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Whatever happened to enjoying the movie going experience?

by Parm Mann on 23 November 2007, 15:48

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Enjoy the rant, no talking please.

The cinema is a place for us all to go and enjoy the latest movies. At a small fee, the cinema is in my estimation one of the cheapest and easiest ways to get a couple of hours of great entertainment conveniently.

With new cinemas popping up frequently, there's never one too far and with big name releases around every corner, there's rarely a shortage of something new to see. However, are the minority ruining the experience for the rest of us?

I like to visit the cinema on a regular basis, I've always been a movie enthusiast and I enjoy the simple things. A warm bag of popcorn and a two-hour fantasy flick is all I need to enjoy a nice evening. Others it would seem don't feel the same way and more often than not, I'll find I'm sat in a cinema with a few other people who simply aren't there to watch the movie. They're either just out to socialise or they've mistaken the bright screen and loud noises for a nightclub. A common mistake I'm sure.

As a result, I thought I'd taken a moment and list my "Top 5 annoyances when visiting the cinema"

  1. Talking. I don't mind the occasional whisper, you may sometimes need to explain a scene to a friend. You may even need to exclaim "oooh that was good". But, there are those who talk throughout the movie about last week's football results. Got to be ranked #1, easily the most annoying.
  2. Late entrances. A late entrance isn't a grand entrance at all. Not only do late arrivals disturb your viewing, they then spend a good ten minutes trying to find a seat in the dark. If you're not careful, they'll tread on your toes as well as interrupting the film. Would closing the doors and refusing more tickets after a film has started be such a bad idea?
  3. Mobile phones. Hats off to Orange here, they do their best to ensure a mobile phone doesn't ruin a movie with their comical advertisements. They don't seem to be working however. Is it that difficult to switch a phone off for roughly two hours? That's completely off by the way, not silent or vibrate only...off, off. Furthermore, others tend to think that not talking on their phone but texting instead is being polite. They don't seem to realise that the bright screen of their phone in a darkened theatre does in fact catch everyones eye. Very annoying.
  4. Snacks. I've already admitted to enjoying some popcorn during a movie, but it requires just a touch of thought when rustling your bag or wrapper. In scenes of intimate dialogue, don't dip your hand into your bag of M&M's and add your own sound effects. Just a touch of courtesy please.
  5. Start times. Are the cinemas really helping the matter? If a movie is listed as 7:15, you'll be lucky if it starts by 8:00. Why is this an annoyance? Well, the sitting around and waiting is what I believe makes the movie-goers restless in the first place. After waiting around for so long, conversations do start up and it's then all the more challenging to quieten down when the movie does eventually start. Likewise, are late entrances due to people wishing to avoid that prolonged build up?

Those annoyances make the top 5 as they're the most common and occur on the most regular basis. There are of course other incidents I've experienced. I've had kids running up and down stairs during The Legend of Zorro and although I admit the movie was poor, it's no excuse to start running around. I've had a couple making out during Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, a movie quiet enough for the entire theatre to hear what was happening and believe you me, it wasn't crouching and it certainly wasn't hidden.

From where I live, I've a selection of cinemas from which I could choose. The two closest to me being Cineworld Wolverhampton and Showcase Walsall. The Cineworld, the newer of the two multiplexes offers bigger screens, more comfortable seats and better all round facilities. Unfortunately, it's located in a very busy area and regularly overrun with kids, it just so happens to be where the two aforementioned incidents occurred. More often than not, I've found a visit to Cineworld Wolverhampton proves to be a largely challenging experience. The above annoyances are all a common occurrence and as a result, I've made the switch now to Showcase Walsall.

The Showcase cinema, located just off a motorway isn't as easily accessible. People visiting this cinema tend to be there for a common purpose; they're out to watch a movie. The screens are smaller, some aren't of the best quality and the seats often leave me sore for a short while afterwards. Irrespective of that, it's my preferred choice of cinema as I get to enjoy the movie without the unwanted interruptions.

Should cinemas be doing more to make the movie going experience what it used to be? I think so.

HEXUS Forums :: 20 Comments

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My wife always wants us to get to the cinema for the starting time and I always say it's going to be half an hour before the movie starts. I hate waiting.
I actually like sitting through the adverts and trailers. I spend half the time saying “ooh! that looks good. I need to see that” even though i rarely do.

There are three cinemas in Aberdeen, a CineWorld, a Vue and The Belmont. I've not been to the Cineworld since it was UGC, apparently it is still the same as when it was a Virgin, so it will be in desperate need of a gutting. The Vue is pretty good, but the American style no-reserved-seating annoys me.

The Belmont is a great indipendant art house cinema. They are linked with others around the country though. I think they are partly funded by the city. Very comfy seats!

I like going to the cinema, i just don't get much of a chance.
I actually like sitting through the adverts and trailers. I spend half the time saying “ooh! that looks good. I need to see that” even though i rarely do.

I'm glad i'm not the only one. Its nice when you see a trailer for something you knew nothing about (The Golden Compass being one of them) I tend to go home and do a search and see what the films all about. In my view its all part of the cinema experience :)
re: the Golden Compass - read the book its based on - ‘Northern Lights’ by Robert Pullman. Its very good.
I really used to enjoy going to the empire? cinema near me, they only showed 3 or 4 movies a day (maximum) - if that. They only had the one (or possibly 2) screen(s) but it felt a much more special experience, having to queue in the long queue to actually have to go in to the cinema to watch the film. You had to stand and wait, even if it decided to rain. The basic tickets and the small pop corn stand.

I am only 20 and I just find going to the new Cineworld cinema such a chore, it no longer feels special and it seems a lot more expensive than it used to be. Sure it is comfier, and facilities are much better, but there just isn't the same feeling of going to watch a movie for the single small cinema supporting a whole (relatively large) time - it made it quite a challenege getting in if it was a new release :P