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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
How many times have you tried to watch a movie in a theater, only to be interrupted by a screaming baby? Or been distracted by a teen who can't seem to stop texting? Or an adult who jabbers through the best scenes?
Likely a lot. But it does not have to be that way. And that was the topic tackled Friday by "First Look with Scott Cox" guest host Michael Hopper and Lisa Kimble Edmonston, the writer of the monthly It Manners A Lot column in Bakersfield Life.
"Like so many people, I just had it," Edmonston said of poor manners.
She writes about etiquette at itmannersalot.blogspot.com.
"I don't know what's happened to society. We just keep sinking lower and lower," Edmonston said.
Her blog is about being civil and polite to one another -- not about which fork or spoon to use at the dinner table.
Specifically, Hopper and Edmonston talked about behavior at movies. There was a time when you could turn around and give someone "a look," and that would take care of any misbehavior, but not anymore, Edmonston said.
When did some people decide that it is OK to put their feet on the back of the seat in front of them?
They agreed some people seem to display a sense of entitlement, like they have paid to see a movie and they get to do what they want.
Hopper is bothered by patrons talking on cell phones, to each other, and bringing babies to moves.
"You don't bring an infant into the movie with surround sound," Hopper says. Think of your fellow movie patrons, but also the needs of the child, Hopper said.
Hopper appreciates movies with zero-tolerance policies, those where a human comes out and tells movie-goers to keep their phones off, keep quiet -- and goes the extra step of telling patrons that workers will check the film for proper sound. He's also enjoyed screenings that were for those 21 or older only.
Hopper said he's not suggesting that 17-year-olds shouldn't go to movies, but rather that they should "act like humans."
It's a great idea to remind people of the standards, Edmonston said, because that's what it's come to.