I’m one of those really annoying people who likes to go to the cinema and actually watch a film.
Strange, I know.
Unfortunately, a seemingly disproportionate percentage of the Birmingham movie-going population haven’t quite grasped the concept.
The other night, The Bloke and I went to watch Infinity Wars (don’t worry, there’s no spoilers). After waiting for over a year and then looking forward to it all week, we decided that (as it would undoubtedly be one of the biggest movies of all time) we would spend more to see it on an IMAX 3D screen for maximum impact, something that we’ve never done before.
The Bloke arrived home as soon as work had finished, we were booked in for the 4.30pm showing and then we decided on the way there to go out for dinner afterwards as a much-needed date night treat.
When we got ourselves seated there were only a handful of people around us. Great, we thought, this is going to be quiet.
The screen quickly filled up as the trailers started rolling. Sitting right next to me were two men who were clearly Marvel fans (their t-shirts giving it away) sharing a small bag of popcorn. This isn’t too bad, we thought.
As the film started, more people continued to flood in. My heart sank when I saw a bunch of kids walk up and sit on the row behind us – they were far too young to see the film and they were carrying epic amounts of sweets and popcorn. A group of loud men sat directly behind me and made it clear that they were making themselves at home by talking loudly and booting our seats as they stretched their legs out.
Half-an-hour into the film, a large bunch of people walked in and eventually sat next to us on the other side after walking on our feet twice because they couldn’t see the seat numbers. They finally got settled… and then got their phones out and started having a chat with each other while on Facebook.
The next two hours were fairly agitating. The man sitting behind me not only was kicking the back of my chair at various intervals, but had also decided put his feet up on the top of it, to the point where they touched my head. The kids with the sweets were rustling bags (they obviously couldn’t get them open) and making comments throughout, the Munchy Twins next to me were chomping popcorn in my ear with open mouths (how can a small bag of popcorn take 2.5 hours to eat between two people?) and the late party were having a lovely time talking about all sorts on nonsense while distracting us with their phone lights. Eventually, The Bloke actually yelled at them to shut up (which is something that he never usually does) and they did. People were constantly getting up to go to the toilet – one woman in particular stood up in front of me for a lengthy period of time when she returned from her little sojourn as she was apparently have difficulty adjusting her trousers, one guy walked all the way across in front of the screen to get back to his seat…
…all for the bargain price of £31.00.
And I hate to say it, but it sort of ruined what was an incredible film to the point where we decided that we would probably enjoy it more the second time round when it is released on iTunes and we can watch it at home in peace.
Admittedly, I’m aware that I potentially sound rather judgemental – everyone has their own individual needs – but this experience can be added to a long list of things that I’ve had to deal with when going to see a film in the city: screaming babies and young children, conversations, music, people talking on their phones, a couple making out next to us so loudly that we could clearly hear slurping sounds over the dialogue, people throwing food, a woman yelling ‘Amen!’ really loudly after every impassioned speech in one particular film… There’s never any staff around to stop it, and I’m always reticent to ask people to shut up as you never know how aggressive they are…
All I need is a lottery win so I can have my own private cinema at home. Until then, I think I’ll stay away for a while.