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Ignore Taylor Swift, Don’t Treat ‘The Eras Tour’ Movie Like a Concert

There is drama brewing in the Swiftie community, and you’re going to have to pick a side, friends. See, when their our patron saint announced the theatrical release of The Eras Tour movie seemingly out of the blue, it not only broke pre-sale records, but it came with a caveat. Our Capitalist Queen decreed that we should sing and dance when we make our pilgrimage to the theater to pay homage to her, and what TayTay demands, TayTay tends to get:

For those of you who fill your brains with something other than Swiftian-lore (what’s that like?!) the “1,2,3, LGB” references the pause in her song Delicate (off her Reputation era, if you need a crash course for the movie) where the tempo shifts and the crowd chants “1,2,3 let’s go bitch!” Don’t ask me how it started; just know it is a Swift-approved fan shout now. She’s all in on the audience participation component of the movie announcement.

Here it is. I won’t lie, it’s fun to do live:

However, let’s not skirt the issue: singing and dancing while in a jam-packed movie theater is incredibly obnoxious, whether it’s a Taylor Swift-approved distraction or not. For many people, this is going to be their first chance to see the Eras concert up close and personal, lest we forget the Ticketmaster debacle that kept fans from getting tickets at an affordable price. Hearing someone scream-sing while standing up for the entirety of a three-hour movie sounds less like a fun evening out and more like a special brand of torture they reserve for you in the lowest level of hell (one where the only music you get to enjoy is off-brand Kidz Bop in a language you can’t understand). I would think it went without saying, but I guess it needs to be spoken into being: a movie theater is not your living room. (Or should I say Blank Space?) Basic rules of decorum should apply. Or, to put it in Swiftie lyrical terms: “I don’t want to keep secrets just to keep you … from being kicked out of the theater for standing in my view.” Basically, instead of speak(ing) now, I want everyone in that theater to speak less. Much less. Or not at all.

I’m not alone in my low-grade annoyance at the prospect of going to the movies, spending way too much money for popcorn and soda, and then having someone who believes themselves to be the main character ruin both the sight and sound of The Eras Tour.

This person on TikTok went so far as to call up movie theaters and ask about what is acceptable decorum at the movie:

The TL;DR is that the theaters this particular person talked to on her TikTok said that they expect people to be loud, sing, and dance. The theater expected the sound from the movie to drown out other attendees and added that there would be no intervention unless there were complaints about their behavior from other theatergoers. Which I mean, yeah. I’ve worked in a movie theater. Guess what you don’t really want to do? Police other people’s behavior! That’s a drag, and frankly, they’re not paid enough to deal with that level of bonkersness. Also, some theater employees are apparently already dreading The Eras Tour coming to their place of work because of all this nonsense, and I don’t blame them. Imagine having to deal with loud fans and the complaints the loud fans bring in. That is going to suck!

Perhaps not every moviegoer whose view is blocked by someone standing up and dancing will be able to stand up themselves. Annoying fan behavior like this may affect someone’s ability to enjoy the movie they paid to see. Also, it’s a damn movie theater for a damn three-hour-plus concert. Who the hell wants to stand up during the entire show? I went to The Eras Tour ($49 nosebleed seats for the win!). Guess what I did every time TayTay shifted eras? I sat down and rested my feet. Don’t make me do this all over again to get the true concert experience, OK? I’m tired. I just want to see what the Lover house looks like (because I had an obstructed view) from the comfort of some recliner seats! If you must dance, dance in your seats, sit down, and (unlike what every ’90s rap song encouraged), don’t put your hands in the air, and wave them like you just don’t care. People came to see Taylor Swift, not you.

Now look, I get that there are two sides to every story. I also just happen to believe the people who are coming to a theatrical movie to make noise are patently wrong. I imagine these are the same folks who hold their phones up for the entire concert while screaming nonstop. Concerts and movies are expensive, and everyone wants to get their money’s worth. But you don’t get to wild out at the expense of other people’s enjoyment!

Mine is a losing battle. Anyone who would act like a fool and treat a movie theater as their private space is not going to be swayed by someone on the internet. Personally, I’ve already done my due diligence by booking my opening weekend tickets in aisle seats. And I’ll probably come at least a little tipsy to be less bothered if someone decides to act like an entitled brat throughout the film. As much as I love Taylor Swift, that woman has probably not seen a movie in the theater in at least a decade. She doesn’t understand the struggle anymore. The last time I went to the movies, someone took a damn phone call while sitting in their seat. It’s awful, and she just encouraged the entitled among us to fully embrace their selfishness. To them, I say: karma is a cat … but you probably already know that, because you’re planning to shout those lyrics loudly at the screen.

(featured image: Emma McIntyre/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)

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