The Rules of Movie-Going

I was talking to a coworker the other day about going to the movies. He said he hadn’t been to the theater in ages, so I told him about going to see Thor. We got to talking about all the “rules” Sean and I have for going to the movies, and as he laughed, he said to me, “You really should write a blog about these.”

So here we go. As you’ll see, the main theme is cheapness:

1. The person interested in the movie pays for the tickets.

Unless it’s a gift, the person most interested in seeing the movie will pay for both attendees’ tickets. This is to prevent resentment if the less interested person thinks the movie blows. As a result of this, we mostly only see movies Sean wants to see because I am not generous enough to spend my own money on something that I can probably wait to see at home for less… which leads to #2.

2. Only see movies in theater that will be worth the price of the big screen (i.e. action, superheros, comic book stories, giant robots fighting, etc.).

Every so often we’ll go see a Pixar movie or a cartoon that I’m interested in seeing. But we’d never waste money on a romantic comedy or a comedy. The experience from big screen to home TV are comparable, so why waste the money when a DVD is about the same as 2 movie tickets? And you even get to keep it in the case of the DVD.

3. Always see a matinee

Speaking of wasted money. Why pay more to see the same movie just because it’s later in the day? We almost always (99.9999% of the time) see a movie on a Sunday morning. Not only does this mean 2 movie tickets for $15 or less, but it usually always means that we’ll be one of the few people in the theater. I once went to a movie, and I was the only one in the entire theater. I went ahead and broke the rules, putting my feet up on the seat in front of me.

4. Never buy snacks. Always sneak in your own.

Not only does this rule ensure that you’ll never pay out the wazoo for stale popcorn, but it also ensures you’ll never pay out the wazoo for something that costs cents to make. I realize that theaters make the majority of their money from extremely overpriced snacks, but we don’t go to the movies for the $25 drink, popcorn, 1 bag of candy combo. Plus, if you’re going to go all out on candy, it’s better to buy your own since there’s barely any in those little candy boxes. We usually manage to sneak in a 32oz Nalgene of water, popcorn (pro tip: let it cool down before you put it in a plastic bag), some treat like chocolate, cookies, etc. and usually a fruit of sorts.

5. Always stay until after the credits.

This goes along with the types of movies we go to see. Almost all the super hero/comic book/action movies these days have the little 30-second post-movie clip that gives viewer s laugh or a look into potential sequels. We’ve sat through entire credit sequences with no snippet. That’s annoying (for us and for the people who’d like us to leave so they can clean). I guess it’s super worth it to hardcore fans to wait and see, though.

6. Always sit in the middle of the row in the back of the theater.

These types of seats are easy to get when you go to the matinee since they usually aren’t that packed. Sean prefers sitting in the back of the theater in the middle of the row–the best seats in the theater. It doesn’t have to be in the very, very back row, but usually a few down. Something about the speakers and the screen and optimal viewing distance/location/etc. I usually don’t care as long as I’m not craning my neck up to see what’s going on.

7. Sean always on the right.


We'll Do it live

I don’t know why this is a rule, but I’ve noticed that Sean always sits to my right, and I’m always on the left. It might be because I send him up the stairs first to find his “optimal” seat, and I just follow, sitting on the outside, nearest the aisle. It’s just always the way it is.

Do you have any movie theater rules? Optimal viewing seats and the like?


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