I love movies, just not the places that screen them. So far, almost every visit to the cinema has left me frustrated. After each visit, I find myself more determined than ever to steer clear of it. Much like how I keep swearing I’ll never take Tiger Airways again, yet still eventually going back to it because it is the cheapest. Much like a dog going back to its vomit — which apparently is a biblical proverb though I have yet to see it in action.
Here are the top five things/people/creatures that are driving me away from the cinema, in no particular order:
1. Talkers: I get it that we should respond to the movie, be it laughing or crying. But please stop giving your friend a running commentary on what is happening on the big screen. Your friends can see AND hear for themselves, unless they are both blind AND deaf, in which case your talking is not going to help much.
2. Eaters: It’s your choice if you want to get fat on lousy popcorn and even worse soft drinks. Just try to have a sense of decent timing for crunching. Not at the quietest moments when the dialogue is at its softest and most important.
3. Shifters: There are some people who can’t sit still. They constantly fidget in their chairs, or worse constantly rock in their seats until you get motion sickness from just being next to them. Related to this unfortunate group of homo sapiens are the Leg Shakers. This latter group just can’t keep their legs still, tapping their feet on the floor until you can feel the vibrations rumbling up your seat. Might work if I were watching a movie on earthquakes. Not otherwise.
4. Kids: Before my mummy friends start crying foul, I have absolutely no problems with children in the cinema, especially if it’s a cartoon or a family-friendly movie shown at a family-friendly time. What is not ok is bringing three kids – all under the age of four – into the cinema on a Wednesday night for a 10pm screening of the two-hour-long Life of Pi. I’ve never heard so many shushes in a cinema before. Maybe this pet peeve should just be renamed Mothers-Who-Should-Know-Better, or Irresponsible Mothers for short, since it’s really not the poor kids’ fault.
5. Bloodsuckers: These little critters – not the fat cats in politics – lurk in the seats and sink their fangs into you again and again. I’ve tried to combat this by making sure I’m fully covered in long sleeves and long trousers whenever I venture into the world of the vermin. But I sometimes forget about my slippered feet and that’s when the mozzies will have a feast.
In sooth, I know not why I keep going back to the cinema. But there is something magical about seeing a movie on the big screen, instead of on the telly at home. So until I can own a cinema of my own and ban all the above from entering, I’ll just have to keep going back to my vomit, oops, the cinema.