Having worked in the theater business for more than a year and a half, there have been many times when I (and most of my coworkers) have wished we could just say whatever comes to mind when we deal with infuriating customers.This is a new series of rants that I always meant to write up for this blog, but thanks to a rude group of people I encountered last night, I was spurred into doing this now rather than later. These rants will be in several parts, with each one offering advice on how NOT to be a dick at a movie theater, as well as some of the not-so-cheery things I wish I could say to the people that do these things. These anecdotes and examples are all 100% true, and relate to my time in a theater either on the clock or enjoying a show after work.
6. Lincoln’s Dead, There’s No Sequel.
Movies have been putting scenes in the credits for years. Usually it’s a blooper reel or some little aside about what happened to a random B character. Sometimes it’s a teaser for a sequel or another movie being made by the same company. But usually, it’s just credits. Boring, white-on-black credits. They list the director, executive producers, casting directors, directors of photography, principle actors, production companies, and then launch into a full listing of cast, crew, music credits, special thanks, sponsors, etc. Then the screen shows a blue band letting you know what the movie was rated, then it goes blank.
The majority of people leave a theater as the credits start, or once the crawling credits begin after showing the big names that everyone cares about. They might stick around to find out who played a character because “he looks really familiar and I think he was in this one movie with that other actor with the crazy hair…” And that’s fine. But many credit sequences can reach up to ten minutes in length for a big-budget blockbuster. That is when you’ll see your ushers getting angry.
As I mentioned in Part 1 of this series, ushers have a schedule for their cleans. Movies generally get out on time, if not a few minutes before they are scheduled to, and that gives the usher(s) a rough idea of when they need to be in which theater. The one thing that varies dramatically is the people in said theaters. I could end up with five different theaters ending withing ten minutes, which is annoying enough without a group of people sitting through the credits chatting about how their day went. Hold your conversation somewhere else, please, because per company policy, I can’t clean up around you. I can’t walk in front of you to clean, I can’t make too much noise that might disturb you, and I can’t ask you to get the hell out, as much as I’d like to.
If you really have a question about something that always comes toward the end of the credits (the name of a song, where the movie was filmed, whether or not there’s a scene at the very end, etc) the easiest thing to do is to ask me. Ushers have seen the end of every credit sequence at least three time that day. While we’re standing in the auditorium waiting for you to get your lazy ass up, we can either stare at you (or should I say “glare?”) or watch the credits trying in vain to see what’s so damn fascinating about them. That means we know all of these things. Just ask your question and get out, please. Yes, the movie was good, but you can talk about that in the car on the way home.
I’ve also developed a sort of helpful hint for those wondering if there is an end scene: If it’s a movie by Marvel Studios, there’s a scene. If it’s DC Comics, there’s nothing. Also, when the crawl starts, count the number of seconds it takes for a single line to get from the bottom of the screen to the top. If it takes 8-9 seconds, there’s nothing at the end. More than 10 seconds, and there is. I’m not kidding, it works 90% of the time. The best way to tell is still to ask, but it’s still a fairly accurate tell.
And speaking of end scenes, if the main or title character dies at the end of the film, or if the film is based on a historical figure or a “true story”, it stands true that there is NEVER a scene at the end of the credits. So don’t even bother. Seriously, just leave. There’s not going to be a sequel where Gatsby’s ghosts comes back to haunt Daisy during the Great Depression. The credits are rolling, the lights are up, get off your butt and start shuffling out the door so I can get my work done. It sounds crass, I know, but I’m blunt that way. I don’t care about the subtle nuances you saw in so-and-so’s portrayal of JFK, I just want you to go away and let me catch up on my cleans.