Our expert on etiquette advises how one should comport oneself at the cineplex
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SCREAMING. ARGUING. PROJECTILE-TOSSING: No, it’s not the last days of the Moore-Willis household—it’s your average movie-theater audience. These days, proper etiquette among film fans has gone the way of the $2 double feature. To help restore cineplex civility, we brought in our expert, Mr. Movie Manners, to tackle the gooey protocol.

RED LASER, PROPER USE OF: Here’s a hint: Only one letter separates laser and loser. If you’re an eye surgeon or Luke Skywalker, feel free to wield a handheld laser. Otherwise, Mr. Movie Manners dearly hopes you’ll keep it in your pants.

TALKING, TO YOUR SEATMATE: Nowadays, the raspy-voiced squawks that pass for whispers could burst Mr. Movie Manners’ eardrums. If you must blabber with your seatmate, please learn the lost art of the low talker.

TALKING, TO THE SCREEN: Some cinema sticklers favor a gag order at all times. In Mr. Movie Manners’ opinion, though, it depends on the film. If its budget is over $90 million, feel free to heckle. Chances are, they’ve spent so much blowing up national monuments, they completely ignored dialogue. So a well-timed wisecrack can only help. On the other hand, chattering during, say, The Spanish Prisoner is grounds for incarceration.

SEAT-SAVING DECORUM: Putting your jacket on one empty seat next to you is okay. Spreading your jacket, shirt, loafers, pince-nez, and cummerbund across an entire row is not.

SNACKS, SNEAKING IN: If you just can’t resist importing your own food from the real world, remember: Silence is golden. High-decibel treats like a bag of Baked Lay’s potato chips are more irritating than Fran Drescher’s voice. Likewise, smelly food is in extremely poor taste. Mr. Movie Manners doesn’t want to sniff moo-shu chicken while watching Paulie.

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