Cinema Etiquette

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We’ve all been there when you’re sat in the cinema, enjoying a good film – or maybe not enjoying the film – and someone does something that niggles you. And it niggles you until the time where the credits roll. I’m sure we’ve all been participants of bad cinema etiquette ourselves but here’s my guide to effective cinema etiquette.

  • Phones off
    You’re in the middle of a tense part of an action or thriller and suddenly you see a flashing light. Was this part of the script? Did they envision this in the screen play? Is it the main character battling to save his life with the use of a light? No. It’s someone. On their phone.
    I’ve once had it whereby someone had a full on conversation about how bad they thought the film was.. in the cinema.
    The only exception to this is when you want to know the time. And even then – a sneak peek will do.
  • Shut up
    I don’t care what you did yesterday or what you’re doing tomorrow. I’m here to see what Spiderman is going to do when Mary-Jane needs saving not listen to what colour you’re going to paint your nails next week.
  • Food
    My stance on food are as follows; if it’s hot and it smells bad – don’t eat it. If it’s hot and it smells good – don’t eat it (it’ll make me hungry. I’m here to watch a film not to guess whether you’ve got nachos or a hot dog). No rustling food. Or if you have rustling food, open it before the film starts – nobody wants to hear you munching your way through a giant packet of popcorn or minstrels.

  •  Moaning
    People that moan about the film. You are not a film critic. You are merely a viewer. If you dislike the film that much – tell your pal after or walk out. I don’t want to hear your complaints.
  • Sit in your own seat
    You may have been a tight film-goer and not paid for premiere seating (as I’m sure most of us haven’t) but it doesn’t mean you have to be sidled into someone’s planned and proposed seat. You are given a ticket with numbers and letters and are assigned this space in the cinema screen. They even let you choose a seat nowadays… so why must you still feel the need to slip in somewhere else? It’s not only awkward for you, it’s awkward for the person whose seat you’ve taken. Now pack your bag and jog on.
    Acceptable circumstances: the 5 minute frame after the film has started. If they’re late, they’ve missed out too much to warrant having their seat in the first place.
  • People who have already seen the film – and tell you their favourite bits
    “OH WATCH THIS BIT… WATCH IT… IT’S SO FUNNY!”
    Is it though? Is it really? I’m trying to watch it and trying to find the humour but unfortunately preempting it has ruined the joke.
  • Kids
    If they’re not old enough not to talk, cry or scream through it – don’t take them.
  • Staring at other people whilst they react to the film
    Me and my friend, who have very loud laughs, were watching a comedy. We laughed at a hilarious point and found people staring at us as though our reaction was inappropriate. Yes, if we had laughed when King Kong died then you have full right to look at us like we’re heartless but, giving the reaction is fitting, then concentrate in your own enjoyment of the film and keep your eyes to yourself!
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