No need to calm down: movie theaters let Taylor Swift fans dance, sing and scream through tour film | Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

Swifties ditch moviegoing etiquette as cinema owners welcome a lifeline for struggling industry

Thu 19 Oct 2023 10.00 EDT

The concert documentary Taylor Swift: the Eras Tour bulldozed its way into cinemas last week, upending the long-established rules of movie theater etiquette. Instead of keeping quiet, fans sang, danced, took selfies and swapped friendship bracelets. One viral Instagram video showed a group of Swifties performing a circle dance as the film’s credits played. Other clips depicted moviegoers falling to their knees screaming, squawking like birds, or singing so loudly that it was impossible to hear the film’s original audio. One man supposedly stole a movie poster to give his girlfriend. And at least one person brought a Travis Kelce cardboard cut-out to their screening.

Theater chains enjoyed a boost this summer with blockbusters like Barbie and Oppenheimer. Still, Hollywood strikes have delayed some film release dates, and the Eras Tour doc has offered the struggling industry another lifeline. It’s an occasion for which cinema owners are ready to break some rules.

A representative for Cineplex, the largest chain in Canada, said fans were encouraged to sing and dance along to the show – politely. “This is a dynamic event, but we’re asking guests to please not stand in seats or block the screen for other viewers,” a spokesperson said. “As always, filming is not permitted in any of the auditoriums, but we welcome Swiftie selfies.” (That is, if the group shots are taken before the doc starts.)

At Alamo Drafthouse, an Austin-based chain of theaters known for its strict no talking or texting rules, offenders usually get thrown out. Not so for Eras Tour. “We’re going to let them break most of our policies to celebrate as much as possible,” Chaya Rosenthal, Alamo’s vice-president of marketing, told the Wall Street Journal.

Ditto for Marcus Theaters, the fourth-largest chain in the US. “We want you to take selfies and pretend like it’s a concert,” the company’s president, Gregory Marcus, told Variety. Other chains are serving cocktails, mocktails, and a special menu to mark the occasion.

On social media, some Swifties appeared to understand that their behavior during opening weekend would be scrutinized. As one fan account wrote on Twitter: “Let’s calm these employees’ fears on opening day and show them why we are the BEST and most respectful fan base! Let’s represent Taylor the way she deserves to be represented.”

Erik Davis, managing editor of Fandango, said he expected most Swifties to be fairly respectful, and that movie theaters were well prepared for them. “This isn’t the kind of crowd that’s going to rip up a recliner and run out of the movie theater with it,” he said. He’s heard of theaters moving quieter films across the building, so the endless singing and partying doesn’t distract those audiences.

“And if you did hear some excitement pouring out of the movie theater, that’s a good thing,” Davis added. “Hopefully, it will inspire people to continue coming back to the movies.”

The Post No need to calm down: movie theaters let Taylor Swift fans dance, sing and scream through tour film | Taylor Swift Originally Posted on amp.theguardian.com

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