Welcome back to another installment of Dave's Decorum, where I slowly roll out some rules that I think the entire movie going public needs to start following. Last time, I tackled the issue of talking (See post here!). Now that I've hopefully shut you up, let's turn our attention to America's favorite thing about going to the movies, food! Eating at the movies is something that many of us enjoy, including myself. I usually get some popcorn or candy along with a soda before most movies, even though it typically ends up costing more than the damn ticket. I'm not here to say that eating should be removed from the movies or to complain about the high cost of said food. We all know the prices are way out of line but these are not rules for the movie theater itself, but the people who have already decided it is OK to spend $5 for a soda that will be gone by the time the 3rd preview starts (remember, I'm one of these people!).
- Chew with your mouth closed - It is kind of amazing that I even have to mention this. I can't be the only person who is constantly annoyed by the "chomp! chomp! chomp!" sounds of the person eating popcorn in the row below me while I'm trying to follow the story on the screen. Granted it's less of an issue with loud action movies, but whenever a movie contains a quiet dialog scene, chances are you can hear at least one person dumbly munching away on their snack. Do people really need to eat that constantly? Take a break once in a while (especially when the scene in question is quiet enough that others will hear you).
- Open all packages before movie starts - I almost have to laugh when I'm watching a movie and become distracted by the crinkling sound of plastic as some idiot fumbles around in the dark trying to open his bag of candy. This rule should be simple enough, when you sit down and are waiting for the movie to start, open up any bags you have while you can easily see them. This way, I won't have to hear you failing at your task while I'm trying to pay attention to the movie I spent money to see. Some people may not do this because they have multiple snacks and want to wait until it is time to start eating that specific one. They should probably read Rule #3...
- Pick one snack/drink item - When did going to the movies become a multiple course meal? People will start eating some candy only after they have finished the giant tub of popcorn I just spent 30 min. listening to them eat (didn't they read rule #1?). Most movies last not much longer than 2 hours. I'm pretty sure one snack and a drink can hold you over until then. If that isn't enough, please don't leave the house because chances are I would not enjoy looking at you.
- No novelty size items - I understand the appeal for a deal is enticing when the person behind the counter explains that for only $0.25 more, you can get a super duper large jumbo tub of popcorn instead of the super duper large tub. But just because it seems like a good deal doesn't mean you need to buy it. Do you really need that much food? I guess this goes hand in hand with Rule #3 which is that you should only need a modest amount to snack on when going to the movies. If you need two hands to carry one item from the concession stand, it's too big for you. The only time this rule is allowed to be broken is when you are sharing a snack with a date. If the snack is just for you, keep it normal sized.
If any of these rules seem too difficult for you, then I'm surprised you even have the ability to read this. Seriously, movies and snacks go together well, but like most things, there is a tipping point. Keep portions down and noise levels low. Remember, the theater isn't your own living room so don't treat it like that. I fully understand some of these rules have no bearing on me as a fellow movie goer (snack size, amount of snacks) but it's just really annoying to look at and these are my rules so please be quiet (OBEY!). If you are upset at these rules, think of it as a wake-up call that maybe you eat too much. Until then, enjoy the movie and please pass the (opened) bag of Skittles my way.