At the beginning of this year, apparently like most people in the world, I ventured to the cinema to see La La Land, and yes, whilst it was amazing it is not the point of this post. I’ve always loved movies and cinema but I’ve long stopped getting dressed to enjoy my slice of Hollywood. And not because I don’t want to. But as a poor student I always chose that next bottle of vodka over an extortionately priced ticket. Like many in my generation, I favoured online film watching; the comfort of watching whatever you wanted in sweat pants, in bed, eating pizza. You remember the golden days before Netflix blocked VPNs? Why would you ever get showered and go the cinema? But I’ve recently decided I’d like to start going the cinema more frequently. Call it the adult in me since graduating. I’m trying to navigate proper society now and apparently that means you have to leave the house. Who knew? But in my expeditions so far to a variety of Odeons, Vues and independent cinemas I’ve noticed something quite distressing. People are annoying. And for a select few it seems no one has ever taught them how to behave in civilised society.
Watching a movie in public shouldn’t be difficult. Or am I just being naïve to assume everyone’s parents gave them good manners like mine? And we all know the irritating culprits. The ones who slurp their drinks, munch their popcorn, rustle their wrappers, check their phones, repeatedly go the toilet, kick people’s chairs and worst of all, the ones who decide the climax of the movie is the best, most suitable time to have a heart-to-heart with their friend. Plain and simple, mate. People are stupid.
So what is simple cinema etiquette? Couldn’t be more simple. Act like a functioning, polite being, not a neanderthal. Make the journey to your chair with minimum disruption to others around you and zip that mouth from the second the lights go down until the moment the credits roll. The expected polite laugh or silent cry is allowed. If you’re a loud eater, please satisfy your hunger before or after the showing. If you need the toilet constantly or at least once within a two hour period, sit on the end. If you feel the need to get your phone out of your pocket then please do, place it under your foot and stamp on it. You’re doing us all a favour really. And if you want to kick someone’s chair, sit on the front row where you won’t be tempted. If you don’t want to sit on the front row because the view is terrible and neck-breaking then learn to act like a grown up and maybe you can come back to the top.
If you think you can adhere to these easy human niceties then please come to the cinema often and enjoy the film. If not, I guess you can watch a bad pirate copy online and when the black silhouette stands up to go the bathroom and you moan just remember that’s why you’re sat at home, alone.
What You Know – Two Door Cinema Club (See what I did there?)