Archive for June, 2012

As a film journalist I normally go to several media screenings a week. Which means that I hardly ever actually go to the regular cinema anymore.

You might think this means I get to avoid the sweet-chomping and incessant chattering that is the multiplex. It doesn’t.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last year it’s that film hacks are just as capable of being thoughtless during  a film as the rest of the public. Like the time I went to see The Artist and someone sitting two seats away from me talked the whole way through. The characters in the film don’t even talk!

Anyway, since anyone and everyone seems in need of advice on the matter of cinema etiquette, I thought I’d lay it down straight. Actually the ever authoritative Debrett’s has already written some guidelines. You can see those ones here.

But dear Debrett’s, you’ve put it so very nicely, with such restraint.  I, on the other hand, have a few things to add.

If these things sound like things you do, please feel free to stop doing them. Immediately.

Or, indeed, to stop coming to the cinema altogether.


 1)     Adverts are not part of the film. Trailers are. Despite the resourcefulness of YouTube, Apple Trailers etc, which now nab trailers the moment they moment they emerge, I still like seeing trailers on the big screen. Especially when they’re for The Hobbit. So please, lady talking loudly about how selfish Becky from work is. Shush.

2)     Eating food quietly at the cinema is hard. Especially since the Odeons and Vues of the world seem to have decided that classic “Cinema Food” should basically consist of the noisiest eats in the world. Nachos and popcorn? I mean, come on.

But if there’s one thing that’s more annoying than people eating loudly, it’s people opening sweet packets quietly. You know, the kind of quiet where it takes someone 50 minutes to open that packet of minstrels they’re trying so hard to do it quietly. Here’s a thought. Open it before the film starts. Wait for a loud bit. Hell, rip it open if you have to, but don’t torture us with your deafening and protracted attempts at silence.

3)     If you have to arrive late, go to the loo, leave early, please don’t stand at the bottom right in front of the screen. You’re obscuring what is somehow always, always, the most important bit of the film. Yes, you, chatty girls who went to the loo three times during The Hunger Games kiss scene and the build-up to it in the cave. You just should not have drunk the extra large coke.

4)     Glancing at your phone, especially a big light-blasting iPhone, during the film is rude. We like the dark abyss of the cinema. It’s one of the reasons we go there.

5)     Talking on your phone during the film is totally unacceptable.
Get out.


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