Tiffany’s essential movie-going etiquette

Tiffany Domingo , Reporter/Video Yearbook Liaison

People watch movies as something to do when they are bored with friends. Maybe they watch it just because it can start up a conversation. However many are like me, watching it to get engrossed in the film and melt away the stress of the real world.  

When watching a movie there are a lot of courtesies that people need to follow. Not following these “rules” ruins the whole film by disrupting the satisfying movie experience that people deserve.

Cell Phone use

Let’s start off with the basics. It is never okay to have your phone out in a pitch black movie theater. I mean, in every theater you go to there will always be a message displayed on the big screen telling you to silence and turn off your device before the movie starts. Some people just don’t understand the fact that when you have a lit cellphone out in a theater, even at low brightness, people around them will immediately be distracted by the light. Even trying to cover it up under your shirt can be distracting to others around you. Just turn off your phone for two hours and enjoy the movie.

Babies in movie theater

This is a big no. I shouldn’t be walking into an R-rated horror movie and hear a crying baby in the corner. A being that has an unpredictable mood, and whom usually ends up crying their lungs out. Maybe I can be a little less heated and a little more understanding if it’s a Disney movie. But then again, the baby probably won’t remember any of it anyway. Get a babysitter next time.

Not watching the movie

Now this is personal for me. When I take the time to show you a movie, it means that I thoroughly enjoyed it and took the time to think about how much you would like it yourself. So if all you’re doing is putting your face down on your phone and scrolling through social media, then you’ve just tainted our friendship.


The biggest rule about watching a movie in the movie theater is to not talk. Little side comments to your friend may be acceptable, but only if it’s whispered and the two of you exclusively can hear it. It’s never okay to have the whole theater hear you. Don’t be those group of rowdy teenagers who ruin the movie for everyone.

Stop asking plot-based questions

 If you have questions, don’t ask the people around you. If you’re asking questions, it probably means you weren’t paying attention, as mentioned earlier. However, if it’s one of those confusing, distorting movies, it’s likely that the people you are with don’t know the answer either. Especially when it’s their first time watching it. Eight times out of ten your questions will be answered in the movie. If not, just ask afterwards.

Go to the bathroom

I know that it might come out of the nowhere, but for your own convenience, try not to go to the bathroom during the movie. Try going before, and ignore the “but I don’t need to go right now” thought running at the back of your head. Know your limits when it comes to drinking a beverage during the movie. If you know that you won’t be able to hold it for two hours, minimize your drinking. This is more a convenience for you. That way you can avoid missing a key plot of the movie.

Everyone loves to watch movies. Unfortunately, a great movie can be ruined by people who are inconsiderate and don’t follow simple viewing etiquette. Keeping these tips in the back of your head not only improves the moviegoing experience for those around you, but for yourself as well.