Cinema Etiquette

2012-09-04 13:31
Other people can make seeing a movie at the cinema a very unpleasant experience.

Recently a friend and I went to see a movie. The cinema we were in was quite small as it wasn't exactly a blockbuster title.

Upon booking the ticket, I saw about three other seats had been booked and I chose seats where we wouldn't be bothered or bother the other three ticket holders. It's nice to have a seat open for your popcorn, handbag, etc. 

As the trailers begin, a couple come strolling down our row and the lady insists that the seat directly next to mine is hers. Sure, her ticket may say J7 and mine says J8, but the entire cinema is practically empty!

Secondly, I take it she saw the vast space on the seating chart, so why would she book tickets directly next to another couple? 

And then she started humming along to the music...

I just don't get it.

Another friend of mine refuses to sit next to anyone enjoying the cream cheese and chives salt on their popcorn, because "it stinks". Fair enough - no one should have to sit through two hours of Spider-Man feeling like the Green Goblin is hiding out in your nose.

Our new intern David has a list of offences that irk him:

* When a person squishes through the entire row of seats and their seat is closer to the other side.

* When you get to your seat and find somebody sitting there.

* Teenage girls talking as loudly as they can about their love lives while the trailers are playing.

* When a parent puts a child on their lap and obscures the entire screen.

Shaheema, our movies editor who spends a lot of time in cinemas due to the nature of her job, has adopted a more holistic view of the problem:

"The worst thing about going to the movies is the other people in the cinema with you."

She elaborates.

"The people who have a sketchy grasp of personal space, wander in late and spend an eternity looking for their seats, eat cheesy popcorn, suck the very last dregs from their sippy cups of Coke and actually answer their cellphones when they ring!

"But my biggest peeve of them all is anyone so arrogant as to repeatedly kick against the back of my seat as if the thing just absorbs the force of their rhythmic whacking like a sponge. Newsflash: It doesn't."

Kicking against the seats is probably the most universally experienced peeve of them all. Although, if the guy in front of you just answered his phone, I guess you're allowed one thrusty boot against his seat.

What are your cinema pet peeves? E-mail us at with your most outrageous cinema experience.

Even though you risk spending a couple of hours next to an untrained cinemagoer, do check out Katy Perry's 3D movie, Part of Me, as well as the new Oliver Stone flick Savages at your local theatre this weekend.

This one's for the well-behaved, considerate moviegoers who are satisfied with plain salt on their popcorn. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

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2014-01-31 11:38
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