Author Topic: Theater behavior  (Read 4604 times)

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Annoyed in America

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Theater behavior
« on: December 20, 2012, 04:23:29 PM »
My husband and I like to go to movies and also to plays, operas and other events.  I have noticed that in movie theaters that the behavior has gotten increasingly bad over the past few years.  You would think it is bad behavior from kids, but it also comes from adults.  Last weekend we went to see the Hobbit movie, which we really enjoyed, except for grandma's behavior.  She was sitting with her son and daughter with their pre-teen kids.  The kids were fine, but granny was not.  She kept bouncing her foot against the back our our seats, off and on through the entire movie.  It was a constant on and off nervous bounce, about 3 bounces per second and was very distracting to me. I kept glancing back at her to give her the hint, but she was not deterred.  My husband gets very embarrassed when I say something to people like this, so I have learned to keep quiet.  But it ruined my experience.

Than, we went to a Christmas play this past weekend, and spent $240 for four tickets.  After the intermission the 55+ lady behind me kept wrinkling the candy wrapper through the rest of the performance.  I again gave her the look several times, but she was oblivious.  By the time the play was over I had homicidal thoughts!  Am I overly sensitive to distractions?

How is a nice but effective way to handle this?

amylouky

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Re: Theater behavior
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2012, 04:29:22 PM »
Honestly, you and your DH will have to get over your embarrassment at saying something, if you hope to be able to handle it at all.
There ARE polite ways to handle it, but they all include actually speaking to the person, not just shooting them "the look". To be completely honest, I usually purposely ignore "the look", because I figure if someone has a problem with me, they can very well ask me to stop, not just give dirty looks. (Not saying yours was dirty, but they usually are).
Try,
"Excuse me, but that is very distracting. Would you mind not kicking my seat/crinkling that wrapper? Thank you!"

Moray

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Re: Theater behavior
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2012, 04:34:03 PM »
I agree that the behaviors are annoying, but in a darkened theater no one is likely to see your glare. People, as a whole, are terrible mind-readers; your only choice is to politely ask them to cease the annoying behavior.

(Also: Kicking your seat 3x per second? Wow!!! You must have been sitting in front of the Bionic Granny! ;D )
Utah

CookieChica

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Re: Theater behavior
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2012, 04:35:52 PM »
Agreed. A glance in a dark theater is not going to do any good. Particularly when the offense is something that a person may not realize is distracting.

DottyG

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Re: Theater behavior
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2012, 04:45:43 PM »
Agree with the above.  You should have said something.


Annoyed in America

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Re: Theater behavior
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2012, 11:28:18 PM »
Agreed, but I was looking for an effective and clever line to say.  I guess no one else here has this problem.
 

pearls n purls

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Re: Theater behavior
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2012, 12:34:26 AM »
Why do you need to say something clever?  You don't want to come off as a smart-mouth.  If you act aggressively, the other person might have a knee-jerk defensive reaction.  It's quite possible they weren't even aware they were crinkling the wrapper/kicking the seat.  Just ask nicely for the behavior to stop and they likely will.

sweetonsno

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Re: Theater behavior
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2012, 01:10:09 AM »
"Excuse me, but would you please stop crinkling your wrapper/kicking the seat? It's distracting me." Failing that, go speak with an usher.

Raintree

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Re: Theater behavior
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2012, 01:16:32 AM »
Not everyone will react positively to "saying something." Years ago, when I went to see Dances With Wolves (it had just come out), some guy came in late, ie 10 minutes into the movie, and as he joined his friends who were already seated, they all started talking loudly. Late Guy was talking in a loud voice, "I drove around and around for parking, blah blah blah.....!!" and finally someone in the seat behind said, "Can you be quiet please? We're watching the movie." Late guy stared at his friend and then said, "Don't worry about it" and continued his loud conversation. The woman behind was very annoyed at this point and said, "Look...I paid good money to see the movie, and you guys are being disruptive." Late guy looked back and said, "Look, shut the expletive up!" at which point I said, "Charming." For that I was called a female dog.

For the most part though, I agree that a polite request to stop a behaviour is more likely to get results than a "look." I just find it astonishing that people need to be told not to talk or rustle candy wrappers in theaters though.

oz diva

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Re: Theater behavior
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2012, 02:03:17 AM »
Yes it doesn't always work. People forget they are in a public space. A few months ago I was sitting in a cinema and a couple sat down beside me. His phone rang and he answered it and proceeded to have a conversation, when I asked him to leave he retorted that it was an important call and if I was annoyed I could leave. Well as I had paid money to see a movie, not listen to him, I didn't do that. Eventually he left, but honestly!

Interestingly, here in Australia we call this place a cinema, we see plays at a theatre.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2012, 02:04:51 AM by oz diva »

Victoria

DottyG

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Re: Theater behavior
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2012, 02:56:50 AM »
You don't need clever. You need short and to the point. Otherwise, you're just contributing to the noise problem.


CookieChica

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Re: Theater behavior
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2012, 07:30:07 AM »
Yes speaking up doesn't always work but the OP described a situation where irritation was expressed through meaningful looks that didn't mean much to the receivers which is why she was advised to speak up.

Moray

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Re: Theater behavior
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2012, 11:16:10 AM »
Agreed, but I was looking for an effective and clever line to say.  I guess no one else here has this problem.
 

"Would you please stop [kicking my seat/crinkling your wrapper/throwing popcorn/talking]? It's making it difficult to enjoy the show. Thank you!"
Utah

Flora Louise

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Re: Theater behavior
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2012, 11:24:23 AM »
George S. Kaufman once, it is alledged, confronted a woman who was talking during a play.  "Madam, would you please speak up? These actors are talking so loudly I can hardly hear what you're saying."
Just because you're disappointed in me doesn't mean I did anything wrong.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Theater behavior
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2012, 12:08:11 PM »
OP, I can tell you, from experience, that this type of behavior is not only annoying and distracting to other patrons but to the performers as well (not so much in a movie).

I think you would have been justified in saying "Please stop kicking my seat/crinkling the wrappers.  It makes it difficult for me to enjoy the show.".  I wouldn't worry about being clever.  If these people are so obtuse that they don't realize kicking the back of another person's seat is bothersome they won't get clever.