The cinema is a wonderful place, for decades it has been a place for people to escape to and enjoy a wealth of different films. Cinemas have changed dramatically since the old days bringing new technology, more snack options and comfier seating with them into the 21st century.
'Newer' and 'more' however do not always ewual better, there has always been an unspoken 'etiquette' when it comes to cinema that has been around as long as the silver screen itself has. I feel that in these modern times that those sacred unwritten laws have been bent and mishapen as time has passed, its time to address the offenders!
I shall hold my hands up and say that when it comes to food I am certainly not completely against it in the cinema environment. Lets examine everyone's favourite buttery (or salted) snack, popcorn!
There is nothing wrong with popcorn in cinemas, it has been a staple of the experience for years and iIdon't want it to ever fade. The problem with this snack though is not the snack itself, rather the way people choose to eat it. We as an audience should choose our chomping moments abit better, maybe stuff handfuls of the sweets stuff into our mouths as Optimus Prime crashes through a building and not when Rachel McAdams is finally going to get her kiss! This eliminates awkward chomping and having to feel the wrath of the dreaded 'shushers' now SHHHHHHH!
There is a more recent snack that should be terminated with extreme prejudice, hot food! How many times have you popped in a DVD at home and though 'gee you know what would go nicely with this? I full blown hot meal'. My local cinema complex is absolutely bursting with different restaurants choices but instead of choosing a nice seated meal before the film starts, individuals decide to gorge themselves on multiple hotdogs before the trailers have even finished. Hot food during the feature is just completely unnecessary. We've all been there, the person in front sits down with some lovely nachos that smell delicious and our tummys rumble, however after 120 minutes of sitting there going stone cold the remainder of this meal begins to fester and makes the whole aisle smell like landfill!
A what about the contraband of cinemas....im talking about sweets and snack brought into the the cinema but not purchased on the premise! THE CHEEK! Personally i feel there is absolutely nothing wrong with this if it is done in moderation. Do the cinema only stock chocolate M&M's but your preference is peanut? Just bring them in! I have dome this countless times and I really don't think after my friends and I have all paid close to £10 a ticket, a 30p bag of sweets is going to make a blind bit of difference.
This should be absolutely zero tolerance, there are different levels of being a cinema goer, you might be a die hard fan or just as casual, but at the end of the day it comes down to one thing and that is respect. Would you use a mobile phone during a wedding reception or a funeral of a loved one?
Although it may be be immediately apparent going to the cinema is a social experience, you are experiencing and being engage in a story among friends. This should be a prime opportunity to just switch off from what ever distractions your phone has you gripped by, just switch off for an hour or 2 two. It's a saddening thing to see some major cinemas actually encourage mobile phone use with the addition of phone based quizzes and competitions, shame on them. If it was up to me I would install airport style security at every cinema to check for mobile devices, if found on thier person the offender would be swiftly taken out the back and given a proper seeing to.
Any budding cinema goer will tell you that 'pre show urination' is essential, especially now we have 20 minutes of adverts and trailers added onto what could be a 150 minute feature! So therefore facilities should be close to hand and not need orienteering experience to find one. I really don't understand why some cinemas insist on making you trudge the halls of thier massive building once the call of nature strikes. Picture this, you are moments from the big finale of a film but need to answer the call, you sprint out of the screening room, down 2 corridors through reception to the nearest toilet, relief..... This is never the case however because for some reason a cinema that can hold close to a thousand people can only provide 4 urinals and 2 stalls, now im waiting in line and will just have to imagine how how the finale pans out. :(
I hope you enjoyed these witterings about the etiquette of cinema and feel free to share with me some of your best and worst memories from a visit to the silver screen, until next time!