More distracting still is the bloke who sets out to impress his girlfriend by explaining the plot – and gets it hopelessly wrong! Resist if you can the urge to tap him on the shoulder and say, "Excuse me, mate – you really haven't got a feckin’ clue, have you?"
When I were a lad, a snack at the cinema meant a shared box of Maltesers which one struggled to locate amid the fug of cigarette smoke (remember that?).
Today's increasingly obese cinemagoers are more likely to be seen consuming vast, nutrition-
There's a reason for this. It long ago became uneconomic for cinemas to show films alone. No, really. If you pay to watch a big blockbuster these days, up to 90% of your ticket price goes straight back to the distributor.
Adapting to the new economics of exhibition, cinemas now make the bulk of their cash from over-
I'm going to qualify this, because many years' experience has taught me that there are three groups one baits at one's peril: god-
So let the record show that plenty of children, especially the offspring of nice middle class Venue readers, are perfectly capable of enjoying films quietly. However, a significant minority of parents seem to labour under the misapprehension
In addition to the hell that is other people (and I didn't even get around to mentioning personal hygiene) cinemas seem to conspire to pile on the misery. Not content with treating their customers like criminals who have yet to be caught illegallycamcording films, they force us to endure endless trailers and ads.
Thanks to the advent of the PVR (Sky+ and the like there's no reason why any sane person should ever have to endure another television commercial. But cinemas don't have fast forward buttons, so we must suffer excruciating aspirational bullshit pitched at social inadequates over and over again.
Oh, and memo to the people who make those funny EE ads: they're great the first time, moderately funny the second time, and then become increasingly irritating with each repetition. And nobody takes the slightest notice of the message.
My least favourite ad, however, has to be the 'Be an Insider' one that you get all the time at Showcase cinemas. This plays like a recruitment drive for a sinister religious cult, with smiley, attractive, dead-
And even if I was minded to join a religious cult, it wouldn't be the one with that bloke who looks like a serial killer. You know the one I mean.
that by purchasing a ticket they enter into a contract that places the cinema in loco parentis for the duration of the film.
Result: hellspawn running up and down the aisles, screaming, kicking the backs of chairs and so on, while their parents – presumably numbed by this behaviour, which is considered normal in the family home – remain supine and slack-
Some cinemas now acknowledge this tacitly with over-