Earlier today Telegraph critic Robbie Collins posted a cinema etiquette guide. Familiar rules & gripes but I’m re-posting with my own comments and exceptions:
1. Keep talking to a minimum; save the chat for after the film. Wells comment: No shit?
2. Enjoy your treats quietly; keep rustling to a minimum. Wells comment: The fault here is with the decision of candy manufacturers to package their junk in noisy plastic bags. Theatre owners could decline to sell candy packaged this way.
3. No Public Displays of Affection. Wells comment: Back in the days when there were balconies, theatres were the only dark places that kids could afford to make out in. If balconies still existed, my rule would be no PDAs in the orchestra.
4. No mobile phone use until after the film including texting, social networking and internet surfing. All phones should be switched off or turned to silent so they don’t interrupt others mid-film.
5. Keep feet off chairs — your fellow cinema goers have to sit in them. Wells comment: I once saw a young Hispanic beefalo in baggy shorts with his large, unpedicured bare feet plopped on a seat in front of him at the AMC Empire. I took one look and decided not to even sit in the theatre. Foul.
6. Arrive on time and no getting up to go to the toilet. Wells comment: I agree about bathroom breaks but c’mon, with theatres selling those 16 oz. and 32-ounce containers of syrupy Coke…? Call of nature.
7. No removing of shoes — keep your foot odor confined to your shoes. Wells comment: I like to remove my shoes while watching, but I do this knowing there are no odor issues whatsoever. I always shower before going out and wear clean socks, and I don’t wear stinky cross-training shoes (always leather loafers), and I always sprinkle a little talcum powder in the required areas.
8. No littering — take your leftovers with you. Wells comment: I don’t care about wrappers and containers being left on a theatre floor. If a theatre is going to sell this crap, it’s their obligation to clean up.
9. No plot spoilers — don’t ruin the movie ending for others by posting on social media. Wells comment: It’s bad form to spoil during the first two or three weeks, but after that all bets are off. After three weeks you can post anything you want on Twitter, any time you want. Spoiler whiners just need to avert their eyes. They wouldn’t have a problem in the firsg place if they weren’t so slow in getting to theatres and seeing the new films. Take responsibility.
10. Allocated seating — no sitting in other peoples pre-booked seats. Wells comment: If you come in late you forfeit your reserved seats. I’m sorry but that’s the penality for arriving after the film has started.
Extra Wells Rule: If you’re coming in late, stand over to the side while your eyes adjust to the darkness. No standing in a group like bewildered wildebeests in front of people trying to watch the screen.