13 Special Facts About Movie Theaters Only the Chosen Ones Know About

The expectations we have at the movie usually include people around, lines to the ticket offices, and, of course, the huge screen in the theater — this is why we love going to the cinema. And the little things, like choosing the right seats in 4D can make the process of watching a movie even more enjoyable.

We at Bright Side love going to the movies and we want to share a few tips that are useful for fans of movie theaters.

1. The secret of red chairs in movie theaters
13 Special Facts About Movie Theaters Only the Chosen Ones Know About
Red chairs in movie theaters appeared because of how popular the Italian opera was in the past. Red and gold are the traditional colors in the decoration of Italian theaters. Over time, other countries adopted them and when movie theaters appeared, the tendency remained.

There is a practical side to it: red is the first color that becomes invisible when there is a lack of light. Where there is little light in the theater, blue will appear to be brighter than red, even though when there’s enough light, it’s the other way around.

2. Earplugs make watching a movie more comfortable.
13 Special Facts About Movie Theaters Only the Chosen Ones Know About
There are a lot of disturbing sounds in overcrowded theaters: someone eating popcorn next to you, a person talking on the phone on the other side of the theater, a couple whispering in the next row… There is a very simple way to make sure you won’t hear any of this. Wear earplugs. The little noises will disappear, but you will still be able to hear the sound of the movie.

Besides, earplugs can protect your hearing and health. Every theater regulates the volume the way they want and sometimes the noise level is too high, which can be the reason why your hearing becomes worse.

3. Thursday is an important day for movie theaters.
Most of the time, new movies are released on Thursdays. This day was chosen for a reason: this is supposed to increase the amount of money earned during the first week. Most people go to the movies on Fridays and on the weekend. And the reviews from people who go see these movies on Thursdays can make others want to go too.

4. Popcorn is extremely expensive in movie theaters.
13 Special Facts About Movie Theaters Only the Chosen Ones Know About
Selling drinks and snacks is one of the main income sources for movie theaters. The movie business works this way: one sold ticket is only 30-40% profit. And now, people go to the movies less often. So, in order to earn money, it’s important to sell some other products.

Popcorn is extremely profitable because the price can be 10 times higher than it really should be. This is why almost all movie theaters have a small price difference between the different-sized buckets of popcorn. So, for a very small price increase, you will get much more popcorn even though you didn’t really need it.

5. Popcorn is not always fresh.
13 Special Facts About Movie Theaters Only the Chosen Ones Know About
One of the main advantages of popcorn is the fact that it doesn’t go bad, even after several days. The unsold popcorn is stored in bags and then it is just added to the machine and heated when the day starts.

6. The age limit in movie theaters is no joke.
The age limit in movies is decided by the MPAA. There is a special commission for every single movie that watches films and gives them an age limit. And then, movie theaters (if they want, which almost never happens) can increase the age limit set by MPAA.

So, there are some movies teenagers are allowed to watch only with their parents, and some movies that are strictly for adults.

7. Going to the movie theater with your own food is your right.
13 Special Facts About Movie Theaters Only the Chosen Ones Know About
Very often, the internal rules of movie theaters don’t allow visitors to come in with the food and drinks they bought somewhere else. However, this prohibition has no legal basis at all. So, you can easily take a bottle of water or a pack of chips inside the theater and not even feel guilty about it.

Movie theaters in Great Britain claim that you can come with your own food and drinks, unless it is alcohol. But not every movie theater is so respectful and caring about their visitors. So, it is better to put your snacks and drinks in a backpack.

8. IMAX halls have the biggest screens.

There is a popular misconception that IMAX halls are always 3D movie halls, but this is not true. Of course, IMAX often shows 3D-movies, but the main feature is the giant curved screen that is wider that the viewer’s field of vision. The big screen, the curve, and the necessity to turn your head are things that make you feel more immersed in the movie.

IMAX itself has several variants. Dome (OMNIMAX) — the projection on the dome-shaped screen when the viewers are in a lying down position. Laser — an improved version with better brightness and contrast. All other variants are only bigger screens and usually nothing more than marketing bait.

9. It is best to watch 3D-movies in your own glasses.
Despite what movie theaters say about cleaning 3D glasses after every movie, the process of cleaning is not shown to the public, so we can’t really trust it (and there are good reasons why). So, in order to be completely sure about the glass, just buy your own pair. You can buy them in many movie theaters and at specialized stores.

You should know that these glasses are not universal and they can only be used in the 3D-format they are meant for. So, before you buy a pair, it’s best to consult with an expert.

10. Some things you should know about 4D
13 Special Facts About Movie Theaters Only the Chosen Ones Know About
This is a relatively new technology that accompanies the process of watching a movie, making you feel even more immersed in the film. Despite its name, 4D has nothing to do with the actual 4th dimension. It only adds new effects: motion, vibration, wind, smoke, smells, splashes of water, and so on.

However, there are formats that are completely different from each other. D-Box is the simplest one. These chairs are places in regular theaters and the only difference they offer is some motion and vibration according to the action on the screen. And because the moviegoer’s feet are on the ground, the effect is very subtle.

4DX pays a lot of attention to detail, this is where you can smell things, feel splashes of water, feel wind, and many other things. These chairs are located in separate theaters, there are also special stands for feet, so you don’t actually touch the floor. Aside from that, there are holes on the back of the chairs that are responsible for smells and other effects.

11. The Dolby Atmos sound system is something you should experience at least once.
There are more and more Dolby Atmos movie theaters popping up that are known for their great sound. The unique thing about them is the location of the speakers (there are even some on the ceiling) and a special technology that makes the sound more voluminous. So, you feel like you are surrounded by speakers (because you are) and it allows you to be tuned in to the movie even more.

12. Big movie theaters often show old movies too.
13 Special Facts About Movie Theaters Only the Chosen Ones Know About
Sometimes, movie theaters not only show new releases, but some old masterpieces as well. For example, a remade copy of Spirited Away by Hayao Miyazaki was shown in movie theaters. The other 16 movies of this great Japanese director can be seen on the big screen this year. And this is not the only example.

13. You can take the cardboard cutouts and posters with characters home with you.
The thing is, film distributors give a bunch of accompanying materials to the movie theaters. And as soon as the movie is not shown anymore, all the cardboard cutouts, banners, posters, and other things are thrown away. So, if you ask an administrator for a poster close to the time when a movie is done in the movie theater, they are very likely to give you one.

Do you go to the movies often? Will you use earplugs from now on?

Illustrated by Leisan Gabidullina for BrightSide.me


Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.