Wednesday 19 March 2014

Flick Chicks guide to Cinema Etiquette

This is an odd post, I will grant you that but it is something I am VERY passionate about!!  I go to the cinema ALOT, I love it.  It's my happy place :-)  I have a card that I pay £15 a month for that allows me to go as many times as I want and I get 25% off food - this makes me very happy :-)

However, one thing that can really rile in me in the cinema is a lack of what I call 'cinema etiquette', rules that I think should be posted all over the cinema for everyone's benefit but they aren't.  I consider the following to be the worst cases:

1.  The screen tells you before the film starts to turn off your phone and I understand that no one does this anymore, I don't even do this in case there is an emergency.  However, just because your phone is on does NOT constitute checking it every 30 seconds for a message or having a long text conversation throughout the film.  Does no one understand that the light from a phone is as annoying as a ring tone.  Plus why are you texting if you are supposed to be watching a film?  Surely you can't really be enjoying it if you are texting 'How's u?' to Joe Bloggs throughout it!  The worst case of this I have seen was a teenage girl in the cinema watching The Impossible, what I consider to be one of the most poignant and emotional films I have seen and I thought it was gripping from beginning to end.  However, the young girl in front of me apparently thought different and at the *SPOILER ALERT* key scene where they children see their brother and dad and run towards them in such an emotionally charged scene I had to restrain the urge to cry out loud, she decided to check her Facebook account, you know to see what's going on in the world - my dear this film is what's going on in the world!!

2.  Kicking the seat in front, putting your feet up on the back of someone chair and tapping your foot on the floor making the whole row of seats shake!  Irritating at the best of times and worse when you highlight to said person that it is irritating or stare in their direction for a while but they just continue, why?  Do you have a nervous twitch?  If so I can let you off but most of the time it's rebellion or boredom in which case, piss off home and put your feet up on the back of a chair there or kick the back of your sofa, oh that's right you would feel no need to do that at home, so why at the cinema? Why when there are 90 other people around trying to watch a film and not be rocked to sleep by your incessant twitching.  A young man in the cinema while seeing Les Miserables reminded me how bad this can be, he clearly did not what to see the film but had been dragged along so he twitched his leg for the first hour, finally I started glaring at him to let him know that it was irritating me.  To which he smiled at me and continued through the entire 3 and a bit hour film.  He did it because he knew it was annoying me and it he had nothing better to do because he didn't want to watch the film, then don't go to the cinema and ruin the experience for everyone else!


3.  Popcorn diving!!  This drives me up the wall.  People who insist of digging and diving through their giant bag of popcorn to get the popcorn at the bottom of the bag...why?  why?  The popcorn at the top is the same as the popcorn at the bottom, it has all come from the same machine.  In fact if anything the popcorn at the bottom is worse because the kernels that haven't popped are heavier therefore drop to the bottom - ready in waiting to break your teeth when you have run out of good popcorn!!  So WHY would you dig to the bottom to get that, is it just to make the noise?  Also when offering your friend some popcorn, you can gently tap them and lean tha bag towards them, common sense states that they will understand and take some if they want some or silently wave it away if they don't.  Oh no there are the lovely people who persistently shake the popcorn at their friends 'do you want some' shake it again, and again.  They silently wave the popcorn away suggesting they don't want any but no 'persistent man' must insist that you have some - therefore continue to shake it in their face for the remainder of the movie...that little gem ruined Life of Pi for me!!

4.  Talking!!!!! I have put this last because it is my biggest issue with cinema goers!!  Why go to the cinema and talk through the film, go to the pub if you want to talk - you are in the wrong place!!  Worse still people who talk through the trailers and when you ask them to be quiet they say 'why the films not on yet!' I don't know about anyone else but I go to the cinema not just to see the film but for the whole experience, that my friend, includes the trailers - which I might add are my favourite part of the whole experience! I want to know what I'm coming to see next, I do not want to know what so and so said about so and so on Facebook and how this effects the people sitting behind/in front/near me in the cinema! Nor do I to hear whether you have figured out what film that actor was in before this or if that is in fact the monkey from friends in The Hangover Part 2 - what I want to do is watch the film in the quiet and then maybe go for a drink afterwards and discuss the parts you didn't get or who that actor was...I do NOT want to hear this throughout the film - whether you're my friend or not!!  In fact if you are my friend it's worse because at this point I am embarrassed to be sitting with you and also trying to tell you to shut up without talking myself and being the person I hate.  It's a tough call but I have established the best plan, I no longer go to the cinema with any of my friends who are guilty of disastrous cinema etiquette, therefore avoid the awkward situation entirely.

The reason I was prompted to share this little rant of mine was this:  As a Premium Unlimited member of Cineworld with my dad we get advanced screenings of certain films before they come out on general release.  Therefore everyone in that screening are also card holders, so I foolishly thought, these people are all regular cinema goers and will be the creme de la creme of cinema etiquette.  Oh how wrong I was, in fact this group of people were the worst I have ever come across collectively in one screening - everything I have mentioned above was present as well as chomping, fools who came late so had to sit apart so had to shout various requests 'pass the popcorn' 'do you have the water' across the 2 rows and 6 chairs and late arrivals!!

I love this post so much! I completely agree with all of these points and it does make you think sometimes. When cinema tickets cost so much these days (£8.50 now for a standard 2D film at my local) why are there people like this that go?

My number 1 gripe is lateness. I'm a ODEON go-er so we don't have an unlimited card, so I rely heavily on Orange Wednesdays. It's no secret that there are more adverts on before a film on Wednesdays than any other film, and at its worst you can wait 30 minutes before your film actually starts! So it drives me crazy when the lights have gone down, the film has started, and then you get a phone torch blinding and distracting you whilst people are trying to find left over seats. The very worst was during a particularly gripping film when the cinema staff turned the lights back on for a group of 6 people to find a seat! You can literally be 30 minutes late and still get a seat before the film starts, so I swear these people do it deliberately!

I think we would both really love to know if any of our readers have anything else to add to this list? 

Definitely, readers share your thoughts on Cinema Etiquette, we would love to hear them and more than likely agree with them!

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