Future Voices: Cinema goers should abide by code of conduct - and keep schtum

PUBLISHED: 13:00 25 April 2017

Cinema City, Norwich.

Cinema City, Norwich.

Archant © 2011; 01603 772434

Many people love going to the cinema.

It is a wonderful pastime which engages the mind and, if it is the right film, also engages the soul. I, too, love going to the cinema. But I also hate it with a passion.

When I enter the cinema I change: My general open-mindedness vanishes and I become a strict and militant observer of not just the film, but also my surroundings.

I simply cannot enjoy the film when phone screens are flashing to the left and right of me, some obnoxious family is munching on what appears to be a fat-drenched three course meal ahead of me, and a couple chat endlessly behind me (the man thinks he is the next Lee Mack. He is not).

I had a recent experience watching Arrival, an excellent film, where I had to shout down to a group of three girls to put their blasted phones away.

They were, get ready, taking pictures of themselves… with the flash on. Can you get more vacuous and supercilious?

Maybe, but they are up there for me.

My friends awkwardly burst into fits of laughter, which they did well to keep muted.

“Don’t ever do that again,” they pleaded.

However, after leaving A Cure for Wellness, where the people in front of us were constantly checking Facebook on their bright phone screens, the same friends said: “Damn, I really wanted you to say something to them actually.”

I can’t win.

You have to ask yourselves, though - who is sad enough to have to check their phone so often?

Add in the factor that you would have to be mind-bogglingly arrogant to do so at the cinema and it seems impossible to even consider, to me at least.

Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo, who host BBC Radio 5 Live’s film programme, are the arbiters of such misconduct and have thus compiled the famous Code of Conduct. They echo the above, stating:

• No mobile phone usage. At all.

• No eating… Nachos cause special offense and are of the devil.

• No talking… no-one has paid £8.50 to hear your director’s commentary on the movie. Just sit down and shut up.

A link to the Code of Conduct can be accessed here (advised).

Brush up on this sacred text, test yourself on it, and be a good person. Enjoy the cinema in a way that others can enjoy, too.

• What do you think of the Code of Conduct? What, if anything, annoys you when you go to the cinema? Comment below.

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