It’s 9:40pm and it’s 90 degrees outside. Too hot to think. As Matthew Broderick (playing the role of Eugene Morris Jerome) said in the movie Biloxi Blues, “Man it’s hot. It’s like Africa hot. Tarzan couldn’t take this kind of hot.”
Tomorrow we will top out at over 100 degrees. The last time I remember heat like this in the city was the summer after Joshua and I were married, when my friend Tina came to visit. I have photos of us taken in Central Park where our shirts looked wilted and our skin is glistening. I feel sorry for the tourists in town this week, pounding the pavement to see the sights and getting no good photos from the top of the Empire State Building because it’s too hazy to see anything clearly.
Best thing to do when it’s this hot? Find a nice, cool movie theater, buy popcorn and a large soda and relax in the dark for a couple of hours. And if you do, here are a few movie etiquette tips:
1) If you came with a friend, don’t talk to them during the movie, even to say things like, “Isn’t this cool?” or “Want some popcorn?”. You can tell each other what you thought of the film after it’s done, and simply moving the bag of popcorn in the general direction of your friend is enough. If they are like me, they tend to snack during previews because nothing disrupts a dramatic scene in a film more than rustling popcorn bags and candy wrappers.
2) Which brings me to snacks. If you must bring your own, make sure they do not require things like utensils or dinnerware or trash bags. If you buy them at the theater (and although I know it’s expensive, theaters make no money on the movies themselves – their profit comes from concessions – so unless you are at the theater every week, spring for a box of popcorn now and then) then open them before the movie starts. If it was up to me, as I said, people would finish them before the movie starts.
3) You may think the movie is a cheese-fest, but I guarantee you someone within hearing distance is sobbing into a handkerchief, so keep your snorts and snide comments to yourself.
4) If the theater is filling up, don’t claim a seat for your coats or bags, pretending a ‘friend’ is going to join you.
5) Likewise, if there is a couple looking to sit together and you are between two empty seats, move down so they can sit together. The view of the screen will be the same.
6) On the flipside, if the movie has been out for a while and the theater is nearly empty, don’t decide that the only seat that will do for you is the one directly in front of the only other people there. (This happened to a me and a friend ages ago when we went to see “Wayne’s World.” We were literally the only people in the theater until two couples came in and sat directly in front of us. And although it may be childish, I still wish we had gotten up and moved to sit directly in front of them!
7) Just be aware that you are in a public place, not in your living room – turn off your phone, don’t kick the chair in front of you, keep your comments to yourself, no nudging or high-fives with friends, be as discreet and quiet as possible with your food….and enjoy the show.
Total aside but it is movie related: When Joshua and I lived in the East Village in 1994-95, we would often go to a theater on 2nd Ave and 12th St. This was before the days of the built in cup holders and both of us would always buy a large soda to drink during the movie. We would set the cups on the floor next to our feet when not drinking from them. During the summer of ’94 we went to see “The Lion King” at the 2nd Ave. movie theater. Within the first 30 minutes, I picked up my cup only to have the lid come off, causing me to drop it and spill at least a quart of Diet Coke, which ran in a river to the front of the theater, eliciting moans from several people who either heard or felt it around their feet. Not 2 minutes later, Joshua picked up his cup, lid came off, he dropped it and another bucket of Diet Coke was released on the poor people unfortunate enough to be sitting in front of us. Which of course struck me funny, and I spent a few minutes gasping into a napkin before I could regain my composure.
On the whole, though, I am very well behaved in theaters – really!