When a lady attends the theater with a man, she observes these guidelines:
- If there is an usher on duty, the lady follows the usher first down the aisle, with her escort in the rear.
- Where there is no usher, the lady follows her escort down the aisle and enters the row first.
- A lady always sits farthest from the aisle, with the man taking the seat nearest the aisle.
- When slipping past people in the row, a lady faces the stage and presses as close to the row in front of her as possible, being careful not to drag anything (purse, coat, etc.) over the heads of the people seated in front of her.*
- Before she passes in front of someone, a lady says, "Excuse me," and then, "Thank you." If she should happen to step on a toe or bump anyone, she says, "I'm very sorry."
- After she has been seated, a lady turns her legs to allow a person to pass in front of her.
- A lady keeps her belongings in her lap or under her seat to keep the space in front of her clear for others to pass.
- A lady does nothing to disturb another's ability to enjoy the performance.
- As a general rule, a lady precedes a man up the aisle after the performance. If, however, there is a crowd and the man can make the lady's way easier by going first through the throng, he takes the lead.
*In Europe it is considered good manners to face the back of the theater when passing.
Photo: Fox Theatre, Detroit, found on Pinterest