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10 Things to Consider Before Going to the Movies

Things you may not be aware of that help improve your movie going experience.

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10 Things to Consider Before Going to the Movies

I've been going to the movies my whole life, as I'm sure everyone has, but I have inside knowledge about movie theaters after working at one for 5 years. These tips can make for a better movie going experience and these should always be considered before planning an adventure to the movies.

1. Go on a weekday

Many movie theaters have discount days on Tuesdays to bring in more audiences. It is often very cheap, around $5 for new movies, and there still are not a lot of people in attendance. Other weekdays, like Monday and Wednesday will cost full price but there will be only a couple people watching a single film. If you don't like crowds, these are the days to go to the movies.

2. Purchase at least one snack bar item

Have you ever wondered why popcorn at a movie theater is so expensive? It's because the theater does not make any money from ticket sales. Between 40% and 60% of ticket money goes to the movie studios so theaters have to increase costs of snack bar items so they can pay their employees and bills. If you go see a movie, at least buy a soda or bottled water. Sneaking in candy and food is disrespectful to the people working at the theater. It's is just like stealing money from someone's paycheck. Don't do it.

3. Sit in the center for best picture and sound

The best place for the surround sound is right in the center of the seats. Anywhere in the center of the auditorium is best but the second best is all the way in the back. The sound is less impressive but the distance from the large screen is just right. If you are one of those people who enjoys sitting in the front row and breaking your neck to see the screen. I will not be joining you.

4. Stay through the credits

The theater staff hate this. They want to clean the auditorium and move on to the next task. Sometimes, and the staff will even tell you, it's worth staying to the end. Sometimes there is another scene at the end called a tag. Other times, there are fun jokes in the credits. This is mostly in spoof movies like Airplane! which can include fake names of people or cookie recipes.

5. Pick up your trash

Don't be that rude person who leaves half a tray of cheesy nachos in the seat which then lifts up and smears the cheese all over. Yes, people are paid to clean up but that is no excuse to be a slob. It is disrespectful to the staff and to the auditorium. Through your trash away no matter where you are.

6. Don't ask for a refund if you watched over half the movie

If you watch the whole movie and don't like it, you'll have to contact the studio that made the film not the movie theater. Most movie theaters will offer a refund within the first half hour of the film or offer you another film to watch. This can happen is someone didn't realize a film had profanity or if they didn't know the film was a musical. Not everyone likes musicals even if it's about a murdering psychopath.

7. Expect between 3-7 trailers

Most films will have at least three movie trailers before the film. Only once did I ever count more than five trailers and this felt very obnoxious. Some people love these, others hate the trailers. If you don't like movie trailers, that's the time to check messages on your phone and silence it. Some people bring a book and read until the movie starts. Trailers originally were played at the end of films after the credits but no one stayed to watch them. It is a necessary evil.

8. It's not a DVD

Just because you were late to the movie doesn't mean they can start it over. When films were on 35mm prints, there were put on a large three platter system and they ran the film through the projector then onto an empty platter. These platters were about 5 feet in diameter. Everything is digital now but the films are on very large special hard drives and there is no pause, rewind, or fast-forward. Once the film starts it has to finish before it can be started again. If you're late, watch what's left or wait for it to start again. Or just don't be late.

9. Music is always louder than the dialogue

I have always found this annoying but it sadly is a fact. This happens on television as well. If you cannot hear the dialogue, ask a staff member to turn up the volume but keep in mind the music may startle you.

10. Tell the staff about issues in the auditorium

Sometimes no one knows there is a problem until someone brings it to their attention. If there is a drink or popcorn spill, tell someone on staff so they can clean it up. If the bathroom is messy, tell someone on staff. Tell a staff member if there is an issue with the film; picture but no sound, sound but no picture, picture out of focus, etc… It might be an inconvenience for you but there is no reason to be angry. You will get to see the film another time without a problem. Also, don't blame the usher for the problem. The teenager tearing tickets knows nothing about how the projectors work and can only relay the message.

The big thing to remember is to be nice. You go to the movies for enjoyment but understand that the staff are working and worrying about little things so you don't have to. There are not always having a great time so be kind because they are working hard to give you a pleasant experience.

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