Arriving and Seating at the Theatre

An evening at the theatre is a sophisticated treat.  Here's how to make sure you're acting the part:

1.  A woman always precedes a man as they walk down the aisle to be seated, unless an usher is unavailable.  If the man and woman are walking to their seats unescorted, the man should lead (same procedure if a woman is hostessing other women).

2.  A woman enters the row ahead of a man.  However, there is a very old and mostly forgotten rule that if numbers permit it, a woman should never be seated next to a stranger.  In which case, a man may enter the row first.  For instance, if there are two couples, the men would sit on each end with the women in the middle.

3.  When entering a crowded row, try to be as pleasant as possible.  Smile at each person you pass, saying 'Excuse me' and keeping your coat and belongings close to you.  As you pass each person, you should face the stage.

4.  If you are seated and someone is trying to pass you to get to his or her seat, it's fine to simply move your knees to one side.  However, a man with long legs will likely need to stand and fold his seat back to allow others to pass.