A Stressful Cinema Experience

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.

Wrong.

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.

Wrong.

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.

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113 thoughts on “A Stressful Cinema Experience

  1. The frightening part of all of this is that they probably don’t think they were doing anything wrong! When did being considerate go out of fashion?

  2. Been there. Suffered through that. My group has even gotten up and moved more than once BEFORE the movie even started. There’s nothing worse than finding a seat in an almost empty theater and having someone who likes to talk/check their phones/etc come and sit down in front of you when there are a hundred other vacant seats.

    • We do go sometimes on a sunday morning but The Bloke can’t get time off during the week except for the school holidays so there’s never a point where there aren’t kids

  3. People do the same rude things here too. Why would you bring a baby or small children to these places when they can’t be silent? Some adults never grew up to respect others. I agree, stay home for a proper viewing experience. Oh, send a note to the Cinema Management as well. 👍🏻

  4. In the closest city to my house there is a Cinebarre. It’s a theater that has a full bar. At night, it’s a super popular theater of course. But at the noon showing of just about anything you can have the place to yourself. That’s when I go to the movies. LOL

  5. I love imax but I’ve finally learned to avoid 3D. After going to see 5-6 3D films and ending up violently sick after all of them I’ve realised they are kind of like sea sickness or something for me. What a pain!

  6. What happened to you and your husband is why I only go to the earliest film of the day on a Sunday (when many people are in church) or a weekday when most people are at work or children are in school. In fact, many times, I’m the only one in the theater. It’s great. If by chance, it turns out that the theater is crowded I leave immediately and have them return my money on the way out. I complain about the crowd too. I also ask at the ticket booth how full the theater is since they know how many tickets they’ve sold and how many seats there are. If more than half the seats are sold, I leave.

    One of the last times I went to a film in a crowded theater, there was a couple behind us that had a small child that started to complain halfway through the film that he had to pee. The parents refused to escort him to the bathroom or let him go. So they came up with an option and then the mother and father belly laughed as their little boy peed into the empty “GIANT” popcorn bucket.

  7. This is by far the biggest complaint I hear from movie fans – going to the cinema means sharing your love of film with people who like to talk nonstop, packs of kids with nothing better to do, and the nonstop interruption of cel phones , texts and internet surfing…and they all paid to get in! Just as they have special “mothers only” screening for small kids, there should be special “movie lovers only” ones where you can’t bring anything into the theater!

  8. Does not seem judgmental to me. My son and I go to the cinema quite regularly. Fortunately, however, this is a country town and I really have to say that we don’t experience those problems. I did when we lived in Adelaide – although not quite as bad. Anyway, glad no spoilers – we haven’t seen the film yet.

  9. Suzie, I know exactly how you feel. It agitates me when I pay so much to see a movie and shush my kids if they even breathe too loud while the surrounding patrons feel it’s their duty to make as much noise as possible. We now only go on very special occasions and prefer to wait for Sky to release it. It costs us close to £80 to take the whole family – something I refuse to pay when I spend my time there contemplating the painful end to ignorant people instead of enjoying family time out.

  10. Get the bloke to get a day off, go during the day when all the selfish gits are either at work or school! … Try and get meerkat tickets to cut the costs.💜💜💜🍸

  11. Suzie, have I got you sister! I mean, what on earth is it about public places that just makes people forget all their manners? Like I would genuinely like to know!

    I’m sorry you had such a terrible experience, especially at a movie you were looking forward to for so long! Cinemas can be a bit of a hit and miss honestly.

    My partner and I had the same thing happen to us when we went to see Ghost in a Shell. It was a great movie but all I remember about it was being extremely annoyed at the kid that kept kicking our chair! Since that experience we learned to see movies only a month after they come out and never during peak screenings!

  12. I’m not fond of cinema. It’s expensive, and all those people you described go there… 😀
    Occasionally when i end up going, i tend to go later, so the chances of kids are lower. Although, i did encounter kids under the age of 10 on a screening that started at 9pm. I don’t understand how that’s allowed, but whatever, i don’t have to go again, i guess 😀

  13. I am really annoying in a cinema, I rarely get what’s going on and have to ask my cinema companion to explain stuff, I like to sigh a lot at handsome Male leads and romance scenes cause me to squeal. I also eat loudly and make a mess 😎

  14. Totally relate to this. I want ABSOLUTE SILENCE in a cinema but never happens – it’s all eating and talking and rustling. Better off with Netflix although I love the cinema experience (when it’s good) Jx

  15. Such a shame, Suzie. Fortunately, my experiences at cinemas have rarely been bad, and never as bad as the one you’ve described, though we did have a couple close by chatting throughout Black Panther earlier in the year. I was tempted to say something to them at one point, but Ess did tell me afterwards that she was glad I didn’t because she got the impression the bloke would be aggressive. That said, I love IMAX and will usually try to see a movie that’s going to be a “spectacle” in that format – it’s such a brilliant experience. So don’t let it put you off going again. And try to get on the back row – at least you won’t get the dickheads behind you!

    • We’re definitely not going to do that particular IMAX again – we’re going to see if there’s any other cinemas around to check out, and only for the reeeeeally big films…

  16. I would actually put that in writing to IMAX, they used to have a concierge to prevent that. If the cinema got a bad rep, folk will stop going.

    They may let you see it again?

      • Don’t feel bad – it’s much better that you say something, the business puts changes in place and stays lucrative – rather than going down the pan.

        Where I work, were we contract out certain services, we rely on people letting us know if there is a problem so that we can manage the contract properly. You can only do that if you are aware of the problems, so you totally did the right thing x

        Just a shame that your date night was wreaked :/

  17. What a nightmare! The feet on my seat thing would have sent me over the edge. I thought it was bad enough when I went to the cinema the other day & a girl who sat next to me texted throughout the film and she left the sound on her keypad! So all I got was a beeping sound throughout the film., but your cinema trip sounded far worse. People are idiots.

  18. Ugh! There’s nothing worse. I totally agree with you and this same behaviour happens in Australia too. I am more than happy to wait for the movie to come out and watch at home.

  19. Well, this happens almost in all parts of the world…..and I have faced the same so many times in my home city too….some people just can’t be taught manners when they are not aware of it themselves………hilarious post though…:)

  20. This is why I hardly go to the cinema. It’s so expensive and then you get majourly cheesed off when everything happens like in your recent trip. Why can’t people be s not more considerate?

  21. It’s the seat booters that most annoy me. A while back, I had a girl sitting behind me with her feet on the back of my seat (practically resting on my head). Can’t understand why it’s so hard to keep to your own confines!

  22. A privater cinema would be so,so cool!
    Personally, watching Infinity War with a big crowd on opening weekend enhanced the experience, though to be honest, i wasn’t able to fully enjoy the film.
    But that’s another matter entirely…

  23. Oh my. This sounds not at all fun. I’m very disappointed (on your behalf) in the staff and the rules of the cinema house. Where we go they make it clear that everyone gets to enjoy the movie so turn off phones! It’s so disheartening to see people not thinking of others in public spaces. Yes, there are individual needs, but that’s why we have individual homes! When we’re all in the same place together, the right thing to do is be mindful of our impact on others. Sadly, it sounds like you got a lot of the worst of it.

  24. thats a shame. I’ve actually been really lucky in that I can’t remember the last time I had obnoxious people around me in a theater. I never understood those that come in after a movie has already been running for a while

  25. So sorry you had such a bad time! We go to a place called the Silver Spot, which has soft, reclining and LARGE seats, with waiters who bring you food, including cocktails, beer and wine. Thus the movie viewers seem to be a more sedate lot. Our last outing was the Avengers – I have to admit the number of Super Heroes had me confused and I wondered at the end (did you get to actually see the end?) what the point was, other than another movie. But then, I am cynical!

  26. Suzie, this is me as well! I cannot tolerate this kind of behavior when at the movies. And I ask myself over and over, why do they even bother coming to the movies when they are probably being too loud even for themselves to hear anything! LOL I’m with you! Lottery tickets are what I’m going to buy instead of movie tickets for the foreseeable! Hahaha I’m so sorry you and The Bloke had this experience. Cher xo

  27. I’m with you all the way on this one. So many people spend all their time in the cinema on their phones, eating loudly, talking , or continually wandering around. Winds me up so much. I often wonder why on earth theyve bothered going?

  28. This is the worst. It’s the reason why my husband and I don’t go to the movies at night and we don’t go to new movies in the first couple of weeks. Instead we prefer a matinee during the week. Luckily my husband has a day off during the week and going to the movies is one of our day dates.

  29. Oh no. No. The phone dudes? I’d have gone and fetched an usher/employee on them, no warning. And the boot-propper? He’d have got his foot smacked right off my headrest. I’ve done it before, complete with death glare. Oh, they threatened to go fetch an employee on me for touching them, but what are they going to do? Admit that I—the person in the seat in front of them—was able to reach their foot? The only way that’s possible is if you’re behaving like a wild animal, so go ahead and tattle—and take your boots with you! Everyone else in this story gets side-eye and a “shhh!”

    Honey… do you need to take me to the theater with you next time? Not gonna lie, the airfare will be more than I usually pay for movie tickets so you’re buying the popcorn but I’ll make sure everyone in that theater learns how to sit quietly and watch a film.

  30. I totally feel you on this. We don’t go to the cinema often, but when we went a few months ago it put me right off. We had children sitting behind us kicking our seats, people scrunching packets of food. What annoyed me the most was the talking. STOP TALKING!! Why do people have endless conversations during a film?? I just don’t get it! I’m sure you’ll enjoy it more when you watch it at home 🙂

  31. It is because people no longer have any consideration for other people. They think it is their right to do as they please when they please regardless of anyone else. A sad fact of our modern society.

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