Last night, while the majority of the nation watched the Jubilee Concert full of legends of music singing off key, I along with a handful of others sat in a cinema and watched Men In Black 3.
I have learnt quite a few lessons about going to the cinema so far this year;
The Avengers – ALWAYS sit on the back row so that pesky teenagers can’t kick the back of your chair.
Dark Shadows – It is actually quite lovely to sit next to an aging hippy who wreaks of cannabis during a film about the 70s.
Men In Black 3 – Children as young as what looks like ten years old now have smart phones and proceed to text throughout entire films: my children will have their phones confiscated if they EVER do this.
I can understand why people go on social media sites and text people before the film begins. That’s fine. The lights haven’t yet dimmed, everyone is talking, I’m considering whether I need to go to the toilet or not (the bladder training I did for Lord of the Rings is beginning to ebb) and the cinema screenings before the film are so packed full of adverts that it makes me want to cry. Last night I actually forgot why I was there and just when we all thought the film was about to start on came yet another advert. So I honestly don’t mind. As long as you put your phone away when the film begins and NOT DO bring it back out.
A warning to all those people who use their phones while waiting for a film to begin; if you go on Facebook and look at photos then the people in about five rows behind you can all see them! Last night I pondered over the wedding and baby photos of the friends of the man in front of me.
Going to the cinema has become an unpredictable worry. While I love seeing films early and on the big screen, I resent the fact that it costs so much to sit down amongst strangers for two to three hours and be distracted and annoyed by chairs being kicked, phones being checked, people talking and children not being controlled (not to mention the horrible air conditioning that always leaves me with a sore throat).
So I have devised these rules when going to the cinema (if I had my own and, god willing, one day I will win the lottery and open a cinema just for the respectful film goer to watch films in peace);
1. PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY!!!!!
2. If you have to check your phone for the time then you are obviously bored. Just get out.
3. Under NO circumstances take or make a phone call during the film – I never actually thought this happened. I never thought anyone would be this rude but it happened to me very recently. It happens, make sure it isn’t you because I assure you everyone can hear you and will be listening angrily.
4. If you take your children to see a film and they get bored, either keep them out of the way of people (last night one boy was left to stand in front of some seats meaning that other children couldn’t see the screen) or take them home.
5. Children should NOT be allowed smartphones. Sorry, I mean, children should NOT be allowed to use their smartphones during a screening.
6. Teenagers, this one’s for you; do NOT put your feet up on the chairs in front of you. I don't want your stinking trainers beside my face.
7. NO burping or farting! It's not big and it's not clever. Save it for later. Going to see American Pie The Reunion is no excuse and definitely no bringing a load of beer and food into the screening and then burping and farting your way through the film while talking and eating noisily (yes, we had this happen to us and they were sat right behind us).
8. No talking. Unless there’s an emergency or a small child needs the toilet, there is no need for it. This includes no commentating (during Jurassic Park 3 we listened as one girl narrated the film. ‘Ooh,’ she said to her boyfriend as the tank with the velociraptor’s head comes into view, ‘that one’s real.’ Yes, of course it is now SHUT UP!) and no giving away parts of the film just because a. you’ve seen it before or b. you’re a fan of the book.
9. Teenagers who sit in the comfy leather seats that cost more without the appropriate tickets are idiots (yes, this is a rule). You get there early, sit where you shouldn’t and the cinema fills up. Just as there are only a few crummy seats at the front left, people who have paid for the seats you’re sat in come and turf you out. Now you have crap seats when you could have had great ones.
Surely these are all logical and not too much to ask? I’m not asking people to be quiet in their eating of popcorn or to never go to the toilet (neither of which I mind at all). I don’t mind children getting up and wandering about as long as they keep quiet and don’t obstruct anyone’s view (a couple of kids got up and wandered around during Dark Shadows, not a problem).
It wouldn’t take a lot for people to just respect the presence of others to make going to cinema a much more enjoyable experience.
By the way, Men In Black is awesome. If you love the first film then it’s a must see.
Have you had any horrible cinema experiences? Leave a comment below, or (I know some people have been having difficulty with this) on Facebook or Twitter; @JENice84 using #mycinemacode.