Movie Theater Casting Call

Since E.T. first followed the trail of Reese’s Pieces in 1982, I’ve been an avid movie-goer. I’ve sobbed through hours of Sandra/Rachel/Julia films and the loss of $3.50 matinees; I’ve cheered for Patriots and Gladiators and the addition of White Castle burgers to the concession menu; and I’ve walked away with more Raisinettes glued to my pants than I can count.

So against critics’ recommendation, I went to see One Day yesterday. And over the sound of my sniffling all I could hear was the woman sitting next to me narrating scene-by-scene. So whilst trying to drown out the sound of her gasps and groans, I noticed there are quite a few characters in most movie theaters:

Know-it-All: Better suited as a sportscaster, the Know-it-All will six-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon his way through every flick. You’ll barely make it through the previews without hearing, “hey! That guy playing his dad in that movie is also the guy that played the dad in Footloose!”

Narrator: If you’re wondering where they are going with it when a woman sighs heavily while holding a pregnancy test in a scene, never fear – someone nearby will helpfully announce, “oooooh she’s pregnant!” The Narrator is frequently two steps behind the rest of the audience, but her verbal epiphanies really give the movie-going experience great texture.

Smuggler: We’ve all brought contraband into the movie theater, but the Smuggler kicks it up a notch. As you half-heartedly chow on your gas station Junior Mints there’s always someone lurking nearby with a spicy tuna roll and a sniffer of brandy.

Glowmantic: The twenty-something sitting nearby is more engrossed with the blinding glow of her cell than she is with the on-screen action. The Glowmantic goes to the movies to escape real life but ends up just texting her BFF.

The Head: Stadium seating is no match for The Head. If you shift left, The Head shifts left; if you lean forward, the Head sits up straighter; if you’re lucky enough to be tall, The Head will be wearing a hat.

Crinkler: Not to be outdone by roaring gunfire or a cheering stadium, the Crinkler waits until a tense who’s-about-to-jump-out-of-the-closet moment to unwrap their Milk Duds.

Since I can be a terrible Know-it-All and I crinkled my way through Love Actually with a smuggled foot-long pizza sub, I can say with authority that half(ish) the fun of going to the movies is really in the “ambience.” Otherwise I suspect we’d all just stay home. What keeps you going to the movies?

About WhiteElephantInTheRoom

I'm an 80s music lover, traveling junkie, mac & cheese connoisseur, amateur wine snob, party-planning priestess and Chicago transplant living in Southern California. I find adventure in the everyday and have a unending compulsion to write about it. Hope you enjoy reading my mind!
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22 Responses to Movie Theater Casting Call

  1. nancyfrancis says:

    I’m 100% a Smuggler. I go to the movies once a week with my Mother and we always pick up Salads at a Burrito joint ahead of time. They’re getting the ticket price out of me, but there is no way my waistline is suffereing from Movie related snacking!

  2. Sunshine says:

    I am so the Smuggler. I don’t drink soda, so I always sneak in juice or powerade or something. I had a sub in my purse when I went to go see The Hangover. LOL Only a 6″ though :). I keep going back for the popcorn. I so LOVE the popcorn, extra butter, light salt. I just sit there and listen to my arteries harden lol.

  3. ehildmann says:

    There’s a category that you missed, the category in which I reside. The “loner” who sees movies alone. Sneaks in, not because he/she is embarrassed of seeing a movie solo, but worries that people have labeled him/her as such. To spot the “loner”, you’ll notice they keep their eyes to the ground as they enter and leave the theater, they make a B-Line for their favorite seat/row and quickly sit and enjoy their cinematic adventure.

  4. Brandon says:

    Another classic!

  5. What, no comment per just how dire ‘One Day’ was?!

    Anyway, what keeps me going is The Sitter. No matter how full, where you are positioned, or the glare you are putting out to ward any and all away, The Sitter will place himself right next to you, infringing on your valuable armrest and breathing room.

  6. notquiteold says:

    Then there is the LOST ONE. What? What happened? Where are they now? My husband is a LOST ONE…. I wish i had a raisinette for every time I said, “It’s a flashback, honey!”

  7. natasiarose says:

    How was One Day?!

    I’m a smuggler and a Know-it-all. I would be a Crinkler, but luckily for all the other movie viewers, I eat too fast to crinkle.

  8. pan says:

    I stopped going to the cinema when I move to London. When I lived in Manila, it was maybe $30 to take a family to the movies (5 people, half a kilo of popcorn, candy ect.)
    In London, you would be lucky to do the same for under 100 pounds. It’s not so much the money though, as it is the principle of paying that much, for what often turns out to be a shite film.

    Thanks, but Ill wait for the DVD

  9. harukochan1 says:

    I love being a loner. Especially in deserted movie theaters at odd hours, like 3 in the afternoon on a Tuesday. And I’m definetely a smuggler. Sometimes I even bring a tv blanket to the movies.

  10. WIfe is worse than a glowmantic – she’s reading WORK emails. WHat’s that called? Besides “annoying” or “obsessive”? She usually tells me to get over it. Last time, a guy came over to her and told her to knock it off… I pretended to not know her.

  11. aimee says:

    Can we add SEATSAVER? 🙂 They arrive early, save 7 seats, 3 of which NEVER show and the rest get there late then climb over you awkwardly to reach their seat hoarding BFF.

  12. The Crinkler drives my husband crazy, and he would also add the Loud Chewer/Lip Smacker to your list.

  13. Pingback: End of the Writing Process Unit (almost) & Genres Review « Mrs. Beadel's Class Blog

  14. baileymoro says:

    I’m definatley a Smuggler. Before going to the movies, I’m always stopping by the dollar store to grab my Movie-Meal there. I’ll just hide it in my pocket or inside my hat, and nobody is the wiser 🙂

  15. leadinglight says:

    You should watch Cinema Paradiso – it’s an Italian film about cinema and introduces you to characters like these.

  16. yvan165 says:

    There’s also the Traditionalist, who stays until the end of the movie credits, even though they cannot be read since lights have been turned on. I think I’m like that, and a it of a Smuggler, and a Lost, AND a bit of a Narrator…

  17. Pingback: Genres Review « Mrs. Beadel's Language Arts Blog 2013

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  19. Mrs. Beadel says:

    Hi Beth! Mrs. Beadel’s class is back to discuss your blog on our blog! I started last year using your piece as an example of non-fiction/ media writing and author’s purpose. Thanks for making us laugh and think!

  20. Pingback: Movie Clichés Get a Bad Rep | White Elephant in the Room

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