Outdoor movie manners

Dec 19 2017, 11:16 am

For those spending the hot days of summer in the city, outdoor movies are a great way to ‘take five’. Vancouver’s flagship screening event, the Chevron Summer Cinema Series at Stanley Park, is back again with another season of fan favorites. But as much as we love Mean Girls (playing July 29), they belong on screen, not in the audience. Before you head out, refresh your memory with these outdoor movie manners.

Sit where it’s fit

For the best viewing spots, arrive one to two hours ahead of the show. It’s perfectly okay to mark your territory with a blanket and return later, but keep in mind that it’s also fair for someone else to move your things and take over your ‘reserved’ spot while you are away. When choosing where to settle down, try to keep at least six inches of grass between you and your neighbours.

Keep a view for me and for you

A flat viewing area means any large lawn chairs, big coolers, strollers or windscreens can block someone’s view. Those intent on spending the evening with creature comforts should consider buying tickets to the VIP seating area. Otherwise, bring low seat beach chairs or sit in the back.

Tot or not?

The rule of thumb for bringing small children to any event is to only do so if they are less likely than you to get bored and start running around/crying/screaming. While kids’ movies cater to short attention spans, keeping a child interested for a full two hours may be one mission Indiana Jones isn’t prepared for. Those who choose to bring their children to more mature movies should bring something quiet to keep them entertained.

No pets – crowded it gets!

Large crowds and loud sounds can make even the most well behaved pup act up. Keep your furry friend at home to avoid a barking fit, or worse yet, a sneezing fit from an allergic neighbour!

When using your phone, do it alone

Cell phone calls should be made away from the viewing area and all other phone use should be kept at a minimum. Ringtones and screen glare can be distracting to those around you.


Outdoor movies are meant to be a fun and casual affair. Whether you’re there to see the stars on screen, or those in the sky, a little courtesy can go a long way in making the evening picture perfect!


Konrad Philip is Vancity Buzz’s new etiquette contributor and the creator of NotAwkwardAnymore.com, a popular manners website for youth. He believes that following proper etiquette makes one feel confident and comfortable, not conceited. Follow Konrad on Twitter @notawkanymore.