Why I was forced to walk out of The Conjuring

James Wan's latest haunted house horror The Conjuring
James Wan’s latest haunted house horror The Conjuring

Today, for the first time ever, I left a film before the end. The film in question was James Wan’s latest horror The Conjuring, which has been aggressively trailered for months. In the same ball park as films such as this year’s disappointing Dark Skies, this seemed like a better than average attempt at getting the haunted house genre right.

Unfortunately, I have no idea whether or not it managed. My decision to walk out of the screening room after 20 minutes had nothing to do with The Conjuring, but everything to do with the ludicrous behaviour of my fellow audience members.

Earlier this year, I wrote an article about the increasing problem with cinema audiences. In it, I issued a plea to filmgoers to approach cinema in the same way that they would approach any other kind of art.

Films are an art form, to be enjoyed with the reverence that is afforded to fine paintings or classical music. They are not simply a cheap form of entertainment designed to serve as a background to loud conversation, mobile phones and the use of popcorn as projectiles. As cinema audiences continue to be populated by those without a single jot of respect for the medium, the industry is struggling to get money out of the fans they actually want.

Unfortunately, today’s screening of The Conjuring was the straw that broke this particular camel’s back. I love cinema enormously. It is an art form that is consistently capable of surprising, delighting and astounding me in a way that no other form of entertainment can.

I especially feel that way about the horror genre. Horror is an intricate patchwork of sound design, visual trickery and expert direction that relies on the slow creation of atmosphere and dread. Unfortunately, for many people, horror films are just a stunt. For many, going to see a horror film is nothing but a display of masculinity and has very little to do with the merits of the material.

As such, this particular showing of The Conjuring was populated by a deeply irritating group of teenagers who could only be described as “lads”. From the moment I took my seat and the adverts began, they talked constantly and rustled their bags of sweets/crisps/nachos/extra bags for implausibly long periods of time. I hoped that this would cease as soon as the movie began, but I was unfortunately very wrong.

When the film began and slowly drew out a few opening scares, they continued to chatter and rustle. It really says something when the sound of rustling packets can almost drown out a huge surround sound speaker system. By the time the first few jump scares occurred, they were virtually shouting.

At this point, one of Odeon’s startlingly incompetent ushers appeared and stood at the side of the room for around five minutes. The “lads” continued to casually fuck up the movie, with no reaction from the member of staff, who promptly left.

The Conjuring was beginning to amp up its scares at this point, but I was uninterested. It wasn’t that I was being snapped out of the film, but that I had never been offered the opportunity to invest from the beginning. Whatever James Wan was attempting to do, I was oblivious to it. It was then that I decided to leave, having consumed less than £2 of the film to which my ticket entitled me.

I have no idea if The Conjuring is any good, although according to 86% of critics on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of writing, it is. What I do have a clear idea of is that cinema is in a dire position. Horror thrives on atmosphere, which is impossible to create when the row behind you is discussing the previous scene or even discussing the trailer in alarming detail.

It really is damning to think that cinephiles must wait for several weeks after release before they can consume a new film – especially a horror flick – in a quiet auditorium where they have half a chance of enjoying themselves.

The more that films are considered simply a “night out”, the more difficult it is to enjoy them as art. With independent cinemas all but dead outside major cities, there is often no alternative to the multiplex and the crowds of individuals who don’t appreciate the majesty of cinema.

It comes down to the need for better staffing and ushers in cinemas. Their role is to ensure that everyone’s cinema experience is as good as possible, which is not something that can happen if there’s a noisy game of Candy Crush Saga going on in the room.

I will try and see The Conjuring again before the week is out and I really hope that I’ll enjoy it. But I’m sure that, one day soon, I will again be forced to walk out of a screening for which I have paid money as a result of disrespectful imbeciles who cannot understand the basic etiquette of a cinema.

If you run a multiplex cinema and you’re reading this, simply print the following poster (courtesy of Radio 5 Live’s excellent Wittertainment show) on the door of every screen. Zero tolerance.

Wittertainment's Cinema Code of Conduct

Update (9th August): Since this blog post, I sent a complaint to the Odeon cinema in question. They have pledged to investigate the issue further and have posted two free cinema tickets to me. I’ve also managed to see The Conjuring… and it was great.

168 thoughts on “Why I was forced to walk out of The Conjuring

  • 04/08/2013 at 00:19
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    The problem is lack of staff to enforce any house rules. Last twice I’ve been to the any multi screen house the whole place has been run by 3 x 16 year olds with overall responsibility to fleece you at every opportunity and enforce sweet FA. All the operators are stuggling to maximise falling profits. Strip out any middle management and pass it on to untrained and underpaid staff.

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    • 04/08/2013 at 00:36
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      Agree about the staff amount. Vue’s Over 18 screenings had an paid usher sitting through the film making sure no-one disturbed it. But they’ve stopped it, yet again, to save money. Sigh.

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      • 04/08/2013 at 01:21
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        Over 18 screenings would be, in theory, a great solution to the problem that led to today. Unfortunately, as you say, they aren’t exactly a money-spinner.

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  • 04/08/2013 at 00:32
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    As a former cinema usher, I completely agree with the outrage you show towards audiences such as the one attending The Conjuring. As a cinephile also, I hate the disrespect ‘lads’ such as these show the movie theatre and films in general, simply using it as an excuse to get to second base, rather than be entertained.

    However, when films such as Paranormal Activity and Sinister were released, ushers such as I would attempt to calm down and control the braying masses every time a loud noise distracted them from their mating display, but it became almost pointless. They would continue to gasp and chatter, often in relief or humour of their shared fright. I understand the need to do so sometimes, but not to this obnoxious level.

    But the problem with the increased horror audience is that if ushers removed these idiotic people watching them, you’d be left with only those reserved, dignified Code of Conduct followers, and managers would become irritated with the amount of paperwork that would follow. Often a manager would reprimand me for trying to quiet down a sold out screening, calling it ‘a thankless task’ as they would continue regardless. I’m not standing up for the attendant in question, I just wanted to give you a personal insight to many ushers’ shared hatred of this behaviour 🙂 great article though 🙂

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    • 04/08/2013 at 01:24
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      Lovely to get the perspective of a cinema usher. I’d just like to say that I admire you for doing such an, as you say, thankless job for so little money. I really appreciate the work most ushers do.

      The only change I would suggest is that an usher should be present in each screening and it should be made clear that there is a zero tolerance approach to obnoxious activities. I think there would soon be a change in attitude.

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  • 04/08/2013 at 06:19
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    And this is exactly why I don’t bother wasting my time and money going to the cinema. I miss it but I’d rather wait and take a punt on the bluray for the same price as 2 tickets.

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    • 04/08/2013 at 12:10
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      Sad state of affairs, isn’t it? Films deserve to be seen at the cinema.

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  • 04/08/2013 at 07:43
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    Thank you for putting in to words the frustration so I feel.

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  • 04/08/2013 at 10:27
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    The behaviour of cinema patrons has been on a decline for many years now, so this is nothing new but I think it has definitely got worse and the multiplex cinemas seem unwilling to do anything about it. Over 18 months ago I had an absolutely horrendous experience with ‘The Woman In Black’. Even by today’s low standards, the behaviour was unbelievably bad: it was like being in a Justin Bieber gig rather than the cinema.

    For me, it was the iron girder that broke the camel’s back and I vowed to vote with my wallet and boycott multiplex cinemas. Since then, I have returned (a mere 3 times in 18 months) but each time both reluctantly and time/date-wise *very* strategically, however my principle still holds. Right now I really want to see “Only God Forgives” but will wait a few weeks until it his my local independent cinema rather than risk going Taxi Driver at multiplex morons and giving them money for the ‘experience’.

    Believe me, many of us feel your pain but I doubt anything will be done about it until they can see a corresponding drop in numbers directly attributable to this. I’ve read/heard so much frustration from this but people seem to swallow it and continue to put themselves through it. People: STOP giving multiplexes your money and let them KNOW why they are no longer getting your custom.

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    • 04/08/2013 at 12:13
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      The nearest indie cinema to me is a considerable distance away, so it just isn’t possible for me to get there.

      I don’t think cinephiles voting with their feet is enough to change things. It certainly won’t mark that significant a drop in revenue if they’re still getting everyone else through the door, complete with glowing phones and rustling packets.

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      • 04/08/2013 at 12:39
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        It’s a fair point, Tom: not everyone has the luxury of having an independent cinema near them and besides, they won’t always show some of the films we might want to watch.

        Sadly, the amount of people that think like us are a minority. Most people either don’t care (or not enough for it to make any difference to them) and/or accept it, or are the ones being obnoxious in the first place!

        You’re right in that the multiplex chains would need to know why people don’t want to come anymore. There could do with being a properly co-ordinated campaign of complaint/boycott so they get the message else absolutely nothing will change…

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  • 04/08/2013 at 11:36
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    Tom

    Your interesting piece lacks one important detail: you don’t mention whether you drew your bad experience to the attention of the cinema staff, as you left. I think it is vital to let the manager know what is happening in their screens, otherwise they have no incentive to do anything about it. Your post ends with, “If you run a multiplex cinema, and you’re reading this…”, but, with respect, I would say this is the wrong approach. I think you need to take your fight directly to them, rather than rely on them finding you (even with the aid of Mr. Kermode’s retweet).

    I recently took the afternoon off work, to see the Globe’s production of ‘Henry V’, at a Cineworld. The screening was abandoned before it began, because the code did not work (!). I was more than a little put out, not just because I was sacrificing precious holiday for nothing, but because the film seemed to be a one-day thing, and I could not make it to the evening showing. With nothing better to do, I asked for the address of head office, and went there to ask how such a thing could happen. I am not convinced by the excuse, but at least they could see the depth of my feeling. That evening, though, I was in the audience when Stephen Fry spoke about his suicide attempt for the first time, so, you know, perspective and all that.

    Cinemas do need to look at the experience they provide to their customers. There is no point in having fantastic sound, if that’s subsumed by the rustling of those awful paper bags that seem to have replaced cardboard boxes for popcorn. And none of it matters at all if they can’t even get the right code, to be able to show the film in the first place.

    Keep battling
    D

    p.s. Sometimes, the films themselves don’t help: ‘Ali G In Da House’ opens with an invitation from the hero to sit back, relax, and (something like) light up a bifta. The group of lads at the front took that literally…

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    • 04/08/2013 at 12:11
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      I agree with you. Attracting the attention of an usher seemed pointless given what had already happened and, in my frustration, finding a manager was the least of my concerns.

      I am however going to write a letter to the chain today.

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  • 04/08/2013 at 14:52
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    The problem is the British general public is full of selfish, ignorant low IQ pricks. I only go to the cinema once a year at most. The trick is to go to the earliest showing during the day before all the pondlife have risen from their caves.

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  • 04/08/2013 at 21:29
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    You’re wrong.

    Cinema was developed and remains a mass market entertainment and is not primarily or even generally art. Cinema can and does (rarely) achieve the status of art but that is not its prime purpose. Movies are made to make a profit for the producers. Cinema chains (and independents) are in business to make money. Movie producers want huge numbers of paying customers and cinema chains want to sell them food and tasty beverages. Their business model relies on it.

    Nor has there ever been a time when audiences sat dutifully in silence. It wasn’t so long ago when smoking was permitted. Nor has the audience of performance art ever been as submissive as you seem to think they should be. Go to The Globe theater and witness the audience there.

    What is your view of sing-a-along perfomances of movies? Have you ever attended a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show? Great fun. Though I grant you there may well be a few submissives in that particular audience.

    Do you want to ban toilet breaks? Booing? Inappropiate (to yourself) laughter?
    If you’re unhappy with the behaviour of fellow customers, why don’t you address them yourself rather than expecting some minimum-wage, teenage cinema employee to do it for you? If you really want cinema chains to notice your complaint you should employ direct action: get loud, cause a scene, demand the manager does something and then write to head office demanding a refund. It might upset anyone trying to watch the movie though.

    As for the code of conduct: at least four points of it were violated by professional critics in the screenings I attended last week. Go Figure.

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    • 04/08/2013 at 21:55
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      The fact entertainment is mass market doesn’t exclude it from being art and neither does the fact that it exists primarily to make money. If you think it does, then your definition of art is so narrow that you may struggle to appreciate a lot of things.

      I have no issue with noise when it is actually a reaction to what is on screen and obviously toilet breaks are okay. Laughter is fine (hopefully in response to the film) and screams of horror etc are equally okay. My issue comes when there are full-blown conversations occurring or other detailed discussions. They can wait until after the film.

      Sing-a-long screenings and similar events are utterly fine. However, there’s a fundamental difference from a standard screening and an event where audience participation is explicitly encouraged.

      I have submitted a complaint to Odeon through the proper channels. That doesn’t mean I can’t discuss the events on the internet. I also have no desire to ruin the film for everyone else by starting a loud confrontation in the cinema. I’d imagine the ushers would then have a problem with me.

      I don’t control critics. If they want to violate the Code of Conduct, then they are just as problematic as the group with which I was confronted.

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  • 04/08/2013 at 23:40
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    Eventhough I agree with you that cinema audience need to be respectful and follow the guidelines posted in radio 5’s poster, I do not, however believe that horror films like The Conjuring is any kind of art form.

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    • 07/08/2013 at 19:45
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      And why not? The fact that films aren’t made for highbrow audiences doesn’t mean they can’t count as art.

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  • 07/08/2013 at 15:11
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    Couldn’t agree more – I’ve pretty much stopped going because I’m sick of people talking, kicking my seat, laughing, letting their kids run around and generally being a pain in the arse. I wait for it to come out on DVD, or if I desperately want to see it I’ll go to the earliest possible viewing of it on a Sunday morning.

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  • 07/08/2013 at 15:16
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    It is so annoying when patrons of a theatre are so rude! I can’t think of a solution that hasn’t been mentioned. Do you think you will go back and try to see this movie again?

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  • 07/08/2013 at 15:16
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    I have been tempted to choke a movie-goer or two in the few attempts at a fairly decent movie. I feel your pain.

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  • 07/08/2013 at 15:20
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    Popcorn Muncher: I agree with you whole-heartedly. I am a filmmaker, have always loved cinema and have pretty much given up going out to the movies. My wife and I do go to the repertory movie houses, such as, the Music Box, here in Chicago. That’s where people who love movies go. The box cinemas, which are partly responsible for ruining the movie experience, are where the noisemakers and the rude congregate.

    I also saw The Conjuring and was fortunate in that there were less than a dozen people in the audience. The film was quite good for the most part. Spoiler alert: towards the end, the filmmaker, James Wan, dragged in a couple of horror film conventions from several horror masterpieces. If you see the film when it comes out on cable, which it will, you’ll recognize those sequences immediately.

    That said, we often see films in the comfort of our home now. The “movie experience” is fallow for the reasons you mentioned in your blog. Audiences are by and large rude, inconsiderate and ignorant. Also, it’s an increasingly expensive venture when you add up parking, tickets,snacks, etc.

    These days, I watch the good movies when they come to cable, and go out to enjoy the theater. Live drama and comedy typically attract more intelligent and well-behaved audiences.

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  • 07/08/2013 at 15:58
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    A majority among the Indian audience are like that.. and when it’s a horror flick, they crack jokes to ease out themselves..

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    • 07/08/2013 at 16:25
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      I experienced the same thing while watching the Indian not so horror film – Ek Thi Dayan!

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  • 07/08/2013 at 16:02
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    Luckily my husband and I have days off in the middle of the week and are able to go to midweek matinees, where this isn’t as much of an issue. I’m sorry that you had to waste your money due to someone’s misbehavior. I do agree with the other comments that this is partially because we’re so used to watching films at home where we are free to act however we want. But there is just something about seeing a movie at the cinema that is so much more enjoyable. It the experience of it and it’s sad that this is being ruined for so many of us.

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  • 07/08/2013 at 16:09
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    Hi there! Sorry about your unfortunate experience, as many movie goers do not respect the art space shared by many while taking in the movie arts. I too have had my share of annoying movie watching neighbors, with whom I did not hold my tongue. I spoke my mind and had them hush up. Lol… Needless to say, The Conjuring was a good movie 3★ out of 5★ Maybe when it’s released on DVD, you’ll get to enjoy it in the comfort of your own home. Leave the misbehaving movie goers and the useless movie ushers to work out their similarities! 🙂

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  • 07/08/2013 at 16:13
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    In this as in so many areas of modern life, Do As Thou Will appears to be the whole of the law. I suppose there’s an argument to be made that there’s so many other aspects of modern life that are being clamped down upon that the urge to liberty is grows disproportionate where it can, but one could wish that it didn’t smother the appreciation of the right of others to enjoy themselves in the same general area, and I do miss the day not so long gone when “I’ll call an usher” was a phrase worth uttering.

    On which topic, the cutting of staff/screen size/corners in general in the name of maximizing profits is very much in line with the story of the goose with the gold eggs. Attendance is down in large part because the experience has lost appeal… due to the reductions mentioned above, and doing more of that isn’t going to cure the problem. I wonder if the owners of the cinemas have pursued a reductio ad absurdum on the process to discover that it ends with the need for a handful of amazingly wealthy louts willing to sit in a puddle of their own spilled drinks to keep the doors open. I suspect so, as in some parts of North America we’re seeing a reversal of the process in some areas; slightly bigger screens (although nothing like what 1975 offered), slight improvements on staff levels and the comfort of auditorium. It lacks something like the Voight-Kampf test (imagine a sign stating “You must be THIS empathetic to enter the theatre”), but it’s encouraging.

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  • 07/08/2013 at 16:23
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    I think it’s great when people get interactive in cinemas. But they need to understand the difference between being interactive and being a selfish dick.

    I love the cinema, but nine times out of ten it is ruined by some twat kids trying to impress their mates, or the girls they’re with. I get screaming when something is scary, laughing when it’s funny, and I can even handle and outraged cry when something is uncalled for, but to just talk and be on your phones etc… that’s just ridiculous.

    It’s the culture that’s lost. When I was a kid it was a Saturday treat, you’d get a tenner and it’d be enough for a cinema trip and a pizza hut afterwards. It was fun, and you’d laugh and talk but as soon as those lights went out, so did your vocals.

    I’ve been known to yell at people to shut up during films before. It just baffles me that you’d pay so much to sit and talk when you can do it for free outside, or at home, or in McDonalds.

    It frustrates me beyond belief that my money, which is sometimes upwards of that ten pounds that used to get so much, is wasted and my time is ruined because of people. And the commentary is the worst, I remember my third ROTK screening as Frodo went over and some kid turns to his Gran and yells “IT’S OKAY, HE’S HANGING ON.” I knew he’d survived, but many didn’t, and that was the one and only time I’ve ever yelled at an eight year old.

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  • 07/08/2013 at 16:29
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    I saw The Conjuring and it was pretty good. I’m so sorry those boys were being such a problem and that the usher was so incompetent that he thought his mere presence was enough to shut those boys up. I hope you stopped to talk to the manager, because it’s only when customers speak up that any meaningful change occurs in a movie theater.
    And btw, I had a similar experience back in spring. I went to see “Oz, The Great and Powerful”, and some kid who’d gone to reserve seats for his family was calling to his parents down below when they entered the theater. It was so loud, it was not even funny! And they laughed like it was a joke when I went “Shush!” Honestly, some people have no manners!

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  • 07/08/2013 at 16:30
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    Sometimes we adults must play the adult card. A well-timed “Hey!” can silence the most obnoxious of brats. “Let’s keep it down over there,” can also be effective. When the rest of the audience applauds you, the ‘lads’ are even more likely to remember to behave. As many have mentioned, the theater staff is likely the same age as the miscreants and probably feeling intimidated. That means the grown-ups should step in to keep order. And I’d still alert the management if I felt I had to leave. They should give you and everyone else whose experience was disrupted a pass to a future viewing.

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  • 07/08/2013 at 16:53
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    I will wait until it comes out on video and watch it at home where it is quiet. Your post reminded me of the reason I stopped going out to the cinema…it is dominated by young, noisy theatre goers who seem to enjoy socializing more than watching films.

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  • 07/08/2013 at 17:06
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    I absolutely hate when this happens!! Movies are so expensive, terrible that others would ruin such an event. When I say event, I mean it!! My hubby and I go to movie events very rarely, a luxury that we only do so often!! Great post!!

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  • 07/08/2013 at 17:19
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    I remember experiencing this almost every time I go to watch a movie. People are oblivious of basic etiquette and don’t realize how they can ruin others’ plans. The staff also proves to be useless at times like these, as I feel they don’t want to offend their ‘customers’. I wish this would change and I hope you will be able to catch this movie in time, in peace.
    Looking forward to read about it on your blog.
    And oh! Congratulations on being ‘Freshly Pressed’! 🙂

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  • 07/08/2013 at 17:52
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    People don’t care that you pay the fee for the movie and get the overpriced food they serve. They only start conversing when the movie starts. I went to see ” let me explain” and the lady of the couple behind us was saying the jokes before the movie got to them. Totally disrespectful. I might start going when the theater first opens,maybe I’ll be able to enjoy the movie experience in peace.

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  • 07/08/2013 at 17:59
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    Hahaha,, ur so right. Cheers to this! I agree wth u . Though I’m on a different continent all together, people generally don’t consider cinema asan art form. So much effort of so many people goes through in it n it’s seldom revered . I love cinema myself. I donot u sets and why so many people look at it just as another form of entertainment . Ofcourse it has to do wth commerce. But so does any art form. It’s not respected as it shud be , I agree,I write film reviews of Hindi films and send It to my friends. I usually relate it to my life stories too cos I do have a personal relationship wth cinema remember crying thousand tears wen I saw nemo. I loved the other too.. N there are so many indian movies that swamp me. Thanks fr ur blog, I m happy to find a fellow men as passionate as I am,

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  • 07/08/2013 at 18:23
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    My husband now refuses to go the movies at all, and won’t go with me because I won’t hesitate to say SHUT UP to people who are talking throughout. I love movies and I love seeing them in a cinema hall. You just pray every time for what used to be normal — silence to enjoy it.

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  • 07/08/2013 at 18:33
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    Your intuition may have caught onto something that your psyche missed. It’s all there in the writing.

    You mentioned that for many, horror films are merely a “display of masculinity” and not a true appreciation of “an art form that is consistently capable of surprising, delighting and astounding…in a way that no other form of entertainment can.” But you forget that most are not intellectually capable of such heights of appreciation. A lot of people, “lads” especially, go for the low brow thrill of getting shocked to the point of testicle shrinkage. If one or more of them sees any art up on the screen, they sure as hell aren’t going to profess it to their buddies. But you’re right, that art is powerful…and it worked.

    Hysterically, the “intricate patchwork of sound design, visual trickery and expert direction that relies on the slow creation of atmosphere and dread” may have been TOO successful, and they knew it full well. Men are, after all, usually scared twice: first by the threat, then by the shame of appearing scared. It could very well be that these young men created a diversion for themselves to prevent actually becoming scared. Strength in noisy, crisp-chomping numbers, no? After all, “Horror thrives on atmosphere, which is impossible to create when the row behind you is discussing the previous scene or even discussing the trailer in alarming detail,” not to mention rustling “bags of sweets/crisps/nachos/extra bags for implausibly long periods of time” that “can almost drown out a huge surround sound speaker system.” My, they sure were working hard NOT to be influenced by the scary stuff up on the screen, weren’t they?

    I think those lads were terrified of being scared in front of one another. Didn’t their antics come to full crescendo when the real fear marched across the screen? “By the time the first few jump scares occurred, they were virtually shouting.” That movie was just another chest-thumping, feather-flashing, teeth-baring moment for young men to practice being strong before one another, or their limited idea of it. The day before, they were probably talking shit just out of earshot of larger men and cat-calling women on the street. Display of masculinity, indeed.

    You may have bought a ticket to a horror but instead you were treated to a psychological docu-comedy suitable for BBC broadcast. Pretty good deal for two pounds, if I do say. Next time when the awful youth raise a ruckus, just remember: testicle shrinkage. And laugh.

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  • 07/08/2013 at 19:19
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    I really sympathise. A good venue is hard to find. There are some lovely cinemas out there, such as Birmingham’s ‘The Electric Cinema’, that have managed to cultivate a really nice atmosphere, and those who go there do so with a great attitude.

    Unfortunately, there are not nearly enough cinemas with this kind of thing going for them. Multiplexes are not going to pay for the level staff needed to make them nice places to be, which means the majority of cinephiles suffer. I dream of a day where the Wittertainment ‘Code of Conduct’ is strictly, and universally, enforced.

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  • 07/08/2013 at 19:30
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    Your point is well taken. Unfortunately the ushers are usually hired at a low wage and could not care less to take a chance at getting retaliated by an angry customer. Yes, if the “lads” can be a source of firing. They are now the paying public. Most of us now rent the movie and see it at the house. We avoid the chance of interaction which could result in problems.

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  • 07/08/2013 at 20:02
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    I loved this list. It needed to be said. I just wish those who were inapporpriate in theaters were the ones who read it! It’s extremely frustrating dealing with the idiocies of these individuals when they spend the same amount of money you do! I want to see a film, not your boring life!

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  • 07/08/2013 at 20:14
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    I had a similar experience at Camden Odeon, this gang of teenagers walked in and basically talked through the whole film and ruined it for everyone. At one point they were on their mobiles- how cliched is that?! Cinema tickets obviously aren’t cheap in central London and by the end of it there was almost an actual fight because the couple who were sat in front of them became so annoyed they decided to confront them. There were zero ushers around and when we mentioned this to the one security guard he was totally disinterested. A situation like that could have really turned nasty. There needs to be a bigger presence of ushers & security guards at the very least during late night showings etc. because unfortunately there’s always going to be an odd bunch of pr*cks who for some reason consider paying £15 to watch a film and then talk all the way through it as a good night out.
    P.S. Please try again with The Conjuring though! Such a shame to miss out

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    • 07/08/2013 at 20:16
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      This is my main problem. I have no idea why anyone would pay to sit, chat and use their mobile phones. They can do that for free virtually anywhere. Especially in central London! Ridiculous!

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  • 07/08/2013 at 20:14
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    People can do extremely unpleasant things while they are at the movies. I have been in a few frustrating situations. But trust me when I say that the conjuring is a pretty decent movie. I enjoyed it, although it was scary as hell. It is a legitimate horror movie, which is what I liked about it. The acting was very well done, as well.

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  • 07/08/2013 at 20:31
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    I don’t know if this is a recent phenomenon, as I’ve had similar experiences for years. Before marriage and kids came and limited my cinema going, I would choose the morning showings, around 11 on a Sunday. Usually only me and a handful of others. It’s not solving the problem, but at least you’ll have peace. It’s like I always say – some people are just dicks.

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  • 07/08/2013 at 20:44
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    I have to admit that other moviegoers can ruin an experience. I do hope that more theaters press upon their patrons that talking and texting on their phones is such an annoyance to others in the theater. I saw The Conjuring this past weekend and I too was in a theater with loud talkers and just overall obnoxious people. I came very close to getting up and telling to STFU because there was no way I was leaving a movie I paid for and wanted to see. For next time though, I will remember what movie theaters do enforce the no talking rules or watch my movies at home.

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  • 07/08/2013 at 20:52
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    It’s interesting to read a perspective about how the horror genre warrants no less scrutiny and appreciation than other art forms. Worth some thought and definitely has me thinking about Cabin in the Woods, which I thought was a masterpiece.

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    • 07/08/2013 at 23:45
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      I get very frustrated with the way horror films are treated. It is seen as the silly genre rather than as a valid art form. No-one went to see The King’s Speech and messed around for the whole thing, so why is it okay for The Conjuring?

      Cabin in the Woods, incidentally, is a masterpiece indeed. It’s a true example of writers and a director who understand every nuance of the genre. Genius!

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  • 07/08/2013 at 20:59
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    Well said. If there’s one action that gets under my skin more than any other, it is being obnoxiously loud in some form while at the movie theater. As you said, especially with the horror film, the movie-going experience is all about the atmosphere, which enables you to get into it; if someone, somehow, is detracting from that experience, then they are not allowing you to enjoy the film, as it ought to be enjoyed. The most egregious within the horror genre is when adults bring little kids or babies along with them. I understand, hey, maybe they couldn’t find a babysitter, but, then, see a different film geared towards kids or simply don’t go to the movies that night.

    Anyhow, great write-up and it’s too bad you missed out on what to me, was the best horror film of the year by far and awfully frightening.

    Regards.

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  • 07/08/2013 at 21:06
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    i hope you complained. if the usher didn’t do his/her job, then it’s worth getting your money back.

    unfortunately, waiting for 4-6 weeks after the movie theatre thins out is an issue for us. we are not fans of the 3D movies and after so many weeks have passed, the non-3D version is harder to find. more and more theatres are now playing the 3D movie for longer periods of time.

    the last movie, where i was forced to pay for the 3D experience, had very little 3D effect. aside from the beginning and end credits (they were the only amazing 3D experience of the 2+ hour movie. oh… there was one missile in the first quarter of the movie that seemed to shoot towards our heads. yippee.)

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    • 07/08/2013 at 23:46
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      This is an interesting slant on the issue. Often, 2D screenings are hard to find anyway, but they definitely almost disappear after a few weeks of the theatrical run.

      I personally cannot stand 3D, so sympathise with you completely.

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  • 07/08/2013 at 22:05
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    I never go to the movies anymore, I hate to say. I wait for the dvd or watch it on demand. With the rise of quality television (BBC, HBO, etc.) shows, and the fact that you will soon be about to stream just about anything on your computer, going to the movies will be left to teenagers who want most of all to get out of the house. Which is, obviously, too bad.

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    • 07/08/2013 at 23:47
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      You’re completely right about all of the alternative media for consuming film. But, for me, nothing matches the atmosphere and thrill of seeing a film in the cinema on a big screen, with an amazing speaker system. It’s how films are designed to be consumed.

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      • 08/08/2013 at 04:01
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        It is how films are designed — I was watching Life of Pi on my laptop the other week, and I kept thinking, this should be seen on a big screen, a movie screen.

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        • 08/08/2013 at 10:07
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          Absolutely. Unfortunately, when I saw it on a cinema screen, the only showing available was in 3D. The 30% inherent light loss crippled the vigour and colour of Ang Lee’s world.

          I’ve had a much better time of things with the Blu-Ray, but I’d love another opportunity to see it on the big screen.

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  • 07/08/2013 at 23:07
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    I have had your same experience. It really annoys me, despite the fact that I am still a teenager… the cinema is one of my favorite forms of art, but I am sure to wait until the initial craze over a movie has died down to go see it. It’s so disrespectful to interrupt people, and quite frankly, immature. I’m sorry for your waste of a perfectly good movie screening.

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  • 07/08/2013 at 23:09
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    THANK YOU! I love going to the movies, but my patience wears thin fast when it comes to my fellow moviegoers…. common courtesy is a lost art form in this day and age, and not only in the movie theater.

    I also feel strongly about a section reserved for those coming in late to any type of show. If you are going to stand in front of me, carefully choosing a seat and removing your jacket, please do so before the show starts. Thanks!

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    • 07/08/2013 at 23:49
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      If I ran a cinema, I would ensure that the doors were closed on all screenings as soon as the title card appeared. Hitchcock did it when he released Psycho and I kinda wish it had started a trend.

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  • 08/08/2013 at 00:07
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    This is why I don’t regret going a while after the release and skipping the 3D (eyestrain aside). I like to get the experience. If I pay so much for a ticket and drive nearly 40 min. from my home in the Midwestern US, I’d like to become absorbed without distraction for a couple of hours.

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  • 08/08/2013 at 01:00
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    I sadly was duped in to seeing the movie on opening night and had the same issue. The stench of pre-pubescent teenagers was so over powering that I was livid! ( it was a mixture of too much AXE body spray and dirty socks) Haha! The usher did the exact thing yours did. He came in, stood to the side of the room for maybe two minutes whilst the teens continued to talk, then walked away. I do not consider myself too old to recognize fun but I do recognize disrespect! As far as the movie itself… I wasn’t impressed. I have followed horror stories for a while and this one was almost too cheesy for me!

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  • 08/08/2013 at 02:01
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    I had the same experience with this movie! I couldn’t believe the immaturity of everyone around me. I had an older gentlemen sitting directly behind me who felt the need to crack jokes and add his commentary at the precise moment that I wanted to be scared. His remarks got such an uproar of laughter from the audience I felt as thought I was watching a comedy! I went straight to customer service and complained… was given two “rain check” tickets however I’m in no rush to go back!

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  • 08/08/2013 at 02:04
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    Reblogged this on Wicked Sweet and commented:
    Couldn’t agree more with this! I had the same experience with “The Conjuring” and was issued rain check tickets – needless to say I’m in no rush to go back to the movies!

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  • 08/08/2013 at 02:11
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    Great points! Nothing puts me in a murderous rage faster than someone chatting on Kakao four rows up from me in a movie theater. That may sound extreme, but I believe it takes a special type of sociopath to use their cellphone in a theater, especially these days when the screens are bright enough to light up the whole room.

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    • 08/08/2013 at 10:08
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      I just don’t understand why you’d pay so much money to sit and use your phone. You can do it at home for free.

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      • 08/08/2013 at 10:44
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        Exactly. Some day I’ll live out my fantasy of going over to them, throwing their phone across the theater and telling them if they hate the movie so much to just leave. If you see on the news that I got arrested, you’ll know I’ve done it.

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  • 08/08/2013 at 02:33
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    Reblogged this on For Gamers By A Gamer and commented:
    Couldn’t agree more. Great reminder of the respect the cinema experience should be shown for the film itself and your fellow movie-goers. Great read.

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  • 08/08/2013 at 02:48
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    Ugh. I know exactly what you went through. As much as I love the cinema, I’ve been watching more and more movies from the comfort of my home for that reason alone. Horror movies are always the worst to see at the theatre! I’ve had so many terrible experiences – it’s been years since I’ve attempted.

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  • 08/08/2013 at 02:50
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    This is also my pet peeve. Talking and bright mobile phones. Sadly, nothing will change until cinemas start going out of business, just like mainstream newspapers. Even then, they will blame something else like demographics or “people have changed how they consume content”. Yes, we have changed because your incompetence ruined it for us. You deserve to go out of business, but we don’t deserve to have to watch these movies on our TV screens at home.

    Please stick to the niche cinemas if you have a choice, and if not, demand refunds for your lost experience. And keep complaining!!

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    • 08/08/2013 at 10:09
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      I would love to go to niche, independent cinemas. But, however, I can’t afford the time or money spent driving an hour or so away to the nearest one.

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  • 08/08/2013 at 06:16
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    I totally agree with you on this. I went to see the Conjuring last week. I booked tickets for the 11:15 PM show because I wanted the film to scare me to death (I enjoy being so petrified sometimes). Alas! Throughout the movie I could not absorb the fear and the story because of the comments people passed other than the mobile phones, the discussions and every little thing that reminded me time and again – This is only a movie, there are about a hundred people around and so no ghost can come and haunt me.
    I wish I would have waited for the DVD and watched it alone in a dark room of my apartment!

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  • 08/08/2013 at 06:41
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    I would have said something rude to those kids. I would have told them to shut the hell up and stuff it. I would have told them to be quiet or I would rain down the wrath of the devil on them, and then would have done something scary to ensure said threat. I really don’t like teenagers, or being in public. I guess that’s why I watch movies from home. I am waiting for the Conjuring to be out in the video rental stores. THEN I will watch it. But how ever people are rude and stupid in the theaters. I put up with enough retardom in the grocery more or less any where else.

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  • 08/08/2013 at 08:32
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    Years ago in some Deniro horror film whose name I can’t remember (turns out he was the baddie but he didn’t know it), I told a bunch of annoying teenagers to “be quiet or I’ll get them kicked out of the movie and it’s past 20 minutes so you won’t get your refund”. Scary. but it worked. I was a superhero in my mind. In the dark, they won’t even know who to track down and beat up (I kid, I actually really like most teenagers).

    I would also email the cinema, because let’s face it, that usher wasn’t doing their job and if they were terrified of the teens, they should bring back up or, if the teens are jerks about it, you get them to pause the film, turn on the lights, and everyone will shame them into leaving 😀

    I’m really sorry that was a shit experience for you. I can’t believe NOBODY in the cinema said anything.

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    • 08/08/2013 at 10:11
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      I have emailed the cinema and they’ve posted me two free passes to a film of my choice. Goes some way towards making up for the inconvenience I guess.

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  • 08/08/2013 at 09:59
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    The cinema I watched it in had similar “lads”. And you may be right about the audience for horror movies. Not many watch it because they appreciate it. when I watched the Conjuring (I sat through it all), the audience would applaud everytime the family in the movie played Hide and Clap. It was annoying.

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    • 08/08/2013 at 10:12
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      The second showing I went to also had a few audience members joining in with Hide and Clap. It was very annoying.

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  • 08/08/2013 at 10:28
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    I used to work in an indie(ish) cinema and we used to get Twatsicles coming in fairly often. My favourite technique was to shine a torch in their eyes to begin with, before moving to pausing the film. I’d follow this up by walking in and apologising to everyone for stopping the film, but it’s because of *point*. That one usually worked.

    There was one time I got in trouble thanks to one customer. I got a call from the marketing department. A woman had tweeted about noisy people during a film and our marketing guy picked it up. I went in, sorted out the problem, than headed to my twitter account. I saw she was tweeting throughout the entirety of the film, so I sent her a public message, delicately telling her to put the sodding phone away as it was just as distracting as loud ‘youths’. She didn’t like that.

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    • 08/08/2013 at 10:36
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      You are exactly the kind of person I want to be working in a cinema. I wish I could afford to hire you.

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      • 08/08/2013 at 12:39
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        Sadly my free-wheeling attitude is one of the reasons I no longer work at the cinema.

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        • 08/08/2013 at 15:05
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          I can imagine. You aren’t a corporate drone or a desperate, poor teenager, so you don’t fit their ideal.

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  • 08/08/2013 at 15:51
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    In the cinema we frequent over here in the Middle East, ushers do N-O-T-H-I-N-G at all, presumably because they are in the country on a sponsorship that can be quickly dropped if/when they insult the wrong person. We have seen local man puffing away on cigars mid-movie, iPads in use (seriously – who brings an iPad to a movie?!), and ringing cell phones are only silenced when they are ANSWERED and a conversation ensues. Maddening! Thanks for discussing this international problem!

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  • 08/08/2013 at 16:04
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    Meh. I don’t get it. But I guess I have an easier time drowning people out. Talking doesn’t bother me too much. It’s usually just whispers. However I did see the conjuring. Honestly, all the antics surrounding the movie was more entertaining to me than the movie. The story was good but it didn’t scare me at all. It was predictable. This was the first movie where I’ve had that type of experience (talking, joking etc) because I normally don’t watch horror. (Real life is scares me more.) So I think it’s just a defense mechanism when people are scared. Try to talk your way out of it. For me, things were predictable and that made me laugh because their decision making was incredulous. I had a good time there. Perfect strangers bonded during that movie. There’s something beautiful about that. Lol.

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  • 08/08/2013 at 16:36
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    The writer is very right. I hate when people do not come to a movie to watch the movie, and love the art form. They just go, to conform with their friends. Cell Phones should be banned from a place like that in general, its annoying seeing people on them during the movie. They should also stop letting people continuously leave the theater when the movie is playing. People NEED RESPECT FOR OTHERS, is that too hard to ask.

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  • 08/08/2013 at 20:23
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    What a shame this film was spoiled for you like this. I hate it when people keep talking really loudly or their phone goes off in the cinema. It seem like this group were intent on spoiling the film for everyone. The staff at the cinema should have told them. I think that poster is a good idea as well. Going to the cinema should be a fun event, sure, but people need to have respect for others so everyone can enjoy the film.

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  • 08/08/2013 at 21:12
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    This seems to be a hot topic right now. In addition to your post, I saw two articles today decrying the habits of rude moviegoers, and both were written in response to articles that defended the movie theater as a place to behave with little regard for the movie itself or fellow audience members. Why do these people bother paying money to go see a movie if they just want to talk and tweet and screw around?

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2013/08/08/texting-friendly-movie-theaters-will-increase-all-blockbusters-all-the-time-problem/

    http://www.vulture.com/2013/08/seitz-anil-dash-movie-theater-shushers.html

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  • 08/08/2013 at 21:29
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    This is actually very interesting, I was getting the popcorn while my husband was getting the seats when I started going up to where he was he came out and whispered “lets sit down there” The group of college basketball players for the Virginia Cavaliers were sitting behind him, they took his cup holder for his feet and were rocking his chair back and forth. Needless to say the other people trying to sit there all moved, until it was last seat. And a shame, it was the best seat in the house. Of course all the people screaming then laughing made it hard to watch too. I don’t blame you…. I just hope you got your money back.

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  • 08/08/2013 at 22:06
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    I rarely go to see a movie because I always wind up wanting to throw someone out. It never fails. The last time I went, I had this girl sit right next to me (the theater was pretty empty, mind you) and she decided to start eating everything in her purse. THEN she had the nerve to ask me if she can leave her banana peel in the cup holder next to me. I prefer waiting until the movie is on Netflix because I can’t tolerate people’s stupidity and lack of common decency.

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  • 08/08/2013 at 22:20
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    I had a similar problem at Dispicable Me 2 , where the kids were so loud that i didn’t understoud a sound from the movie. There also were some teenagers in the front rows, that kept on laughing and shouting.

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  • 08/08/2013 at 23:02
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    I saw The Conjuring recently and had a similar experience. I went to the 11:00 AM feature and figured I’d be able to enjoy the movie in peace. No such luck. A group of younger viewers carried on so obnoxiously that a man in the front of the theater yelled at them to shut up. This wasn’t an isolated incident. In fact, I’ve encountered this kind of rudeness the last several times I went to the cinema. (And how can I forget the sick person who sat behind me during one film, coughing and sneezing on my head for an hour and a half?) I do hope you get a chance to see the entire film. As scary ones go, it’s very well done.

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  • 08/08/2013 at 23:47
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    I gave up years ago and now either wait for several weeks after it’s been released to go see the movie in the theater or wait until it is out on video to watch from the comfort and quiet of my home. Sad, really. I used to go every week… see something new, cover the genres, meet with friends, make a whole evening of it. And now it isn’t worth it – the other people at the show will ruin the experience making noise, kicking seats, moving about…

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  • 09/08/2013 at 00:15
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    They don’t put up with phones or talking in the US. The bag rattling is something else entirely. I sat next to a woman who unwrapped one candy after another through Pirates of the Caribbean. I was so irritated! I’ve had my seat kicked through films as well. Thank God for Pay-per-View! I can watch at home.
    Check out how AMC gets the word out about rudeness in the theater. Pretty funny!
    http://youtu.be/C0P-16UCrvY

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  • 09/08/2013 at 01:55
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    As a member of cinema staff, I totally agree with you on this. It’s rude, ignorant and makes our job tough. So on that subject, I’ve noticed in the several articles you’ve done on this subject you blame ushers?
    As an usher myself at a very busy cinema chain, we need to be constantly glued to our station, only checking screens at scheduled times which are monitored by head office so it’s hard to stick around in a screen for long enough to catch someone in the act when they are talking/being rude.
    Also, I’ve been in this industry a while now and it’s hard to make it through an 11 hour shift after you’ve had several members of the public call you a c**t and a b***h for asking them politely to quiet down. Rudeness and a thick skin to match definitely comes with the retail territory but when we have a literal squad of managers breathing down our necks about “The customer (not matter how much of an a**hole they are) is always right” it’s hard to deal with.
    I myself, and several people I work with, have strict no tolerance on talking customers and give little to no care about who we offend if they are offending other viewers. We can let the insults roll off our backs. However, not every employee wants to deal with the rudeness and will do their best to alert managers instead (who are almost always upstairs in the office/snack room and rarely rush to our aide in time)
    Our cinema and several other busy locations are now rolling out specific security staff to deal with film disruption and piracy to help us as our primary job is cleaning up the nachos/popcorn/horrible crunchy bags that 200+ watchers leave in time for the next showing in 10 minutes!
    I don’t meant to attack you in any way as I definitely agree that cinemas are being treated as a youth centre/babysitters/day release nowadays but it’s all too easy to shift the blame on staff who – unbeknownst to the public – are under STRICT protocol and targets.

    Great article 🙂

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    • 09/08/2013 at 14:39
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      Oh, I completely agree. I’d advocate more ushers rather than “better” ushers because I recognise how hard ushers already work.

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  • 09/08/2013 at 02:07
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    I go to matinees so there aren’t any teenagers or many other people in the theater at all. I am fortunate to say I have never had an experience like this one. I hope you got your money back!

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  • 09/08/2013 at 05:58
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    That’s so funny because I seen it a couple weeks ago and I experienced the same thing. Seems like the only best time to go to movies is on a weeknight at the last showing. not many people there.

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  • 09/08/2013 at 08:12
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    I guess it happens everywhere in the world. I was watching a movie few months ago and a girl (and some friends of her) couldn’t stop commenting on EVERY single thing from the movie. “Oh she opens the door”, “The guy is so weird, he should’ve this that”. It was killing me. Movie theater should start to hand out mouth mask 😛

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  • 09/08/2013 at 13:22
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    So sad that you didn’t get to enjoy the film. A couple of years ago, we had a group of elderly people sitting behind us…at least two of the gentlemen could not hear. Their wives spent the entire movie repeating what was being said on screen.

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  • 09/08/2013 at 13:46
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    i agree, it blows…also i hate to watch a movie with a flick non-lover, they never pay attention and keep interrupting you asking…what!! what happened!! what did she say??
    movies are such great tools for self analysis and i prefer to watch my favs online and ALONE!

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  • 09/08/2013 at 15:54
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    Couldn’t agree more, I keep being dragged to the cinema as my partner works in it (not i a cinema but the industry – not sure why that’s relevant but I suddenly thought I didn’t want random strangers thinking I date an usher) I digress, the last time I went I was fed up after the 8th person came in after the film was half way through, guessing their film finished and would see what else they could sneak into, but there was hardly room so insisted on uprooting people to move them. One lady had her two kids (film wasn’t for kids) turned up halfway through and then moved people only to flit in and out 4 times in the last half of the film as each had obviously overdosed on giant buckets of soda and needed numerous toilet trips.

    I hate people eating there too, I prefer restaurants myself rather than shovelling food into my mouth one handed in complete darkness only to leave the cinema to find your sweater looks like it’s been knitted from popcorn. Nowadays the trailers are so long that it should be plenty of time to eat before the movie starts but they sit there in anticipation then as soon as the BBFC board comes up there is a chorus of packets being opened in unison.

    I’ve notice this spread to the stage aswell though, when a certain celeb appears in a play in a desire to prove they can act it attracts people who can’t have ever been before and still think they are watching a recording rather than something live, I’ve been astounded by the behaviour of some of those people oblivious to everyone else.

    Of course being British I say nothing and look on disapprovingly with the occasional tut.

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  • 09/08/2013 at 16:39
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    I may be a teenager, but I do want to say you are correct. About 99% of teenagers go as a night out. Not to admire the actual film. They have no respect for others in the theatre. It’s incredibly annoying.

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  • 09/08/2013 at 20:28
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    I love the movie.. It was really scary and disturbing, but happily ever after in the end. Watch the movie during the 2nd week so there will be lesser people inside the cinema. That’s what we do so we won’t have to fall in line and seat beside people we don’t know. 🙂

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  • 09/08/2013 at 22:26
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    Yes there’s always annoying people in any movies. I remember this lady seating beside me eating popcorn & every time she eats the popcorn she kinda smush her hands together & makes a very irritating noise. So after maybe 5 mins this lady infront of her confronted her & told her can you stop smushing (did what she was doing!) your hands!! And the lady got so embarrassed that she & her date left..

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  • 10/08/2013 at 02:36
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    Saw it with my hubby in a quiet theater, thankfully! It was a really good/scary movie IMO. Hopefully you get to see it! 🙂

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    • 10/08/2013 at 19:57
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      I was supposed to go see it two weeks ago but it didn’t work out, I am hearing nothing but good things about it, I cant wait to see it!!

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  • 10/08/2013 at 07:21
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    I completely agree, it’s gotten so bad then when I do want to go out to see a movie I try and go during the week as opposed to the weekend, I have found that usually the ttenagers tend to go on a Friday or Saturday, Its quite frustrating! I am huge fan of horror and it is one of the genres that you actually need to be invested in the beginning or the entire movie wont work. What happened to raising your kids with respect for other people!

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    • 10/08/2013 at 14:31
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      It’s difficult to do that at this time of the year in the UK because the schools have finished for the summer.

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  • 10/08/2013 at 13:34
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    When my daughter and I attended “The Guardians” there were 5 little girls (ages around 7-10) running all around the theater, screaming, throwing popcorn, carrying on – DURING THE MOVIE! I complained to management. Turns out, it was a birthday party, the moms dropped the girls off and left them to go shopping! There are no words, except that I feel your pain.

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  • 10/08/2013 at 19:16
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    Oh, you definitely touched a nerve in me with this one! I have such a tough time when there’s noise or distractions when I’m in a movie. I so rarely get to go that I relish the experience as a time to get away and be absorbed in another world. I’m one of those silly folks who sits around to watch the very last credit – and I love the silence in the theater when I get up to leave and nearly no one is there. I would have been so frustrated in your situation. I hope you get to go again and enjoy.

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  • 11/08/2013 at 00:28
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    I very much feel your pain here, I went to see it last night and, although I stayed, the suspense was ruined on numerous occasions by continuous chatter, ridiculous laughing rustling on food and a couple who were trying to get cozy on leather seats….therefore making them squek constantly. It was almost like everyone had no attention span and couldnt wait for suspense to build…..not interested in the story only the scare….morons. Glad you eventually saw it though

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  • 11/08/2013 at 06:46
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    This happened to me when I went to go see the first Silent Hill movie. Same thing, immature teenagers yelling and carrying-on. We didn’t walk out but we thought about it several times. When we finally saw it again on one of our movie channels, we enjoyed it 10 times more and ended up owning it.

    Something about horror movies in the theater just sets them all off.

    P.S. I really want to see The Conjuring myself. I hear it’s really good. 🙂

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  • 11/08/2013 at 08:27
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    I once went to see a horror movie with my best friend while we were still teenagers, and ran into a similar problem – a group of girls about our age were carrying on and pretending to be scared and letting out fake screams every time something remotely suspenseful happened on screen. After about the third time this happened, I yelled at the top of my lungs (which for me is quite loud) “SHUT UP!”

    My friend was very embarrassed, but those girls (as well as everyone else in the packed theater) didn’t make another peep for the entire rest of the movie.

    Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only time I had to do something like that in a movie theater, and I doubt it will be the last. People have no respect or consideration for others these days.

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  • 11/08/2013 at 14:34
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    Once I went to see Taalash, a sort of a suspense movie. I ran into quite a similar problem. It was not only mobile phones ringing or the crunching sound of eating chips,but some lads were actually hooting during the screening for absolutely no reason. A most uncomfortable and annoying movie experience. There should be a set of movie hall manners just like table manners. Though I am not sure how many people will abide by it.
    As for ‘The Conjuring’ I have not seen the movie myself as yet but my brother has and he says it gave him a good scare. So it should be really good.

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  • 12/08/2013 at 05:44
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    THANK YOU! omg… i watched it having to have some late people come in, talk, laugh, and talk some more… sit next to us and still talking AND LAUGHING! like daaaamn… i didn’t walk out, but it sure was close to it until my hubby “shushed” them out loud and they did shut up. people have no respect i swear. to make it worse, they weren’t even teenagers but “adults” pretty sad.

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  • 12/08/2013 at 06:54
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    I enjoyed the movie with no disturbances other than being too near the screen. Watching movies one is fated to run into such circumstances. There was once this time when I turn to my left to find a foot near my face, the guy behind me obviously very comfortable. I had to tap his shoe to make him remove it, something that shouldn’t have been necessary if people were really taught common courtesy .

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  • 12/08/2013 at 16:49
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    We definitely need the Wittertainment’s Code of Conduct sheet posted up on all the theaters in the U.S.

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  • 12/08/2013 at 17:05
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    That’s so funny you say this – when I saw the movie (BTW IT WAS EPIC) there was this cow behind me that was constantly making popcorn related noise. UGHHH. I wanted to shout SHUT THE BLEEP UP but I have this fear of upsetting people in movie theaters…for some reason…

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  • 12/08/2013 at 18:05
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    Had virtually the exact same experience when I went to see it, although they got quieter as the show went on and I managed to stick it through until the end. Really wish the staff had just chucked them, though. Preferably off a multistory car park.

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    • 12/08/2013 at 18:54
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      That in itself is the problem though. We shouldn’t have to just “manage”. We should be able to relax, immerse and enjoy.

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  • 13/08/2013 at 05:56
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    I completely understand! I went thru a similar horrifying experience- here in Mumbai! Not only was I surrounded by the nosiest trolls ever, there was deafening nervous laughter ALL THRU THE MOVIE…mid-way thru, I wasn’t sure that The Conjuring was a horror movie or the best Comedy of 2013…anyway, I attempted a second round-same results- but thanks to the fact that I meditate frequently, I got thru the movie & I loved it …

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  • 13/08/2013 at 06:03
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    I love going to see a movie in the theater. Not just for the sake of seeing a the movie itself but for the whole theater experience (this counts for live theater for me as well) Where else can a room full of people move through a unified sequence of emotions together without having a per-existing emotional bond. I’ve pretty much given up on going to a movie during opening weekend. Too crowded, people are too excited, etc. Unless it’s a date night I usually try to go sometime on a week day. Most theaters are near empty mid day and I’ve never seen someone being rude at 2 p.m. on a Tuesday.

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    • 13/08/2013 at 20:43
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      That strategy certainly tends to work most of the time. However, in the UK, we’re in the midst of the school summer break, which means cinemas are full of bored teenagers all day

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  • 13/08/2013 at 06:18
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    I completely agree with this article. I have faced similar situations. Why come to a theatre if you do not want to watch the film/performance. It’s high time the management does something about this kind of behaviour. I was watching inception which includes intense conversations and dialogues and this fellow sitting behind me was having a extremely loud conversation on his phone and it kept ringing. I turn back and told him to shut up and leave the theatre if he wants to continue his telephone conversation and he did not return for the 2nd half. We need to learn to discipline people if the management does not do anything about it.

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  • 13/08/2013 at 11:47
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    I am a bit late with my comment but I would like to throw it in there anyway. I can totally understand where you are coming from, I love going to the cinema and have had these kinds of experiences same as everyone else. But we must not forget the cinema’s, film-makers, etc. etc. need these peoples money too. Yes there are a lot of annoying people out there but if they didn’t go to the cinema there wouldn’t be a cinema to go to. It is all about dollars and cents right. My suggestion would be to wait a couple of days after the movie comes out. We all know who goes to see the films on opening weekend, so do not be surprised when you get there that the cinema is full of annoying kids, this isn’t news. Besides, I do not know who is working at the cinema’s out there but here it is a bunch of 15 year old kids, what are they going to do?

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  • 13/08/2013 at 14:20
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    So true… It’s a downer when you are watching something and you find a bunch of numbnuts totally losing it !!

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  • 13/08/2013 at 16:24
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    God I wish there were more movie goers like yourself. These days I’ll sit for a movie and all i can see is a bunch of lights coming from multiple cell phones across the rows. There was an incident where i knocked on out of the hands of some stranger sitting next to me as he was trying to take pictures of the movie as well as constantly texting through the whole movie. You may as well not watch the damn thing and let others watch it in peace if you’re going to be an ass. They should divide the theaters or something: one for movie watchers and one for obnoxious assholes who decide they’d much rather socialize while it’s pitch black

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  • 14/08/2013 at 00:51
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    Many of them I get, but eat nothing harder than a soft roll? Isn’t it normal to eat popcorn? I don’t care about the shoes of the other patrons (unless their feet stink) and why in the heck would you care about knitting!?! If anyone has to control their environment to that extent, wait and rent the movie.

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  • 14/08/2013 at 00:59
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    I agree completely! The same exact thing occurred when I went to watch the movie. People do not realize that they are ruining someone else’s experience.

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  • 14/08/2013 at 16:17
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    I agree! I’m in the United States and it’s just as bad here. People really just have no manners anymore. I went to a late night showing of “The Dark Knight” and someone brought their toddler who was terrified and freaking out the whole time! I honestly don’t even really go to the theater anymore. I just wait for HBO or Pay-Per-View to start playing them.

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  • 14/08/2013 at 23:45
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    Reblogged this on Mind Chatter and commented:
    Even though this article is addressed to the U.K. audience, it happens in the U.S. as well. So much so, one hates to spend the ridiculous amount of money for admission, money for treats, and then to be hounded by rude people (mostly phones I have found in my experiences).

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  • 15/08/2013 at 10:51
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    Reblogged this on A Beautiful Soul and commented:
    So damn right! Well said, nothing to add. Though it may look like the movie is bad, it is certainly not.

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  • 15/08/2013 at 15:34
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    This is too bad… but I actually was quite annoyed with my own fellow movie goers. In my case, they kept making remarks about how “stupid” the actors were when they decided to go into the basement or follow a strange noise made in the house. Mimicking moves here and there… “screaming” sarcastically. I focused very much on the movie but it was pretty distracting. Hope you get a chance to see it. I LOVED it and nothing scares me much now-a-days.

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  • 15/08/2013 at 21:39
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    Great post, Tom. I would also suggest going at less-popular times and after the opening week or two, whenever possible. Had to laugh and shake my head in recognition at reading the anecdotes of other commenters. My favorite was the person trying to take a picture of the screen, no doubt using a “smartphone.” This annoying trend of constant texting/calling/picture taking has reached into all walks of life, but esp. bad when one is supposed to have fixed attention one thing, like a movie screen. Maybe that’s asking too much nowadays, which is sad…

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  • 16/08/2013 at 02:17
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    Sounds like a theme for a new horror flick..”The Damning of the Cinephiles”…

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  • 16/08/2013 at 15:05
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    I am sorry that happened. I hope you complained and at least got your money back or a voucher to go see another movie or that movie free. Never In my life have I been to a movie with something like that happening. It’s terrible that people are so rude, teenagers or not.

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  • 17/08/2013 at 14:18
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    It is amazing the number of people of all ages that pay a premium to attend a movie and they still can’t dismiss themselves from their smartphone. Although they turn the ringer off, the light of their phone screens pop on an off during the whole movie. The whole mess discourages me from attend opening night. I usually wait to see most movies after a couple of weeks, and have even made it a habit of catching earlier afternoon showings.

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  • 19/08/2013 at 21:03
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    You have voiced what thousands of other moviegoers have experienced. Thank you for speaking for us as well with your blog and your complaint to Odeon. If more theaters took notice, perhaps there would be more people who are willing to leave the comfort of their homes for a reasonably quiet theater, trading comfort and economy for excitement of immediacy.

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  • 20/08/2013 at 05:35
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    Completely agree. After a string of bad experiences, I won’t set foot in a theatre outside of a drive-in, where if someone is acting like an ass, I can roll up the window and turn up the sound. My girlfriend and I saw The Conjuring at a drive-in and the atmosphere was fantastic — halfway through, a mild thunderstorm began to brew and there’s nothing like that to accentuate the mood.

    Sadly, summer’s almost over, so that means months of waiting for films on home video. I’m done with paying admission for uncomfortable seats and absolutely no one enforcing any sort of rules — I can wait six months and actually enjoy the film at home sans idiot strangers.

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  • 20/08/2013 at 06:41
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    I can relate to your experience. Many times the audience forgets that they are not in their living rooms watching television on the couch. Maybe that’s where they should stay in order for people not to experience what you’ve experienced.

    Nice post.Do you plan on watching Riddick 3 in September? I’d like to read your thoughts on that.

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  • 21/08/2013 at 10:33
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    Ah, so true unfortunately. Thankfully, the most irritating behaviour I’ve come across in recent years is the younger generation’s obsession with mobile phones whilst others are trying to watch a film….they CANNOT and I mean, cannot leave the damned things off and in their pockets or bags. Oh well, makes me just want to go and buy a 65″ HD / 3D ‘active’ flat screen telly and watch at home.
    Unfortunately, at the moment they cost an arm and a leg! But…I still think it may come to that as tellys get bigger and better, whereby the cinema, with its inflated prices for admission and goodies (and poorly behaved patrons) will lose out big time.

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  • 22/08/2013 at 04:56
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    Smh exactly why I’d rather go on days where there are less movie goers, like Sundays or in the afternoons. I can do without the crowd. I don’t have the patience for them especially the younger ones.

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  • 24/08/2013 at 19:13
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    I went to see The Conjuring a few weeks ago and asked a teen to turn their phone off half way through. Instead of apologising and doing so, she asked me if I could see her phone and then loudly proclaimed me to be a liar because I wasn’t sitting next to her (I was two seats away).

    Being so far into the film, I decided to see it through to the end, but people who act like this deserve to be chucked out and banned for a period of time so they know it’s not tolerable. It ruins the experience and atmosphere in a film that does so well in creating both.

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  • 26/08/2013 at 08:20
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    I’ll admit! I would use my phone (to check msgs) during a movie. I shan’t do it from now on 😉

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    • 26/08/2013 at 15:22
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      If I can stop just a few people doing it, my work is done. Good decision.

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  • 27/08/2013 at 20:48
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    Once someone in front of me was wearing a blue-tooth earpiece (which I already detest outside of the theater). The blinking of the little blue light nearly drove me mad!

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  • 01/09/2013 at 07:49
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    Your experience is why I rarely attend films on opening weekends or in the evening any more. I hate it when some rude asshole who thinks the movie needs their narration to make it better or have to tell their fellow brain-dead zombies what just happened when they both just watched it happen.

    I’m not shy about asking someone to be quiet and demanding a refund from the theater if they won’t step up and tell the idiots to shut up.

    Movies are expensive enough already. A ticket shouldn’t mean it costs you your peace of mind as well. Good essay, but for all the wrong reasons unfortunately.

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  • 07/09/2013 at 01:58
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    Okay, that happened to me in Sinister last year: A bunch of youngsters sat next to me and as the movie started so were their discussions, I heard young boys saying things like “Oh I am so scared”, just to prove the girls that they were real men or something. But I’m not playing around, I paid 11 Dollars for this movie. So I stood up and yelled, yes you heard me right, I yelled “Hey, I don’t know if you guys noticed but the movie started, so please shut it”. At first they were acting appalled but they stayed quiet. You should have asked for your money back!

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  • 09/09/2013 at 07:24
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    OMGOSH, I hate it when people talk during a movie. That is when I seem to become not me! lol There has been a couple of times that I got rude with people because they wouldnt shut the hell up! I feel like the time between 4-10 pm is when a lot of rude people come! Anyways, havnt seen the movie and looking forward to seeing your other reviews! thanks!

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  • 26/11/2013 at 09:16
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    Reblogged this on Take time to pray and commented:
    I share the same frustration talking about cinemas…and the people in it. Even during stage plays and theatre acts, I really find it very disrespectful.

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  • 03/08/2014 at 23:38
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    I feel your pain! Also, multiplexes invariably insist on only showing horror films at night, when it’s damned near impossible to avoid the annoying little shits!

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