But Why Can’t I Urinate In My Seat At The Movies?

By  · Published on August 9th, 2013

There’s been just a super fun debate brewing over the last few days about what movie theaters of the future will have to do to accommodate discerning patrons who want an experience not focused on the movie. Unfortunately all the rational voices ‐ mostly this courageous man ‐ have been shouted down by fascists who refuse to conform to a new generation’s groupthink.

The funniest part is that all of these people claim to be open-minded, but as soon as you suggest an alternative mode of social interaction ‐ especially one spurred on by second-screen culture and its freedoms ‐ they pucker up tight and let fly with idiotic notions that are not only wrong-headed about how movies should correctly be enjoyed by everyone, but also about how the very world itself operates.

For whatever reason, they don’t seem to grasp that cell phones, Twitter, Facebook, Readability, Blu-ray, Obama, Smart TVs, Foursquare, Honey Boo Boo, Pinterest, Regretsy, 2013, Kim Kardashian, and Twitter again have changed the way we expect to be entertained by background noise. I think we all know and relate to what I’m talking about.

I should be able to pee in my seat while watching a movie.

With the blossoming proliferation of technology, we’ve all (all of us) become accustomed to watching movies and TV shows at home complete with the liberty to pause what we’re half-watching to take a restroom break, baste the turkey we’re cooking or charge the cell phone we’ve been playing Temple Run on throughout the show. Yet, can you believe it, when we go to theaters it’s like stepping into a sepia-toned Jurassic period where we’re forced to choose between missing a vital part of the story or rupturing a vital part of our anatomy.

Obviously one of two solutions need to be implemented.

  1. A way for me to inform the projectionist that I have to go so he can pause the movie until I get back. Maybe a flag-raising system?
  2. Or I need to be able to release my bladder juice in the comfort of my seat. I’m thinking a complimentary cup system for this one.

Anything short of these two highly reasonable choices is tantamount to proto-regressivionism and is probably somehow racist.


So get ready for the morality police and cinephilistines to start screaming that I’m in some way ruining their experience (that they’re forcing on me) by doing what I want to do inside a theater. Newsflash Alamo Drafthouse worshippers: there’s a new breed of movie lover who has never been able to sit through an entire movie because we lack the self-control to not drink that 64oz Big Red before the previews, and we’re done being bullied.

No doubt you and The League of Tim will bring it on anyway. In any scenario of retrogressive impediment to socio-cultural shifting, the responses usually hit the same notes:

It’s all to shame us for thinking differently about social mores. You hear these insults ‐ and others that come with even more exclamation marks ‐ shouted from rocking chairs across the country whenever someone wants to “prove” that dogs shouldn’t vote, or that Hammurabi’s Code is the fairest form of civil law, or that planking isn’t cool, or that discretely whipping your member out to relieve yourself during Django Unchained is “bad,” or that there’s “only one way to rock,” or that all other cultures are inferior, or that Thomas Jefferson was right, or that goatees aren’t sexy, or whatever other claptrap the social overlords spew when decreeing their tunnel vision as culturo-cultural gospel.

But I bet those of you who have a lock-step grip on how we’re all “supposed” to act don’t even realize that movies aren’t supposed to be taken that seriously. They’re entertainment. Flashy lights and bleeping sounds to distract us from the horrors of the world we should be raising money to fight. So what should you really care what I do in the seat I paid $20 to sit in? Exactly. It’s none of your business. Lighten up and learn to truly enjoy movies the right way ‐ with the kind of reckless abandon that comes with knowing some asshole won’t glare at you simply for producing your organ and loosing some bodily waste in a natural act involving a red solo cup.

That kind of engagement is a thrill you may never know, but it actually makes films better. When Brad Pitt looked pensive standing out front of his house in The Tree of Life, the guy sitting next to me, an adult who’s probably a really productive member of society, rose to his feet and literally shit himself with excitement while punching his fist in the air. I could tell from the pained look on his face that he’d been aching for this day, this moment, since the time his stepdad walked out on his mother. O Gods! This was catharsis! This was truly cinematic. But you’ll never know that kind of raw joy.

Not that movies can’t be solemn occasions as well. When I saw Transformers: Dark of the Moon I was transfixed beyond thought. Someone else could have peed in their seat near me, and it wouldn’t have been a problem. A bunch of people probably did, they may have even splashed a bit, and I never even noticed.


And I totally get the actual snooty problem here. That somehow my peeing near [pushes glasses up his nose] “movie geeks” is distracting in the darkness of the theater. They must have some sort of superhuman eye sensitivities to flesh-colored objects, but maybe they simply shouldn’t look up while I’m doing it. I mean, isn’t the situation I’m in their fault anyway? And if you’re so “engaged” with the artist’s work, what are you doing peeking over at me?

Why can’t you have your experience of going to a movie where no one pees near you and let me have my experience of going to a movie where I can pee near you, too? Is that so impossible?

Also, people in other countries do things differently, so there’s another argument for my side.

But you know I don’t even know why I’m writing this because there’s no point in trying to persuade those who have drunk the Kubrick-Aid. We outnumber you. The revolution has already come. Billions of people want to be able to pay matinee prices to mess themselves during a Jean Cocteau retrospective, and that tidal wave of yellow change cannot be stopped.

Theater owners are too scared to lose all the money they’re making on those 64 ouncers to upset us, and they’ve all but given up hope already. So, if all of this frustrates you, you can stay at home.

Or, you can accept this as the new normal, bring a handful of wet wipes and enjoy the show.

Movie stuff at VanityFair, Thrillist, IndieWire, Film School Rejects, and The Broken Projector Podcast@brokenprojector | Writing short stories at Adventitious.