The alarm just went off. And they had to clear the building. I’m guessing there is a company rule that nobody should be made to risk their life watching Adam Sandler’s new star-and-a-half rated movie, “Jack and Jill.”

Never go to a $1 movie theater on a Saturday night on a day that’s been cold and snowy; people don’t know what to do until the building catches on fire.

No, no, no, no, no, that’s how rumors start. The theater didn’t catch on fire. The alarm just went off. And they had to clear the building. I’m guessing there is a company rule that nobody should be made to risk their life watching Adam Sandler’s new star-and-a-half rated movie, “Jack and Jill.”

Technically, I wasn’t there to watch that movie. I came for “We Bought a Zoo,” a film that had garnered a three-and-a-half-star rating and had, as it turned out, attracted the attendance of a huge percentage of the population of the community in which I live. Everybody in line was buying “Zoo” tickets.

I managed to get my ticket and went inside where a large crowd was starting to gather. I don’t know how many you need to turn it into a throng, but within minutes it was, appropriately, like a zoo in the lobby.

Normally, I don’t attend a movie at the $1 theater on a weekend night. Usually, only a few people are in any of the several theaters in the complex. I feel like apologizing to the theater people for not bringing along friends.

I’m guessing that’s part of the reason for there being few patrons — the films at a $1 theater already have been seen by many people willing to pay full-price for a movie and keep our economy growing.

The rest of us — economic slackers — wait weeks, often having to put a hand up during conversations about movies and order, “Don’t tell me how it ends.”

Actually, it’s not a $1 theater. A ticket is usually $1.75. And on Friday and Saturday nights movies cost $2.50. But, I call it a $1 theater because one weekday a night the price of a ticket is $1, and that’s the night when I usually go.

As I said, most of the time I go alone because it’s a spur of the moment thing. And, let’s face it, will a guy who has figured out which night is cheapest really be too eager to share a bucket of popcorn?

Still, this particular Saturday night I was standing with a bunch of strangers in a crowd, waiting for previous movie showings to end.

Then the fire alarm started ringing.

You’d be surprised how calm and collected people can remain when they don’t want to lose their place in line.

Sure, people were looking around for flames, but I noticed they didn’t rush for the doors. People kept buying concessions.

“Let us in and we’ll beat down the fire with our coats before it gets the good seats!”

I didn’t say that. I thought it. But, then a theater guy told everybody that he was sorry but we all had to go out to the parking lot. The fire department arrived and quickly inspected the theater. I had worried briefly that they would tarry watching some film that they’d been meaning to see, but they apparently stuck to smelling for smoke.

When we all were allowed back into the theater they let us right in and the seats soon were filled for the “Zoo” flick.

I don’t know how to act when there are people sitting beside me. Do we all share half of the chair arms or do rows of us agree to lean right or left so everybody can rest on a full arm? How do you remember not to stick your hand into the snacks of a stranger?

There are too many decisions when you go to a theater on date night.

Contact Gary Brown at gary.brown@cantonrep.com.