After a few recent visits to the cinema I was reminded of all the good things I love about the big screen; the beautiful colour, the immersive sound, the smell of the popcorn when you walk in, the trailers and that afterglow you get as you leave.
Sadly I was also reminded of all the bad things when visiting the cinema. I happened across a video blog by Mark Kermode & Simon Mayo who highlighted the etiquette required by all who go to the cinema and thought I would expand on their Wittertainment’s Code of Conduct. It’s not enough to state what the conduct is, I feel it is important to rant on about the idiots who make this kind of guide necessary.
Please feel free to disagree with everything I say and never contact me about it, as that will prove you are one of the morons who doesn’t understand what the cinema is for.
You’ve queued, bought your ticket, emptied your bladder and bought enough food to feed Brazil and now you’re in the cinema chowing down on your scoff and watching the adverts. This is all fine. Enjoy. I don’t understand why you need so much food when you’re only watching a movie that roughly lasts 2-3 hours, but what the hell, everyone likes a tasty snack right? So why do people insist on munching loudly when the movie starts? Surely the meagre portion of nachos should have been eaten in the 30 minutes of adverts and trailers?
There’s nothing worse than listening to a movie and hearing the person next to you chomping away on something crunchy. I recall a time about a year ago when half way through the movie I heard the guy next to me start munching his way through a tray of nachos. I glanced sideways at him and felt a mixture of anger and pity. This total moron was shovelling nachos into his mouth like it was his last meal. I would have asked him to stop eating but he cleared the entire tray in a few minutes. But it was enough to make me angry and that smidgen of distraction was what I remembered when I left the cinema.
In short – crunchy food is bad. No one wants to hear any food being chewed up inside your ignorant gob.
Why does anyone need such a huge drink for a 2-3 movie? So you like your popcorn salty, or your nachos make you thirsty, or maybe that unnecessary hotdog needs washing down. Perhaps the recycled air in the cinema dries your precious throat and you can’t wait a few hours to drink. Whatever your reason for throwing litres of carbonating junk down your throat, you could spare an iota of thought for other people when you get down to the bottom of your giant cup of soon to be urine and avoid slurping.
Your massive drink should be enough to last you an entire movie! When at home do you chug down 2 litres of pop whilst watching a DVD? Thought not. And if you do then maybe you should go see a doctor. Your thirst should be quenched, more than quenched – your Quench-O-Meter should be maxed out. So why do you insist on squelching around the bottom of your cup for the watered down remnants of your beverage? It’s just icy water by now, so if that’s what you really wanted then why not ask for a cup of ice instead of fizzy pop?
In short – at the first sign of slurp, stop drinking. And don’t even attempt to move the straw around and make that nasty squeaky sound.
It makes no sense for the cinema to sell anything that creates such noise. But they do and therefore it is your responsibility to avoid making that pack of sweeties sound like a tornado of irritation. I’ve been watching movies where the person behind me has done nothing but rustle and scrunch their little pack of sweeties like a dog chewing on a tramps foot. At one point I was so infuriated with the noise that I turned and asked them to stop making such a racket. And you know the funny thing? They gave a look as if I were mad!
Adults should know through experience what makes a noise annoying, therefore they should be acutely aware of their noisy actions when in the cinema. But they don’t. For some the entire experience of sitting in a cinema is lost on them and they assume because they burrow their hands into crisps packets and crinkly bags of sweeties when at home, it’s perfectly natural to do it at the cinema! Wrong. These people are ignorant and rude.
In short – if you can’t reach that last handful of M&M’s without screwing your hand down the bottom of the bag then just wait till the movie has finished. Not too much to ask is it?
You know that any movie with a 12A or lower rating is going to be an annoying few hours. We recently saw Harry Potter and the Dirty Harry’s. We arrived a little late (just as the trailers started) so took seats at the front. Not my ideal location but that’s the price you pay for being late. We sat down and in the seat next to me a girl around 9 sat down on her own. I felt a bit sorry for her. The cinema was packed so she was separated from her family & friends. A few minutes later a woman (presumably her mother) stuck her head between us and said: “You’re bound to be scared by this film and I don’t think this gentleman is going to hold your hand, so come and sit with us. NOW!”
The girl left with her mummy much to my relief. I didn’t fancy being disturbed every few minutes by someone crying or ducking behind her oil drum sized popcorn bucket. But all too often you’ll see very young children being dragged along to a movie they either have no interest in or don’t have the maturity to understand or deal with. And so many times I see some young kid being dragged out by their mum to visit the toilet, and not just once either! I jest ye not when I say during Avatar I watched the same kid go out 4 times!
In short – get a babysitter and don’t force your tiny infant bullshit on the rest of us.
I have actually seen someone doing their knitting in the cinema! WTF! There is no reasonable explanation anyone can give for bringing along a bag of knitting and clacking away throughout a movie. I don’t care how in to your hobby you are, leave it at home. Can’t you live without it for a few hours? I don’t care if you’re knitting your way through 10 hats and scarves for the orphans at the Orphanarium, do not bring that business into the cinema.
No one should be brought out of the story by your hobby. There should be someone watching the audience on camera and when they spot anyone working on their hobby they should be forced to refund the people sat front/back/left/right and diagonally to them.
In short – hobbies stay at home. Bring them to the cinema and I’ll wedge them where the sun doesn’t shine.
At home you can pause the DVD as many times as you like but in the cinema you shut your noise hole and watch the film. I don’t want to hear your thoughts about the direction, the sound quality, your opinions on the actors other movies which might have been better/worse and I certainly don’t want to hear you explaining anything to anyone. If the person next to you doesn’t get IT then maybe they should stay at home and watch Dora The Explorer.
You are in a public place and you should have the decency to allow other movie goers who have paid £8.50 the chance to watch the movie without your constant drone. Is it so hard for you to keep your voice box inactive for a few hours? All you need to do is sit down, STFU and shovel handfuls of popcorn down your gullet. If you want to say something, here’s an idea, wait till the movie has finished. Then you can say what the hell you like and those around you can choose to ignore you.
In short – Keep your gob shut. No one wants to listen to your pathetic voice.
Here’s an idea – instead of waiting until the overly kind ‘request’ for people to turn off their phones comes on the screen, why don’t you just turn off your phone or whatever other glowing gadget you have secreted about your person when you buy your ticket? You can’t be that stupid to forget each and every time you are sat in your seat with the lights dimmed, that you ‘forget’ to turn off your shit, can you? When you start mucking about with that tiny screen in your lap you might as well stand up and announce in a loud voice: “I’m an ignorant tit and I don’t care how much you paid to see this film, I’m going to tap away on this bit of technology because I simply can not live without it for a few hours. Help me.”
Put your PDA away. You don’t need a games machine. You can live without texting/twittering/facebooking for the duration of the movie. Nothing is that important, unless you have a family member close to death, in which case why are you watching a movie? In a few short hours you can whip out your toy and bash away to your heart’s content, until then if I see your thumbs moving on that screen I’ll be tempted to break them off.
In short – the only screen you need concern yourself with is the giant one right in front of you.
What’s the matter? Bum gone numb? Are your legs 14 feet long and don’t fit into the gap between your chair and mine? Has my chair back insulted you? Can’t you keep your child from swinging his legs? Oh I’m sorry, I was just rearranging my arms and I accidentally hit you in the face! Seriously, most of us can sit in front of a PC for hours without moving, so what’s the difference between that and the cinema? You are not at home trying to curl up on the sofa. You are not stretching out so you can stick your hand down your pants for comfort. Get control of yourself.
There is plenty of space right in front of you for your legs and feet. If you genuinely have long legs then sit at the front or take an aisle seat. Kicking someone’s chair back is like being in a restaurant and knocking the back of your soup spoon against the guy’s head sat on the table next to you. If you have problems keeping still then perhaps you should seek help or avoid going to the cinema at all.
In short – kick my chair and I’ll kick your balls, seems quite fair.
The lights have dimmed and the trailers have started. Anytime after this point you arrive late then you shouldn’t really be allowed in. In fact the inconsiderate dork on the ticket counter shouldn’t even sell you a ticket. I can not stand it when someone nudges past me with a very unapologetic: “Sorry but can I just quickly squeeze by?” Er…no, you can’t. Why don’t you just piss off and wait outside and let everyone else who could be bothered to show up early watch the movie in peace. Everyone else here managed to arrive roughly at the same time, but you couldn’t manage that. Maybe you need to look at your lifestyle dude!
I have been guilty of being late once or twice for a movie, but I paid for it by sitting right at the front and suffering neck ache later. Years ago I remember watching one of the LOTR movies and a woman came in late. She dragged 2 kids behind her, all the way along the row past me. Lots of fidgeting, removing of jackets, popcorn being handed around, arguments over drinks, screw Gandalf and his epic speeches because someone didn’t get their ice-cream. Back out she went. Ice cream in hand she came back. About 30 mins later she took one of her sons out because he needed to go pee-pee. Before the movie was over both sons had been to the toilet and probably missed at least 40 mins of the movie.
In short – arrive late, do us all a favour and see something else.
I was in Starbucks the other day. I had a hot chocolate, took a window seat and removed my Nike trainers. I kicked them to one side and put both of my smelly feet on the table next to business man who gave me a mouthful of obscenities before throwing coffee in my face. Weird, I thought. So when I was on the train later and I placed my smelly socked feet on the table the woman opposite me shouted and slapped my face. Later that evening I was in the cinema…yep, someone broke my nose for dangling my stinking feet over their chair.
That was a story to illustrate a point. You wouldn’t take off your shoes in any other public place so why do you morons think it is perfectly acceptable to submit other movies goers to the stench of your rotten sweaty feet? If you really want to watch the movie without your shoes on then wait till it comes out on DVD and watch it at home.
In short – keep your disgusting body odor to yourself – and take a bath.
These clear and simple guidelines for watching a movie at a cinema were created by Mark Kermode & Simon Mayo. You can view the Wittertainment’s Code of Conduct by clicking here.