What To Do About The Rude Person At The Theater?


I’ve written about this before, but like psoriasis, the nagging problem just won’t go away.

Whether you’re watching a $13 flick or a $130 musical, there are generally various nuisances seated around you, all trying to make the experience even more potentially draining.

For example:

The plastic unwrapper trying to drown out the climactic scene.

The compulsive texter who can’t stop looking at her cell phone, aiming glare at your eyes so you can’t see what’s onstage.

The hummers who add their own atonal riffs to the songs being done onstage by professionals. It makes for quite an avant-garde cacophany.

The narrators–the ones who have it all figured out and want to prove it to the world. (“She’s gotta be his wife!” “He’s got a cucumber in his pocket!”)

The ones who eat, snore, talk to each other, talk to the stage, or keep going to the bathroom so they can text in silence. I’d rather they just sit still in their seat and do it, if given a choice.

Anyway, I find the direct approach works the best with these people.

Staring them down and yelling “Stop! Hush! Quit it!” is the strongest offensive, especially if you throw in a look right out of the teacher in Matilda. They’re usually shocked that someone dared confront them about what they were doing and they quickly whimper into submission. Bully back and bully and they usually prove to be a wuss.

If the bad behavior persists, just start doing all those same things yourself. Go ahead and rustle plastic, text, hum, narrate, and talk loudly. Then you’ll see how quickly they find it annoying and stop doing it! Maybe!