It’s date night, but you’ve forgotten what a train wreck the cinema can be for manners. From a kick to the back of your chair to the crunch of popcorn, not to mention that couple getting cosy in the seats next to you.
In the early era of silent screenings (and, oh, how we miss them), cards shown before films declared etiquette announcements such as “Ladies, kindly remove your hats”, “Loud talking or whistling not allowed”, and “Please applaud with hands only”.
If only we were that civilised now. Apparently, cinema manners have degenerated. So much so that Debrett’s has issued a guide with social graces to consider before going to the movies.
“Over the past few years we have noticed an overall decline in the nation’s cinema etiquette. Having someone kick you in the back of the seat or talking for the duration of the film can be a real pain and can spoil a trip to the cinema,” explains Jo Bryant from Debrett’s.
In the spirit of yesteryear’s etiquette announcements, cinema goers are gently reminded to switch off mobile telephones (and we - not so secretly - hope that the same reminder will be extended to switching off one’s personal digital assistant).
Here are top ‘cinetiquette’ tips from Debrett’s:
1. Refrain from kicking the seat in front of you - get comfortable before the film starts and sit still.
2. Don’t talk or whisper with your companions during the film - your chatter will be disruptive for others.
3. Being overly affectionate in public is embarrassing for others, so keep back-row smooching to a minimum.
4. Be punctual. Nobody wants their viewing interrupted by you trying to find a seat.
5. Don’t rustle sweet wrappers. Open packets before the show starts, or wait for a noisy scene to avoid disturbing your neighbours.
Now, sit back and enjoy your film. And please feel free to send us more ‘cinetiquette’ tips.