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People in cinemas - The Ex-Communicator

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January 12th, 2009


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09:37 am - People in cinemas
I generally don't find audiences in cinemas that much of a problem. I like watching with a big group of people, getting caught up in the emotional reaction. The best cinema audience I ever sat in was in Toronto, funnily enough, watching 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' at some art house cinema - it was hilarious, everyone was oooh-ing and squealing.

But sometimes the audience get on my bloody wick. Watching Defiance it was obvious that some people were just using the film as an excuse to chow down for two and a half hours. Who needs to eat continuously for hours on end? Who sits in the dark, stuffing food into their gawping mouths, with their eyes on people shooting each other? What food do you have to unwrap from crackly paper - every thirty seconds? It can't have been boiled sweets because you wouldn't need another one right away.

Yes, you can see that the constant rustling and chewing set off an irritable reaction in me, which I may be exaggerating for comic effect. It didn't spoil the film though.

(14 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:korintomichi
Date:January 12th, 2009 09:57 am (UTC)
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We don't mind audiences where everyone is into the film and enjoying it together, but have no hesitation telling people to shut up (well, asking them to "please be quiet" initially) if they are talking irrelevant rubbish. We had to do that for The Spirit last week as a couple were talking loudly right from the start. To be fair, we didn't hear a peep out of them after that. With food it's more difficult because the cinema has probably sold them the food. When we saw Chopper we were sitting next to the world's loudest popcorn eater. It's irritating because you start tuning into that noise and missing out on the onscreen action. We generally go to early screenings to avoid audiences, although Defiance at the Showcase was surprisingly packed this weekend.
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From:communicator
Date:January 12th, 2009 10:05 am (UTC)
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It's very rare that I hear people talking during a film - probably only young kids who are there without their parents. I wouldn't like that at all, though my own offspring would forbid me from saying anything.
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From:korintomichi
Date:January 12th, 2009 10:19 am (UTC)
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It's not often that we have to ask people to be quiet (TBH the arts centre usually has the most inconsiderate audiences and it's claustrophobic in there) and it takes a bit of courage for us to do it but we do get so fed up with people just chatting. They don't even whisper. We are always polite when we first ask. If they don't stop we then let them know we are going to tell the cinema;s management - that has generally worked.
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From:communicator
Date:January 12th, 2009 10:45 am (UTC)
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Oh yes - Warwick Arts centre can be appalling, I'd forgotten that. Academics love the sounds of their own voices :-)
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From:azdak
Date:January 12th, 2009 01:06 pm (UTC)
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I think the way people eat in cinemas is disgusting. No one would dream of eating in a theatre, and quite right too. And while I understand that it's the cinema's fault for selling food to them in the first place, I still find it revolting.
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From:communicator
Date:January 12th, 2009 01:09 pm (UTC)
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The bulk of food the guy behind me was eating boggles the mind. He must have got through several thousand calories. I am extrapolating calories from rustling and chewing noises.
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From:azdak
Date:January 12th, 2009 01:48 pm (UTC)
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Yeeuch!
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From:hafren
Date:January 12th, 2009 01:35 pm (UTC)
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It can't have been boiled sweets because you wouldn't need another one right away.

But that's just how these people eat - as soon as one thing is in the mouth, another is taken out of the packet. It's purely mechanical eating, not for need, comfort or pleasure but a sort of habit of the hands. If they weren't porking they'd be smoking.
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From:communicator
Date:January 12th, 2009 01:55 pm (UTC)
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Yes, the mindless habit is part of what annoys me I think. Also, why don't cinemas sell quiet food?
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From:executrix
Date:January 12th, 2009 03:20 pm (UTC)
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azdak: but people DO eat in the theater, that's why they're called Opera Creams! One of the offenses of Matinee Girls was loud sweet-eating. (And trays of tea but that's in the interval.) Of course Victorians used to eat during performances, especially in the halls.

One reason that I very seldom go to the movies is that there's *always* somebody loudly explaining the plot wrong. (I still remember a childhood instance, where one viewer constantly reassured another that they couldn't kill Richard Burton in "The Spy Who Came In From the Cold" because, after all, he was not only the star he was Richard Burton.)

communicator: I read that there is a whole category of obese children who just eat continuously the whole time they're awake and not in a situation (e.g., school) where food is not constantly available.
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From:communicator
Date:January 12th, 2009 04:11 pm (UTC)
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Overhearing bad plot explanations! Sheer torture for a busybody like me. Deliciously awful.

I wonder if that 'eat constantly' thing is an urban myth, though.
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From:vilakins
Date:January 12th, 2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
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And this is why I go the the luxury cinema where the leather seats are in pairs and well away from other rows if the film's a popular one or may attract kids. If not, the local seaside one is fine.

I don't mind shared reactions, but I hate the constant rustling of cellophane bags (which is probably what you could hear--why the hell don't they ban cellophane in cinemas?), the talking, the small of popcorn, and kids kicking the back of my seat. And then there's the occasional infuriating idiots who think it's cool to bring a laser pointer in, and I'm always the one who goes to get management to throw them out.

Re the cellophane bags, when I've occasionally bought sweets in them, I ask for a small drink container to decant them into. That was always OK except for one cinema which wanted to charge me for the drink cup. I told them I was trying to respect their patrons, which they obviously didn't, and they could refund the sweets if they preferred, and they grudgingly gave me the cup. [rolls eyes]
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From:communicator
Date:January 12th, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
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I don't generally go to films where there might be children, and I think if I go to a real kids' film, I have to fit in with their ways. For instance I saw Wall-E in France, in a rainstorm, so the place was packed with little french kids. Literally, there was not an empty seat in the place, and I had a whale of a time.

That's a good idea about the cup.

I had to laugh at people taking in a laser pointer.
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From:vilakins
Date:January 13th, 2009 12:09 am (UTC)
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Kids go to comedies and action films. The worst experience (apart from screaming babies who should be banned, dammit--they must pick up germs in there anyway) was at a Star Trek film years ago when I had to climb into the next row down because the brat behind me (there with his parents) wouldn't stop kicking my seat.

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