PSAs for movie theatre jerks from a century ago


These lantern slides on silent movie theatre etiquette from the 1910s show that inconsiderate audience members have existed since the dawn of cinema. They're collected in Silent Movies: The Birth of Film and the Triumph of Movie Culture.

The glass slides would be put up as reels were changed. Even back then, disarming comedy was seen as the best way to deal with theatre scofflaws. The big concerns were hats and smoking, but remember, please applaud with hands only!






(h/t Old Hollywood)

Notable Replies

  1. "You wouldn't steal a magic lantern.
    Making sketches of films is stealing,
    stealing is against the law,

  2. I'm not listening to you crazy Anti-Hat Warriors. #theatregate

  3. daneel says:

    I thought the jerk was the guy that sold you your soda?

    The hats were annoying, yes. But it was the people sending the wires that used to really annoy me.

    1. This was the days before A/C, and heat goes up. Pack a few hundred people in an old movie theater on a warm day and the upper balcony feels like a sauna.
    2. Balcony seats only give you a better view in venues which were designed to afford balcony seating a better view.

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