I haven't been to the cinema all that much recently, but whilst on maternity leave I'm getting back into it. You see, I used to go the cinema at least once or twice a week, I was part of a cinema group and an avid moviegoer. But as much as I loved it, my cinema trip this week reminded me of a few things that really grind my gears about the general ignorance of some people when they get into that screen.

Basically, this Oatmeal cartoon sums it up!

Here are my top tips to not p'ing me/other people off:

If you've been allocated seats, sit in them

Because sure as hell the person whose seats those are will want them, and rightly so! I book my seats online to get the best seats I can. I want to be central to the screen, middle to back. I take the time to book them for optimal viewing. And yes, I'm aware how geeky that sounds!

I have moved people out of my seat, often on principle, because if I sit somewhere else the person with that ticket is likely to move me and I'm not into that. I've seen a couple having to move 3 times in one screening because they couldn't just sit in the seats allocated to them. I've also nearly sat on a man's lap after coming in late to a movie, finding my seat, but not seeing him in the dark!

Shut up

Well, at the very least, if you absolutely have to, comment rarely in whispers. The cinema is not your living room, you are not free to speak at full volume the whole way through. It's actually quite expensive to go to the cinema, let people enjoy it. Also, if you're packing audible snacks, wait until the louder bits to rustle that bag or munch loudly, ok?

Stay off your phone

Seriously, you can't sit for 2-3 hours without checking your phone? If it's that important, you probably shouldn't be sitting in a cinema.

Even if you think you're being discreet, you're not. One of my proudest moments was hitting someone's phone from two rows and half a section away with a napkin when they started playing a game halfway through a film!

Keep your feet down

Your footrest is actually the back of someone's chair. If the screen's pretty empty then ok, put your feet up. But if there's anyone in the seats in front, even in the few to either side of it, they don't want you kicking, pushing or sticking your cheesy feet in their face. I've had to tell a grown woman not to kick the back of my chair, it's not just kids that do this!

So there we go! Simples, eh? I think these are pretty basic and obvious forms of courtesy in a cinema, but maybe that's just me! What do you think? Have I missed anything out?


  1. Yep, all of these. As someone who worked in cinemas for years and far too often had to deal with the fallout of people sitting in the wrong seats for sold out shows (try shuffling 300 people around in the dark) the first one is my biggest peeve.

    For the sake of the ushers who are trying to get the screen cleaned in the three minutes between shows, also: leave when the film's over. You don't need to watch the credits. Even if it's a superhero film and you know there's some rubbishy teaser clip at the end of them. And take your empty food cartons with you. And let us know if your child has spewed. Oh, this is turning into a bigger rant than I had intended...

  2. Absolutely yes to all of these. I pretty much always sit in one of 2 seats, no matter which cinema or screen i'm in. If someone's in it, i will get them to move. Had this issue the other day when my friends was running late and might not make the film and a couple came in and sat right next to me when i knew my friend had the neighbouring seat. I had to debate asking them to move when my friend might not turn up, and then i'd look a bit rude, or leaving them til he turned up, which he did, 10 minutes into the film.
    I'm sure there are better places to go to have a conversation but for some reason, a lot of people favour a cinema screen. The worst thing is trying to decide whether to go and complain about them, when you're the one that will have to leave the screen to find staff and then they'll obviously shut up when the staff member comes in, or to just let them slightly irritate you all the way through.

    My other gripe, if you're going to come into the film after it's started, try to get an idea where your seat is first rather than walking halfway up the stairs, stand looking about while blocking peoples view, have a conversation, then decided to go back down and try up the other stairs then sidle along in front of people who got there in plenty of time.

  3. That's true, people coming in late and turning on their phone torch to find their seats too! A member of staff checks your ticket on the way in, get them to tell you where your seat is roughly! I usually just tell people to be quiet to their face, saves me missing any of the film, but obviously that's quite confrontational! I remember the old cinema from my childhood where the usher would come round with a torch and shine it in people's faces if they were too loud!

  4. I always wait for the Marvel clips! But I do always take my rubbish with me :)

  5. I used to tell people to be quiet but when it's busy, if i can't actually see them talk i find it hard to actually narrow down the correct person and don't want to accuse the wrong person.

  6. True, then you'd be the disturbance! :D