Theaters are open again for large screen film fun. Not all, but some intrepid theaters worldwide have opened their doors. You should help support your local theater if you’re lucky enough to live near an open one, if you feel safe enough to get out there. But… you still need to use the restrooms to be comfortable enough to enjoy your movie. With the specter of CoVid lurking in public areas, you’ll need to raise shields, so to speak, and be careful in said restrooms.
Here are RunPee’s guidelines for making movie theater bathrooms a safer and hopefully, virus-free experience:
- I’m told a lot of restrooms in theaters are now propped open, so no one has to use the handles. YAY! This should have always been in place. There are design methods to make entrances private (airports have been doing this for years now). Also, an open door means better ventilation. If your theater has closed bathroom doors, please ask them to change their policy for public safety. They don’t want to become a source for infection any more than you want to be infected.
- Of course, your personal stalls still need hands. I’ve used my sleeves, elbows, and feet for closing and opening these for years — you should experiment too. Take yoga if you have to! Your foot needs to reach the bathroom stall lock. Okay, put your hand in your sleeve if you feel too weird making like a preying mantis.
- Flushing. You still have to flush! A lot of toilets now take care of that for you, but if there’s only a handle or button, feet, elbows, and hands-in-sleeves are workable — if sometimes awkward — options.
- Don’t place your bag on the floors or counters. Not anywhere in theaters, actually. Keep your clutch on the toilet stall hooks or your shoulder. This is good advice for any time. Bathrooms are by nature full of tiny poop particles. People change diapers on counters. Floors are full of nasty things people track in via shoes. And when we touch our purses, yucky things get transferred. It’s just not worth it.
- For hand washing, see if there are touchless options for water and soap, and also touch-free hands dryers. Try to find theaters with these, and make them your default cinema. You might pay more for those high-end cinemas, but it’s better than catching CoVid. I’m hopeful more theaters will invest in touchless sinks, soap dispensers, toilet flushers, and air dryers. Have you used those new “jet-powered” hand dryers? OMG — I love them. The old ones are just useless/loud/obnoxious, while the new ones feel sleek and exciting. They get the job done in under two minutes.
- Don’t spend a lot of time in the bathroom. Of course, no one wants to hang out in public bathrooms anyway, and since you have a movie to watch you probably aren’t noodling around in there on purpose. But CoVid is more contagious in small settings like a restroom, and water droplet vectors hang around longer in the air. So toilet use: yes. Reapplication of makeup? No. Fixing your hair: no. You’re going to be in the dark anyway. 🙂 Playing on your phone: do it outside. Just be mindful. Be efficient and mindful.
- Let’s say your theater doesn’t have these upgraded hands-free options. You will need to use a lot of clean paper towels to achieve the same ends. Use a handful of clean towels after you wash your hands, then use the to flush the toilet, open the restroom door, and toss on your way out of the restroom.
- Is there sanitizer gel in the lobby? Even if you washed your hands, use the gel afterwards. Don’t forget to rub it completely in until your hands are dry, and remember to rub gel on your thumbs. Somehow we always forget the thumbs.
- Did you bring your RunPee app into the bathroom to read Synopses on the toilet? While we thank you for using our app and deeply appreciate your incorporating us into your urinating habits, please consider reading the “what you missed” part in the lobby.
- Still in the lobby? Use the theater’s hand gel, even if you just washed your hands. Even after all these months we’re still not entirely aware of the sheer amount of public things we routinely touch. And now that Pandemic Fatigue is setting in, we’re starting to even get sloppy about CoVid safety. Never turn down an offer of hand gel. You just might save a life.
Wear that mask!
In case you need a reminder, the bathroom is not the place to remove your mask. Also, not in the lobby or the screening room. Let’s assume we’re all being careful and compliant. Don’t be afraid to live, but do your part to keep yourself and others healthy.
RunPee is still here, faithfully getting Peetimes for each new film to make your movie-going experience smoother. We remove the uncertainty of when to run to the toilet, or whether you should stick around through the credits. As far as we’re concerned, seeing movies is safer for all when you have one less worry on your mind.
Remember that, like everything else, it’s not just business as usual. The first time you return to the theater, be aware, look for the changes, and be compliant with all the safety rules in place to protect you and everyone else.
Don’t miss your favorite movie moments because you have to pee or need a snack. Use the RunPee app (Androidor iPhone) when you go to the movies. We have Peetimes for all wide release films every week, including Avatar: The Way of Water, Knock at the Cabin and coming soon Ant-Man: Quantumania. We have literally thousands of Peetimes—from classic movies through today's blockbusters. You can also keep up with movie news and reviews on our blog, or by following us on Twitter @RunPee. If there's a new film out there, we've got your bladder covered.
Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)