#SeBuenaGente: at the Movies or the Theatre


Whenever we are in a social situation where silence and decorum is required or expected from us, for example at the movies or the theatre, we should always aim to be courteous and respectful of others, and avoid causing distractions or interruptions.  

As the golden rule, we should always treat others the way we would like to be treated, specially if we are in a place with a lot of people and even more so, if the ambiance at that social gathering is one of silence and concentration. Just like we would expect students to hold a certain pattern of behavior in a class or lecture, we should be conscious of our own behavior in places like the movies, a theatre and even a restaurant. Sometimes, we get excited or get lost in the moment and do not realize that we are causing a disruption or noise -- furthermore, it has become common for people to be disrespectful in social situations and not care about the impact it can have in others.

So much so, that it is now custom for movie theaters to spend a significant amount of time and money, alerting the audience that it is forbidden to cause interruptions or distractions by using their phones or speaking loudly. In some theaters, attendees are even warned that they will be escorted out of the play if they do not follow the pattern of behavior expected. Notwithstanding, distracting others is not the only negative aspect of being disrespectful, by generating noise or not being engaged in what we should be (i.e. the play or the movie) we are missing out on having a complete experience ourselves. 

Here are some tips on how to conduct yourself when going to the cinema or in the theater:

  • Put your cell phone in silence or turn it off. Do not make or answer phone calls during the movie or show. Limit yourself from sending any text messages, and only answer the urgent ones you receive, as the screen light can also be distracting to your neighbors. 
  • Do not talk or laugh too loud during the show. Avoid starting a conversation with your companion during the show. Even if you try to whisper, you cannot predict when the soundtrack or actors will go silent and you could be the only one left talking. 
  • Do not stand if you are blocking the view of others. Try to find your seat and only move around if you are leaving. 
  • Do not talk to or try to interact with the actors (that can be very distracting to them).
  • Do not take pictures, as it can distract the audience and the actors. If you must, then make sure your flash is off. 
  • Try not to eat or chew making a lot of noise. 
  • Clean up after yourself - make sure you leave the space just like or better than how you found it. 

The next time you go to the movies or the theater, be aware of your behavior and that of your companions, and make sure that you are being #BuenaGente.