June 10, 2011, - 1:57 pm

HILARIOUS Video: Angry Texter Ejected from Movie Theater; Debbie’s Movie Rules

By Debbie Schlussel

I’ve written many times before about my anger at people who go to the movies to talk on their cell phones, give endless John-Madden-style play-by-play-color-commentary-of-the-obvious what is on the screen, or text throughout the movie.  If you do this, you’re rude and should be permanently affixed with a tattoo on your forehead forever banning you from theaters and stealing someone else’s ten bucks and two hours they paid to enjoy the movie, NOT your behavior.  I’ve posted my rules for movie theater behavior, before (click on the above link or scroll down).  Bottom Line: If you cannot shut up, don’t go to the frickin’ movie. Sadly, our nation has turned into a bunch of rude morons who think it’s their living room.  I do not apologize for being a “movie nazi” and demanding silence and darkness. It’s called a theater, not “loud dumbass bitches’ house of skank.” That’s why I just LOOOOOVE this ad from Austin, Texas’ Alamo Drafthouse movie theater, featuring the angry voice-mail message from a real-life moron-ette who was kicked out of the theater for texting.  It’s Not Safe For Work (four-letter words), but simply hilarious. Perhaps the Drafthouse shouldn’t serve beer before movies, as that probably contributes. But I wish every movie theater did this . . . and published names and phone numbers. Remember the Alamo AND Don’t Mess with Texas. . .

Since it’s only gotten worse in the four years since I posted my DebbieSchlussel.com Movie Dos and Don’ts, I need to post them again:

* If you can’t find a baby sitter for your infant or other-aged, noisemaking toddler, stay home.

* Don’t bring your 8-year-old daughter to see “300” (read my review). “Daddy, why did that man’s head come off his neck?” “What’s a concubine?” “Mommy, what are those two people doing in the bed?” I don’t need to hear you explain Persian beheadings and “the birds and the bees” to your way-too-young kid. That uncomfortable experience is not to be shared with 400 total strangers focused on a screen. There’s a reason it’s rated “R,” which does not stand for Really Irresponsible. Bringing your kid to movies like this constitutes child abuse, and you’re a moron. [Related: The End of Parenting: The Complete Morons Who Take Their Kids to “Friday the 13th”]

* If you need to answer your cellphone, stay home (unless you are a medical doctor, in which case, put it on vibrate and answer it OUTSIDE the theater).

* If you need to have a constantly-flashing Bluetooth on your ear, stay home. The light distracts theater goers.

* If you need to incessantly check your Blackberry, stay at Starbucks . . . and away from the theater.

* If you need to constantly give your friend/significant other/ companion the play-by-play, audition for ESPN or Monday Night Football. We can see the screen. We hear the on-screen dialogue as well as you do. We know what’s going on. And so does your escort. Dennis Miller got fired from “Monday Night Football” for a reason. His dumb commentary–-when what we saw on the screen was more than enough––was beyond annoying. And so is your commentary.

* If you need to make out, get a room. The only physical display of affection we need see is on the big screen.

* Above all, SHUT THE F— UP! (If you must make a brief comment, whisper!)

* If you didn’t do it before cell phones and Blackberries existed, and it isn’t an emergency, don’t do it now.

Really, I’m not a movie prude. I just want to watch my movie in peace, darkness, and–other than what’s going on on-screen and through the theater sound system–-quiet. The Alamo Drafthouse has the right idea.

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27 Responses

“my anger at people who go to movies to talk on their cell phones, gives endless John Madden-style-play-by-play-color-commentary-of-the-obvious what is on the screen,”

LOFL, that was kinda hilarious Debbie, you know what, I was thinking the samething whenever I watch baseball games on saturday afternoons on “Fox Broadcasting” (no Norman Blitzer, Fox Broadcasting IS NOT conservative and a NON-political network), the analyist Tim McCarver is very annoying to me, instead of this guy commenting on what’s happening in the game, he comments on other stuff for no reason and he comments on different events on what happend in the game 100 years ago, bro, just stick to analyizing the current game, and Joe Buck (the main play-by-play man) is no different than Tim McCarver, Joe Buck is very good when he calls NFL games, NOT MLB games.

DS, I haven’t been to movies in 9 years, I was on a date that day with a girl and the two of us didn’t see or hear anybody in the theater talk during the film. And I’ve heard numerous stories of movie-horrors where folks in the theater(s) talks on their cell phones, talk to another person or text message during the film, to me that is annoying.

“A nation is defined by it’s borders, language & culture!”

Sean R. on June 10, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Don’t worry Debbie my occasional in-movie comments would only enhance your movie experience and would be inaudible to our seating neighbors.

A1 on June 10, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Etiquette and decent behavior are soo passe.

If you can’t stand a movie, don’t go and see it. Respect others’ rights.

NormanF on June 10, 2011 at 2:44 pm

For the reasons stated, hubby and I will only see a film during a week day when very few people are there. Everyone seems to have forgotten their manners.

Road Warrior on June 10, 2011 at 3:15 pm

I see at least one new movie a week, but I have made avoiding rude audiences down to a science. Here are a few basic rules for safe and sensible filmgoing:

1) Never — positively NEVER — attend a movie house with a reputation for attracting lots of blacks. Blacks are far louder and nastier than any other audience. And if you ask them to be quiet, they will threaten you and possibly follow you out the door after the show is over. You might wind up a dead white male (or female).

2) Race aside, see a movie at the multiplex on weeknights, not weekends. There are fewer people inside and thus fewer chances of having your pleasure disrupted.

3) Avoid movies that attract lots of teens. For example, if you want to be good and scared, make sure the film at hand is, say, “Shutter Island,” as opposed to “Twilight” or its sequels. When it comes to noisemaking, teens run a close second to blacks.

4) Go to art house theaters much as possible. Not only will you soak up some fine low-budget films that don’t get shown at the multiplexes for economic reasons, but, as an added bonus, people there are more middle-aged and elderly people, who are more polite. Even better, blacks rarely attend these venues.

Enjoy your filmgoing. And if all else fails, there’s Netflix or some other rental/purchase service.

Seek on June 10, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Here is a new rule for you Debbie:

If a movie is showing at 11:00 PM or 11:30 PM, leave your little brats at home. It is too late for them to be up, and they will be cranky and disturb everyone else in the theatre. We go to late showings of movies to avoid the little rug rats. Don’t bring them.

JEG: I covered that in these rules and the article about the morons who bring there kids to “Friday the 13th.” DS

Jonathan E. Grant on June 10, 2011 at 3:58 pm

For what it’s worth, in my humble opinion texting isn’t equivalent to talking on one’s cell phone. In fact, I consider it the relatively decent alternative.

I guess it’s personal but to me other people yapping to each other (over the phone or otherwise) is, by far, more distracting then somebody texting. And, the range of the latter disturbance is far less then that of the former one.

Eliezer on June 10, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    The light from a cell phone in a dark theater can be very distracting.Anything that distracts you from the screen will “pull” your mind from the film narrative and into the theater.I didnt pay 10 bucks just to sit in a room full of strangers,but to get “lost ” in a fictional world for 2 hours.

    gosshawk on June 10, 2011 at 6:11 pm

My wife and I rarely go to the movies and when we do we make sure it’s during the day, at least two weeks after the film has been out, and hardly a soul in there. We are both in our mid 20′s but we also have a thing called manners that our parents taught us from a young age.

If someone starts talking on their phone or making loud noises, constant getting up and down, I will not hesitate to tell them either settle down or I will put your candle out.

Drexl on June 10, 2011 at 4:20 pm

I seldom go to the theater as I can usually get my hands on the early DVD, BUT I would gladly pay 3x’s the price of a ticket to attend a screening with pre-selected viewers who share my ‘theater nazi’ rules. Just me

#1 Vato on June 10, 2011 at 4:38 pm

I’ve found the simple solution to be a 50″ HDTV and 5.1 surround sound system. The picture is usually sharper and brighter on my set than in the theater. I can wait a few months for movies to be released on DVD (nothing released in the last decade has been worth standing in line for anyway) and then I get them for free from the public library. I see what I want to see and Hollywood doesn’t make a dime off of me. Win-win, if you ask me.

vegasrider on June 10, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    I am nearly deaf.

    When I start losing my hearing in my teens, I found it difficult to follow spoken dialogue, whether on TV or in the theater.

    The development of open and then closed captioning changed it. I am finally able to understand what’s been said without feeling left out.

    That’s why I watch a movie on HDTV at home several months after its theatrical run and the added bonus is I can watch it whenever I want.

    When I was a young man, I enjoyed the James Bond films in the theaters. My last attendance in the 90s was to see “Schindler’s List” and it was a well-done movie – one of the few, I believe filmed entirely in black and white and the cinematography and the acting was superb.

    Hollywood should keep telling us interesting stories rather than safe formulaic cliches.

    NormanF on June 12, 2011 at 4:55 am

My pet peeves include people who were largely silent during the wait, then it’s non-stop talking WHILE the house lights are going down.

Worse, everything is fine, the house lights go down, THEN they take out their phones and want to text or talk. The problem with this, is the phone’s light is hitting me in the eye, and is distracting. And please stop checking for messages every 20 seconds! :(

If you must talk, at least have it relate to the movie. I don’t care about the boil on your heel. Better yet, shut up!

If you’re watching a movie loaded with special effects, don’t shout out how fake something looks when we’re trying to lose ourselves in it. It looks fake because it probably is fake. These include flying horses, spacecraft, dinosaurs, and aliens.

John on June 10, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    John said “it looks fake because Flying horses, dinosaurs and aliens are fake.” Not so! Flying horses are definitely real.
    You dont see any of them around, though, because they are really awful at landing!

    Ron on June 14, 2011 at 12:01 am

It’s not just movies, Debbie. We were at a concert recently where the four people in front of us spent the entire 2+ hours texting…each other and taking pictures of each other! If I weren’t brought up a gentleman, I would have taken the cell phones and jammed them down their…well, you know.

JeffT on June 10, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Back when “No Country For Old Men” was in theaters, I was watching the scene where the cop is being brutally murdered at the beginning. My attention was diverted from the movie by a black guy about 30 yrs old laughing out loud at the murder. Sitting about 10 seats to my right, his friend angrily told him about 5 times to stfu as I stared daggers at him, waiting for the coming confrontation. The entire movie was spent distracted thinking I would have to engage in a nasty situation that would be spun to the other guys advantage in the news. That was during a week day when I usually do my movie going. I go a lot less these days with the downward spiraling of our SHARED culture.

samurai on June 10, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    That cop-killer stick gets old.

    Some people tell you more about themselves than they tell you about what think about the movie.

    NormanF on June 12, 2011 at 4:57 am

LOL! I have been doing the Arthouse Theatre trick since I was 12. Love it, the crowd is mostly always chaos free…and sometimes one even gets the added bonus on being the ONLY ONES in the theatre…it happened to me TWICE>

And I never have to see crappy American films.

Skunky on June 10, 2011 at 11:14 pm

They should play this PSA in every theater right before the movie begins, but if it’s rated G, PG or PG-13 bleep over the colorful adjectives and show it bleep-free for the rest.

T.Y. on June 11, 2011 at 11:53 am

I just watched this again-
she tried to justify herself by claiming to use her phone as a flashlight to find her seat and then she admitted that SHE WAS TEXTING, ANYWAY!!

What a moron.

T.Y. on June 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Excellent Debbie. I’ve been turned off against going to theaters because of all the rude behavior mentioned above. Seems to me that consideration for others has gone the way of the rotary phone.

Naomi R on June 11, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Technology can change but not human nature. Its so easy to forget it.

I keep recalling vividly what Debbie wrote about the Libyan barbarians who a few months back used still and video cameras to take graphic pictures of a soldier being gutted alive to death.

That’s obviously an extreme example but never assume because someone has Western technology, they are civilized. Technology and decent behavior seldom have much in common.

NormanF on June 12, 2011 at 5:03 am

Go to matinees. Only old people.

pat on June 12, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Anyone who has to turn on their cell phones or balckberry’s to text or check their messages during a performance ought to be at least watrerboarded in the lobby.

Repeat on June 12, 2011 at 1:40 pm

@ Seek, yes black people do have a reputation for talking in theater, but you seem a bit fixated on race. Still, the funniest thing I ever saw in a theater did have to do with a group of rather vocal black fellows. I went to the afternoon matinee with a couple of friends to see “Bad Boys” on a second run. It was a two dollar matinee. There were three black guys sitting together and they were chatting away, but the lights hadn’t gone down yet and it was no big deal. Except for the poindexter sitting immediately behind them. He didn’t just ask them to be quiet, he was making comments instead. Like “those guys should be quiet”, “Those guys should stop talking”, etc. And this was a fairly small guy. Finally, and as the lights were dimming for the show, the fellow in the middle of the three stood up and turned around to address the little whiner. A hush went over the theater, you could have heard a pin drop. All he said was, “Man, you act like you paid a million bucks to see this movie.” Then he sat back down and he and his friends were quiet throughout the movie. I think poindexter peed himself though. It was priceless.

Richard on June 13, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Remember Homer Simpson walking out of the theater after watching Starwars? As he walked past the queue of people buying tickets for the movie he asked out loud: “Who would have ever know that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalkers father?”

And someone in line yelled at him, “You stupid idiot, you just ruined the movie for all of us.”

Richard on June 13, 2011 at 9:28 pm

I feel like I am receiving an eye exam everytime people use their phones in a darkened theater during a movie. During an eye exam, the doctor shines a pinpoint light in the darkened exam room around the field of vision of the patient. It hurts everytime because of the contrast of light against darkness. Though needed in the eye doctor’s office, it sure isn’t needed while watching a movie. I ask all you cell phone users, please don’t do this to the rest of us. Turn off your cell phones.

Guy on June 15, 2011 at 1:31 pm

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