How To Behave In The Cinema

Posted: May 10, 2013 in Uncategorized
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The cinema is one of my favourite places. Not a particular cinema, but just the place in general. It’s where you go to be entertained, thrilled, scared, amused, and to forget that once the film’s over you still have six exams to sit, starting in 4 days…shit…

But yes, my point is that I enjoy going to the cinema. Now, I’m not going to launch into some aggressive rant about how ‘cinema prices are too damn expensive’, because it’s been done a thousand times before. No, instead, I’m going to talk about the people in the cinema – not the employees, but the audience members – because it is they who can ‘make-or-break’ my cinema experience.

So what follows is a list of ‘do’s and ‘don’t’s’ of the cinema. Enjoy.

1. If you’re sitting next to someone, establish ‘Arm Rest Rules’ early.

Films nowadays are long. I mean, Django Unchained was about 2 hours 45 minutes. That’s a very long time to be sitting in the same seat for and so, naturally, you are going to want to rest your head. But, lo and  behold, the douchebags sitting next to you have flopped their arms onto the arm rests surrounding you – leaving you to sit through Tarantino’s “How Many Times Can I Fit The N-Word Into One Film?” with no means of resting your neck. *Spoiler Alert* The N-word was used 111 times in Django Unchained.

So, my solution to this is simple: mark your territory early. By which I mean, put your arm on the arm rest (now, don’t use both of them – that’s just being a dick.) as soon as you sit down. That way, any person sitting next to you will see this and think ‘Ah, well this is obviously his arm rest, I think I’ll use the other one’ and the problem is solved.

2. Be considerate about where you put your feet. 

Don’t put your feet either side of the chair in front of you: you look like you’re visiting your gynaecologist.

3. Don’t talk. 

Now, this may seem obvious – you don’t talk during a film. In fact, Cineworld (remember them?) mentioned it in one of their adverts – the one with the Lara Croft-esque woman who beat the shit out of anyone who disrupted the film. See, I have no issue if you want to talk before/after the film, but not during. In fact, if people are even talking through the trailers I get annoyed. There are several sub-points to this one, all involving the issue of talking.

a) Don’t shout ‘tits’ every time someone takes their top off on-screen.

am, believe it or not, watching the same film that you are and so, I am well aware that someone has taken their top off and do not need to be reminded of the fact. The same rule applies to ‘I would’ and ‘Fit’. 

N.B. The same also applies to shouts of ‘no tits‘: I can see that Kiera Knightley has no breasts, and I’m sure you shouting about it won’t help the situation. 

b) Film students, I don’t need to hear your ‘oh-so-ironic’ commentary during the film. 

I swear to God, if I hear the word ‘Kafka-esque‘ at the cinema one more time, I’m going to rip out that person’s throat.

N.B. To any film students reading this, Piranha 3DD is NOT a metaphor for the apartheid – it’s boobs and blood, get it? Boobs. And. Blood. 

c) Learn to laugh. 

If something’s funny, I will laugh. If something is hilarious, I will laugh a little louder. If something is only slightly funny, I will titter. Those are pretty much the 3 standard levels of laughter. People need to learn which ‘laugh’ applies to which situation. I remember seeing ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I’ and when Ron says the line ’10 inches. Nothing special.’ when referring to a wand, that was ‘titter-worthy’. But the person sitting on the row in front had obviously never heard a penis joke before because he was on the verge of wetting himself with hysterical laughter. Heaven help him if he ever saw a ‘Carry On’ film…

4. If you’re watching a 3D film, don’t gasp every time something ‘3D’ happens.

It makes you look like a child.


I’m sure there are probably more things that I can think of concerning the cinema and its associated ‘rules’, but I have an exam to prepare for. If you can think of any more items I can add to my list, just leave a comment.

Till next time,


  1. “if people are even talking through the trailers I get annoyed”

    Wow, I didn’t think anyone else did. What really annoys me is that I’ll show up fairly early to get a good seat and try to pick out an area that’s got some really good distance from everyone . . . and then sure enough, just as the house lights go down, here’s Johnny McDickerton and his crew that come in and plop right in front or directly behind me, still carrying on whatever conversation they were having in the car that got interrupted by their mad breathless dash across the parking lot.

    • Tom Fisher says:

      Exactly! What gets me is the amount of people that arrive late to the cinema. I mean, fair enough there might’ve been traffic, but if the film is scheduled to start at 6:30, why turn up at 7 and talk all the way through?!

      • I’ve even had a poor experience so far this year at the drive-in, which is usually the last bastion to enjoy a film without being too distracted . . . went to see Iron Man 3 last weekend and some family in an SUV in front of us had to keep letting their kid in and out of the car with the push-button key fob — why they had the car locked when they were sitting right there behind it two feet away I don’t know, but I really enjoyed having lights flashing every ten minutes.

        Nice piece — reminds me I have to finish my PSA on the subject . . .

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