replaced with a table so you have plenty of legroom and don't have struggle to get up to let someone pass by.


    The ones I go to also have good sound and projection systems and the refreshments tend to be a much better value for the money than that overpriced cup of ice with fructose laced soda flavouring and bucket of greasy artificial butter topped popcorn you get in the big corporate cinemas.

    Post edited by kyoto kid on
  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,595
    edited December 1969

    I used to have a friend who was an imposer.
    I felt embarrassed by it, she was size 26 and I think she used that as an excuse.
    I got sick of her put downs and always making me late and I was putting on weight so severed contact.
    thing were ALWAYS other people's fault with her and being a passenger in a car with her was downright terrifying! she was oblivious to other road users.
    I did not like to go to movies etc with her as she was forever annoying others, indeed asking them to moveup one as she needed an empty seat each side for her size as only her fat arse fit between the armrests, dropped food on people in front, spilled drinks, talked etc.
    I sometimes felt sorry for her but now realize with her out of my life for about 6 years just what a drain she was.

  • edited July 2012

    one seat is okay.

    But...i have learned...

    THE NUMBER 1 RULE IN A THEATER IS....

    if you sit down and NO ONE is in front of you....SOMEONE BIGGER THAN YOU is gonna sit there!!! no matter how many people are in the theater....EVEN if you are by yourself.....

    IT SUCKS!!

    Post edited by randydood_961bf59e16 on
  • Kendall SearsKendall Sears Posts: 1,885
    edited July 2012

    Theatres are a waste of money. Volume is never loud enough to overcome someone's misplaced or over-dramatized laughter. People bring toddlers and/or infants into them, oblivious to the fact that they are too young to sit quietly for more than 15 minutes. Teens come to talk to each other instead of watching the feature. And on and on.


    For the cost of 2 adult tickets one can usually own a copy of the flick if one is willing to wait 90 to 120 days.


    Kendall

    Post edited by Kendall Sears on
  • SimonJMSimonJM Posts: 2,949
    edited December 1969

    May I refer you to: this :)

  • jmperjmper Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Theater etiquette:
    (1) Whoever sits next to me is my date. Anyone.

  • Velvet GoblinVelvet Goblin Posts: 376
    edited December 1969

    jmper said:
    Theater etiquette:
    (1) Whoever sits next to me is my date. Anyone.

    I assume you only ever sit in aisle seats when the theater is full then?

  • Velvet GoblinVelvet Goblin Posts: 376
    edited July 2012

    My favorites are not the people who ask you to move so that four of them can sit together, but the couple on the other side one seat down from you. You start to move for the other group, when this couple informs you smugly, "I'm sorry, but that seat's taken." You relay the information to the group of four, who may even, in a nearly full theater, have to split up.


    Then, an hour into the movie, you notice that whoever was supposed to be sitting in the "taken" seat never showed up.

    Post edited by Velvet Goblin on
  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,595
    edited December 1969

    sometimes you notice someone by themselves no-one is sitting near, this happens on busses, at the Motor registration centre in my last case among other places
    you gleefully grab the empty seat and then the pong of body odour hits you and you hastilly move as everyone else gives you knowing glances!!

  • jmperjmper Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I assume you only ever sit in aisle seats when the theater is full then?

    Naw, I just plop down in the middle.
    Amore!

  • Jay_NOLAJay_NOLA Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    It isn't a big deal if they ask politely and a seat is available, that isn't going to mess up my view of the movie.

    What is bad theater etiquette is taking out your cell, phone, tablet, etc. & texting in during a movie while you device screen flashes light in other people's eyes. Had one idiot do that during a movie and they keep during it even after being warned not to by the manager of the theater hat the device was preventing people from watching the movie.

    Another bad etiquette thing is telling the person next to you that they better not eat any popcorn, etc. while they are sitting next to you as soon as you sit down..

    I had ticket for an AMC Fathom event and as soon as I sat down once. This woman who I've never seen before, said to me, "You better not eat any popcorn or anything else as I want to be able to hear everything."

    This rude stupid hag during the showing was talking to her friend and made a good bit of loud noise during the showing
    Also, just about every one in the theater had a small popcorn, as that was free to AMC Stubs members that day via an email coupon.

    In most cases I don't go see as many movies as I used to, as was pointed out earlier you can buy a copy for about the price of a ticket or two when it is released. If your willing to wait a bit longer after it gets released on DVD, Blue-Ray, etc. that you can find it marked down to half the price or even less of what it was selling for in most cases.

  • Velvet GoblinVelvet Goblin Posts: 376
    edited December 1969

    jmper said:
    I assume you only ever sit in aisle seats when the theater is full then?

    Naw, I just plop down in the middle.
    Amore!


    Don't either of your dates ever get jealous, or argue about who sits on which side?

  • jmperjmper Posts: 0
    edited December 1969


    Don't either of your dates ever get jealous, or argue about who sits on which side?

    No, usually by that time I am escorted out by cops.

    Hardly ever get to sit through an entire movie.

    Crummy.

  • Norse GraphicsNorse Graphics Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    That's for groping, jmper....

  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,595
    edited December 1969

    a breast is not THAT easily confused with a cup of popcorn in the dark.

  • JHoaglandJHoagland Posts: 13
    edited December 1969

    I'd guess... for all I know JHoagland hunts nuns or collects kitten heads as a hobby.

    How did this get out? I thought I kept this a secret. :-)

    The people who asked us to move over weren't weird or anything like that, but it seemed odd that they would want to sit in our row, which did not have 4 empty seats, instead of a row which did have 4 seats. And, yes, moving over one seat isn't going to inconvenience anyone- luckily, the people didn't talk during the movie or anything like that. It's the fact that we got there first, we chose the seats, so it's "my" seat and I don't want to move.

    But, like one of the posters said, what if you're the group of 4 who's running late and want to sit together?

    --John

  • TorbyTorby Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Was at a Trans-Siberian concert a few years ago. A lady had the seat next to mine. "Don't worry, I don't bite," she quipped.

    I looked very downcast and said, "Oh, but I do."

    (We had a delightful evening)

  • DWGDWG Posts: 772
    edited December 1969

    jmper said:
    Now if the person had a physical disability, sure no problem

    Definitely a good reason, that person could be me ;) The only way I can sit through a film is in a left-hand end row seat, or the front row, so I can slouch down with my hip straight and my leg stuck out in front of me.

  • DWGDWG Posts: 772
    edited December 1969

    Zev0 said:
    In my country when you get buy a ticket they show you all available seats. You book one and that is your seat. Nobody asks you to move unless you're in the wrong seat:)


    True. You only move to allow people to pass to their seat(s).

    The local multiscreen has the capability, but I've only seen them use it for something that's hugely popular, say the first couple of days of the main blockbuster for the summer. In several hundred visits I think I had an assigned seat twice (LOTR!).

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