Sunday, September 24, 2006

Bina007's Guide to Movie Theatre Etiquette...

Far be it for me to elevate cinema into a Bayreuth closed-doors, hard wooden-benches martyrdom. If you really hate people, just buy a big-ass TV and watch movies at home. But still, is it too much to ask to go to a cinema and simply be able to watch a movie undisturbed? Unlike many of my friends, I don't want to rule the world, or at least govern the UK, but if I ruled movie theatres, this is how it would be done:

1. You can do anything you like while the adverts are running. This can be 25 minutes worth of bilge if you are in a Central London Odeon, so knock yourself out. Makes phonecalls, talk to your mates, make everyone stand up so you can get to your seat.

2. As soon as the main feature starts, NO-ONE should be allowed in the theatre. But as they are, they should at least be polite. Let me give you an example. I am sitting in a movie theatre to see a Bollywood movie. The first twenty rows are completely empty. The back row, which I am sitting in, is fairly full. But there is a space to my right and two space to my left. A family comes in late and the mother says to me "Shift up!". Not, "Do you mind moving one along?" Ordinarily I would have moved, but the gruff rudeness of this command pissed me off, especially when there were rows of empty space in front. Seriously.

3. No-one should be allowed to talk to anyone else. Laughing, gasping with horror, retching etc. are all fine. It's part of the audience experience we all love. And if you are the only two in a screening then all bets are off. But save your high-powered intellectual dissection of the craft till after the show, you moron. Nothing you have to say is so clever and world-changing that it won't survive the wait. I had this with two French guys sitting next to me in the Destricted screening - going on about modern art really loudly. They looked very offended when I asked them to be quiet. Like I had paid to listen to their art-school drivel. I've also sat in movies where one person explains the whole thing to the person they came with blow by blow. The mind boggles.

4. Mobile phone signals should be jammed. I just can't understand why anyone (that's you Nik and Katya) need to send a text or make a phone call during a movie screening. Whatever you have to say just isn't that important. If you were that important you would have a secretary field your calls while you were in the theatre. And you wouldn't be in the theatre anyway. I seriously just do not get why you would spend over ten quid and then not look at the screen. And I find nothing more annoying that seeing little white squares of light in my peripheral vision.

The ultimately insane thing I ever experienced was when a group of teenagers, who could easily have been my idiot younger cousins, came in late to a J-horror movie in the Trocadero. They sat in groups of 3 or 4 dotted around the cinema (which was about 1000 sq ft) and proceeded to call each other on their mobile phones. Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ! I actually fear for the future of this country if we are breeding kids like this. The pay as you go phonecard really is the death of civilisation.

So, all I want to say is this: people, have some courtesy. Treat others as you would be treated. And remember, if you wouldn't do it during sex, then you shouldn't do it in the movie theatre. And if you do make phone calls, talk crap about French philosophy and hassle strangers during sex, then please, please, just get a good DVD rental service.
Thank you.


  1. Amen, sister ... I don't think I'll ever give up on going to the movies, but some people truly do make it hard to enjoy7 ... here in the states, the one thing that would make moviegoing more fun would be the return of USHERS

  2. Gimme and fucking break Bina, I needed to ask someone if it was okay to do ass to mouth with them.

    That's a fucking important question right there.

  3. If you have to ask, you'll never know.

  4. LMAO! For a Christian you really are a pervert Nick!

    I don't mind people talking as long as it's really quiet. When I went to see The Descent with Matt & Pete, just after the car crash at the start Matt leant over & said, "There goes the no claims bonus." That couldn't have waited & it cracked me up so if it bothered anyone I really don't care!

    You should've seen the guys in the cinema when I saw Escape from LA (please forgive me) & SWAT (both times with Pete & Matt again). The former seemed to think the film was real as he kept talking to Snake Pliskin throughout the film ("You get 'em!" etc) & the latter laughed at every single throwaway joke in the film! I don't mind people laughing as long it's fucking funny!

  5. "if you wouldn't do it during sex, then you shouldn't do it in the movie theatre." Classic. Really classic. I'll have to remember this one for the next time I have a moron in the theatre with me.

  6. @Stoogy. Actually I don't mind when people talk to characters. I watched the original Rocky films in my home town which had the largest screen in the UK and a huge Italian population. These people thought the match was for real and they were chanting for Rocky in all the fight scenes. It was classic.

  7. An added problem is cineverminous theatre staff. The type that stand at the back of the theatre and won't tell the noisy teens to shut up because they let them in for free anyways.

  8. "...if you wouldn't do it during sex, then you shouldn't do it in the movie theatre."

    I would never eat popcorn during sex. Think about it lol

  9. There is a special hell reserved for people who talk in the theatre (Ron Glass-Firefly). -I can't remember the exact quote...

    This is classic! So true! And I totally agree!! I'd even take it a step further. Do people really need to stuff their faces with noisy food for two full hours? Just a question!?