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How to Ask Someone to Be Quiet in a Movie Theater

Don’t you just hate it when a fellow moviegoer provides a running commentary? Here’s how to silence the squawker.


  • Step 1: Identify the evildoer Positively identify the miscreant. You don’t want to wrongly accuse someone who appears to be speaking, but is actually just chewing his popcorn aggressively.
  • Step 2: Consider moving seats See if there’s a seat you can move to without much fuss. In these situations, an avoidance maneuver is always preferable to a confrontation.
  • Step 3: Assess your adversary Assess your adversary. Does the loudmouth have tattoos that might have been acquired in prison? An aura of insanity? A weapon? If so, it’s probably best to wait until the movie comes out on DVD.
  • Step 4: Start out nicely Begin with a polite approach. In a soft, calm voice, explain that while you are impressed with how well he is following the plot, you’d appreciate it if he’d keep his observations to himself.
  • Step 5: Kick it up a notch If he ignores you, raise your voice a notch and say you are begging him to pipe down, as you paid good money to hear Daniel Day-Lewis’s voice, not his.
  • TIP: Ask loudly if anyone else is bothered by this boorish behavior. It’s in your best interest to get the entire theater riled up against noise.
  • Step 6: Complain to management If nothing is getting through to this chucklehead, complain to management. Even if the 'manager' is a pimple-faced teen, he has the authority to throw out unruly customers.
  • Step 7: Request a refund If all your efforts have led to naught, plus you’ve missed a good chunk of the movie, politely request a refund. If you come off as reasonable, you might even score some free passes.
  • FACT: Action movies and those with a PG rating are the most likely to have problems with audience behavior, according to officials at one large movie-theater chain.

You Will Need

  • Self-control
  • Persistence
  • Daring
  • Theater management

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