What to know about concert movie etiquette before seeing Taylor Swift's 'Eras Tour' in theaters

CNNWire
Friday, October 13, 2023
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'Tis the season for concert films!

Taylor Swift and Beyoncé are releasing filmed versions of their über-successful summer tours (Eras and "Renaissance," respectively), and Talking Heads' seminal concert movie, "Stop Making Sense," recently received a theatrical rerelease nearly 40 years after its premiere.

Demand is clearly high: Swift's movie, which debuts Friday, even surpassed $100 million in advance ticket sales a week before her film hits theaters, said AMC Theatres, which is distributing the film.

But a concert film poses new questions for moviegoers used to sitting down and staying quiet. Are you allowed to get up out of your seat and dance? What about singing along? How do you react to your fellow moviegoers who ask you to sit and pipe down? And can you bring that schnazzy Taylor Swift-branded popcorn bucket home with you?

Fear not, dear reader: We have answers to these and more questions, so whether you've got tickets for the Eras or "Renaissance" concert films or "Stop Making Sense," you'll be ready to enjoy great music without worry.

DO: Sing and dance!

Yes, it's more than okay to leap out of your seat, bust a move and sing like you're the one holding the mic during the Eras film, per AMC Theatres, which released its own guidance ahead of the film's premiere.

According to Variety, Queen Bey is in talks to have her historic tour shown in AMC theaters, similar to the deal Taylor Swift just secured for her popular Eras Tour.

The initial decree came from Swift herself: In an Instagram post announcing the film, she told her millions of fans that singing and dancing are "encouraged." And few dare disagree with Ms. Swift.

Even the indie chain Alamo Drafthouse, which prides itself on a quiet, phone-free filmgoing experience, is welcoming fervent fans who plan to "get a little rowdy - within reason."

The same likely goes for "Stop Making Sense" and Beyoncé's film. When the music is that good, and you finally have a crystal-clear view of artists you'd otherwise have to pay hundreds to see, it's natural to want to sing along!

DON'T: Steal the show

While it's totally permissible (and even expected) to sing your heart out and dance like Taylor's watching, it's less cool to disrupt other viewers' experiences. For the Eras film, AMC is asking viewers to avoid dancing on its seats (think of the recliners!) or blocking the view for other audience members.

Basically, avoid doing the kinds of things that you hate when you're at a concert or in a movie, whether it's talking during the best parts or shaking someone's seat. And if someone interferes with your show, raise your concerns with a theater staff member to avoid clashes with your fellow fan.

DO: Dress the part

Like "Barbie" before it, the Eras and "Renaissance" tour films will undoubtedly inspire fans to dress like they're showing up for the live show. True, you can't really tell what everyone's wearing when the lights go down, but costumes set the mood for the film to come.

Members of the Beyhive, wear your sparkliest silver get-ups to glitter like a disco ball. Talking Heads-heads, button up your biggest suit. And Swifties, start stacking your Eras-themed jewelry and get ready to trade - AMC says "friendship bracelets are strongly encouraged."

DO: Take the merch home with you

Naturally, there are Swift-branded food and beverage vessels for sale. At AMC, collectible cups and popcorn tins run between $9.99 and $19.89 (likely a reference to the upcoming release of "1989 (Taylor's Version)," the re-recording of her Grammy-winning 2014 album - Swifties love their Easter eggs). And some curious fans wondered whether they can take their popcorn tubs home with them - yes, of course; if you buy it, it's yours!

DON'T: Get there late

Treat these films like you would a live show, arriving early to take your seat and drink in the excitement before the lights go down. You may want to take photos with your fellow fans or giant posters of your favorite star - and if you're a Swiftie, you can take that time to trade bracelets with your new pals (all okay, per AMC, as long as you're not filming during the movie).

Oh, and definitely use the bathroom. Like the live shows, the Eras and "Renaissance" films run close to three hours. "Stop Making Sense," blessedly, is under two.

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