Film Thought: Patrons Avoid Noise

In responding to this advertisement and discussing its relevance 81 years later, I will not even go into lengthy asides about issues with brightness of digital and/or 3D projection, or masking issues, or sound issues that modern audiences face.
Let’s return to patrons and avoiding noise. Granted there are technological advancements and connectivity that was never before imagined. However, it should all still apply.

Movies cost more now so:

  • Why would you want to divide your attention with a device you have access to at all other hours in the day?
  • Why would you want to interrupt the experience, and lessen it, for yourself alone and not to mention others.
  • Why would you be inclined to see something you didn’t want to see or wanted to see ironically?

There are fewer reasons to talk now so:

  • Many theaters are going the way of assigned seating, therefore, much less conversation about where your party is sitting is required. So that’s one of the catalysts right there.
  • It’s an unwritten rule that you kind of have a free pass during the interminable trailers. However, it would be best if you kept it down and better yet wait until in-between trailers to make comments.
  • Usually, the only reason one leaves in the middle of a movie is to go to the bathroom. Your party can usually figure that is your destination. No need to tell the world.

Yes, there’s more food now so:

  • come early if you have to and
  • open whatever needs opening before the feature begins.

I’m young, I can’t disconnect:

  • Yes, you can. Technically speaking I am a Millennial also. Granted the definitions of birth years vary but it’s the only generational label that ever seemed like it fit me, so I’m taking it. I can and so can you.
  • It is possible. All this constant information has a drawback to it and taking a break from it is healthy.
  • When lost in a movie or a book and being lost, I sometime refer to getting back to mundane mandatory activities as resurfacing or coming out from under a movie into reality.


What of emergencies:

  • At the very least you can turn off all audio if you need to be able to respond to something. And believe me I do not speak of this in a hypothetical context. I’ve been coming back from dinners or movies wherein I did not touch my phone and learned of a loss in the family. I learned of one on social media, the most 21st century way possible.
  • A movie should be taken in as time off. Treat it as such.

Movie-watching is my job:

  • If you’re one of the few where watching film is work; even more reason. I’ve had phases of assiduous note-taking in my reviewing and have always done so the old fashioned way.

Let the film speak:

  • Granted too many modern films inundate you with dialogue, explosions, bass, score, images, and fast cuts but even the most pedestrian efforts are trying to speak to you. Listen!


Please avoid noise at all costs. Movie lovers can long for a utopian society wherein more theaters implement zero-tolerance policies towards talking and cell phone usage. That will likely never happen but it needn’t be threatened with decency.

Device-friendly screenings or sections of auditoriums are not the answer! The world may be more understanding and sensitive and eager-to-please than ever before but life still has its demands and some situations demand you to modify behaviors to fit it rather than the environment change to suit you.

Yes, standard TVs are now like what home theaters used to be like. So if you insist on offering color commentary, flopping about, checking Facebook or whatever the hell else you feel like doing watch something at home. The movies are a ritual, a communal experience and as such certain luxuries or trespasses ought not be allowed for the good of the community.

Sit back, relax, shut your mouth, and enjoy the show.