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The Movie Theater Dictionary

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The Black Sheep
An individual who attends a film by him or herself. There are two types of Black Sheep. The first will make it appear that they have someone accompanying them. They will place an article of clothing or purchased item(s) from the concession stand to make it appear the someone simply left to use the restroom or get some fresh air. They will look about as if anticipating the arrival of their friend, but no one arrives. The other type is someone who is alone, and doesn’t care. They will sit proudly in their chair awaiting the film. Maybe even making conversation with people near them stating the fact they are alone. You will feel sorry for the first one, but you should feel admiration for the second one.
This is a theater where the length is much greater then the width causing a sense of narrowness to the surroundings. A characteristic of this kind of theater is that it has only one aisle going straight down the middle. A rarity these days except in older theaters, I suggest staying away from these places for the eerie fact that there is no middle seat.
Funeral Clown

Just as inappropriate as a clown at funeral, this term refers to any consumable goods emitting an odor not normally associated with standard movie theater aromas. For example, a hotdog with everything on it is not normal. You may think it is, but it is NOT. The movie aromas allowed and not allowed are as follows:

The Good: butter, popcorn, soda, chocolate and other sweets (NOT licorice)
Neutral: pretzels and nachos
The Bad: hot dogs, pizza, chicken, burritos, and fast food in general

The Hungry Hippo
This is a person who is in a constant eating or drinking motion through the entire film. Just like the game Hungry Hungry Hippos, this person gobbles up everything in sight not thinking about others around him.
The Interpreter
This is the person who explains what is unfolding on screen to either a companion or to the audience. This is one of the most annoying theater occupants, and the most you can do is ignore them. It is best not to let them have the satisfaction of seeing you leave, because if you do they would have succeeded in annoying you.
Repeter Peter/Duplicate Kate
This is a person who feels the need to repeat dialogue just spoken by an actor. They believe that none of us have hearing even though we came to a movie, so they decide they will help us hear it whether we want it or not. This person is horrible in comedic films because they will laugh after anything that’s meant to be funny.
The Shuffler
This is a person who is unable to sit still in their seat and is constantly moving. A good sign of a shuffler is the constant sound of fabric rubbing or seat kicking. This is one of the most common occurrences in a theater and cannot be prevented or extinguished when started.
Mary Poppins
Just like the magical lady in the popular Disney movie, this person appears to be revealing new foods and drinks as if from nowhere. You look down hoping to catch a glimpse of the contents of what’s under their seat, but whatever is there you never see it.
Grand Canyon
This a situation where the seat cushion is obviously too far from the backrest (where you put your back). A very rare instance indeed. When you sit down part of your buttocks feels like it’s falling through. In situations such as this you need to examine the seats around you. Most likely you will be in a group and not by yourself (see The Black Sheep) so you need to find seats that accommodate your entire party. If this is impossible I am afraid you must split up your group, exchange your tickets for a later showing, or deal with the Grand Canyon.
The Germ
This person seems fine, until the lights go down. All of a sudden, you here wheezing, and coughing, and sneezing. The only conclusion you can draw is that this person is Dr. Jekyll, and your seeing Mr. Hyde. You have two options when this incident occurs. Either move away, far away, as to avoid catching the Ebola virus. Or stay put where you are, and hope that your immune system can fight of any foreign invaders.
The Rocking Chair
When many of us think of the rocking chair, we immediately hear that annoying creaking sound. There is always one of these chairs in the theater, and you could be unlucky enough to stumble upon it. Most of the time, you find out the fact that it squeaks too late, and there is nothing you can do but stay perfectly still. This can be very embarrassing, because the moment it squeaks it sounds 10 times louder then it really is.
The Unwanted Masseuse
This person is the absolute most common thing in every theater in the world. They are ageless, and always seem to find the back of your seat with their foot. To stop this you can do the Traffic Check, the Loud Whisper, or the Direct Command.
The Traffic Check
The motion of looking to your left and right but not behind you, to signal the Unwanted Masseuse to cease and desist. Do this enough times as to get there attention; don’t try to hide it.
The Loud Whisper
This is a common term known to many. It’s the act of simply speaking aloud to a friend or even to no one and saying “someone is kicking my seat.” You do this at a loud enough volume as so the Unwanted Masseuse will hear and stop.
The Direct Command
This is a last resort when dealing with a Unwanted Masseuse when the Traffic Check and the Loud Whisper fail. Some will not even take this step, because it is very scary to attempt. It is simply turning around and saying in a loud and audible voice “Will you please STOP KICKING MY SEAT!” This is the most effective of all steps when used correctly. However, there is a small chance of backfire. If you do it incorrectly or if the person is enough of a shmuck, he will kick your seat even harder. This is where the 18 year old pimple faced manager needs to get involved.
The Ghost(s)
At the beginning of a film, a person or a group of people might sit in front of you or by your side. During the movie you look over and suddenly the people are gone. These are ghosts, and believe it or not are regular haunts at many movie theaters.
The Dump
This is the area in the theater where you put your feet, concession stand items, and maybe articles of clothing. A common characteristic of The Dump is a sticky adhesive layer that causes a smacking sound when walked upon. This sticky layer is normally composed of spilled soda, bubblegum, gummy candies, and anything that has been transferred from a seat occupants shoes. Make sure that when choosing your seat you try to find one without this disgusting nuisance.
The General
This person is very easy to find because they will be roaming the theater in a security uniform trying to look busy. These people are commonly drunk with power, and use it to prevent paying theater customers from Movie Hopping and to expel children under 17 from rated R movies. They believe they are the highest ranking official in the theater system and will gladly tell you so.
Movie Hopping
This term refers to the act of paying for one movie, but “hopping” to different movies over the course of the day. If you feel it is safe to attempt, and you have plenty of free time, then this is a good thing to try.
Movie Theater Sickness (MTS)

This is a sickness that plagues many moviegoers and is unfortunately without a cure. The cause of this illness is the popcorn butter available at the concession stand. Symptoms of the disease are nausea, clammy hands, migraine, fatigue, and a stomach ache. Even though many people are constantly sick with MTS, they continue to get popcorn butter.

Ingredients of butter: soybean oil, artificial butter flavoring, TBHQ and citric acid added to retard oxidation, colored with beta carotene

The White Rabbit
This person shows up to a movie after it has already started. You must allow a window of at least 5 minutes after the movie begins before you can call someone a White Rabbit. These people can cause a disturbance as their trying to find a seat because they usually go for the one empty middle seat or they decide they need to walk directly in front of the screen.
The Vagrant
This is a person who has a disheveled look about him/her, and instantly you wonder if their homeless. Most of the time you are probably incorrect, and they just enjoy looking like a hobo. But there is a slim possibility that he/she is actually homeless.
The Bookworm
This word in commonplace even outside of movie theater jargon. Basically, it’s a person who you see reading a book before the movie begins. This person is almost always by themselves, and therefore would also be a Black Sheep. The Bookworm isn’t really frowned upon because they sit quietly and usually don’t disturb anyone.
The Velvet Rope
You can use this word to describe either a person, or the action they are taking. For example, "that person is a velvet rope," or "that person is using the velvet rope maneuver." The Velvet Rope is when you are saving seats for others and you are preventing others from trying to steal them. The Velvet Rope technique or the Velvet Roper is normally not troublesome, but there are times when they are nuisances. You are only allowed to save 2 seats for every person physically sitting in the theater. One person can save 2 seats, and two people can save 4 seats, etc.

If you have any ideas, comments, or questions feel free to e-mail me.

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