1. For the best sound, sit two-thirds of the way back in the center of the row.
This is where the sweet spot for sound exists. It’s where the audio engineers typically level out the sound, giving you the full effect of the movie.
2. Wear earplugs so you can hear in your old age.
The sound in a movie can get loud—especially for youngsters. Really loud. While there are industry standards for sound levels, there are no regulations for film makers or the theater. If your earplugs dull out the sound completely, try putting them in halfway or less.
3. Divvy up a large popcorn.
Instead of buying each child their own separate popcorn, come prepared with brown paper bags, and split a large popcorn among all the kids. Happy kids equals silence during a movie.
4. Use a straw to butter your popcorn.
This method brings an end to that dry popcorn problem you get about halfway down. Take a straw and push it to the bottom of the bag. Put the other end on the liquid butter spout and raise the straw as you distribute the butter throughout the entire bag.
5. Sprinkle cinnamon, sugar, or lime salt on your popcorn.
Technically, you can’t bring your own food into the movie theater. Spices, on the other hand, aren’t specifically restricted.
6. Buy a sriracha key chain and add some flavor to your popcorn, nachos, or pizza.
A 1.7 ounce bottle can pack a punch, and for $7, you can spread the flavor a few times while carrying it around on your key chain.
7. Add items from the nacho bar to your popcorn.
Keep things spicy by hitting up the nacho bar and adding jalapeños or nacho cheese to your popcorn. It’s not just for nachos.
8. Skip the ads and trailers by arriving 13 minutes late.
Some people (not me!) really dislike the ads and trailers before a movie, especially since they can last up to 20 minutes. Thirteen minutes is the minimum time given to ads and trailers. This late arrival works best when you have assigned seats; otherwise, you risk getting a pretty lousy view.
9. Choose a seat behind a child for a better view of the movie.
This works especially well when you go to an older movie theater whose stadium seating may not be as steep or as staggered as newer theaters.
10. Watch a 3D movie in 2D.
If a 3D movie just isn’t your thing but everyone you’re with wants to go, consider buying some 2D glasses which turn 3D movies back to a normal 2-dimensional film. You can find 2D glasses on Amazon for less than $10.
11. Strategically plan when to go to the movie.
A comedy can be even better when you see it with a large crowd, which is usually the weekend. Horror flicks are better on a weekday—think matinee—when there are fewer crowds and more opportunity to be scared.
12. Download the RunPee app to know when to use the bathroom.
RunPee lets you know when there’s a lull in a movie so you can use the bathroom. It also fills you in on what you’re missing in the movie and even tells you whether there’s anything to see after the credits roll.
13. Join special showings for families living with autism and other special needs.
14. Bring a sweater or sweatshirt.
Movie theaters tend to be cooler especially in the summer months in anticipation of a full house. The temperature isn’t necessarily adjusted at each showing, so having a sweatshirt or sweater handy can be a lifesaver.