Why I am Never Going to the Cinema Again
A couple of weeks ago I went to see Jurassic World at the cinema and, although it was a great film, it made me decide to never go to the cinema again. It was nothing to do with the ticket price or the fact that we had to pay extra for 3D glasses which, according to Nate, is like buying a meal in a restaurant and being forced to pay extra to use cutlery. I also have no complaints about overpriced popcorn or pick-n-mix. I expect these things, and I go anyway because I enjoy (or used to enjoy) going to the cinema.
What I now hate most about the cinema is something that has only become an issue in the last couple of years: People (dickheads) playing with their phones. DURING THE FILM.
On this occasion we were really early to the cinema and sat down before the adverts had come on. Shortly after us, two teenage girls arrived playing music from their phone speaker. (Lady Gaga, if you're wondering.) This annoyed me furiously, but I realised I shouldn't get annoyed since the film hadn't started. Although I should, because playing music from your phone speakers is obnoxious and awful. Obviously, she stopped as soon as the ads came on because she wouldn't have been able to hear her phone anyway. Fine.
I thought my blood pressure had settled for the afternoon at that point, until a monumental dickhead a couple of rows in front of me and to my left - just inside my peripheral vision - started playing with his phone. He was checking Facebook because of course he was.
He stopped after a couple of minutes, so I stopped grinding my teeth and settled back into Chris Pratt fannying around with velociraptors.
Then he started again twenty minutes later. Then stopped. Then started again. He did it three or four times over an hour and a half.
Eventually I got up and went over to him (he was sat on the aisle seat) and asked him nicely if he would put his phone away. I have done this a couple of times before in the cinema and the theatre and people have always been very nice and apologetic, which is why I didn't think twice about asking him.
He basically laughed in my face and said, "Nah, love, I'm just checking my phone, what's your problem?"
You are my problem, dickhead. YOU AND YOUR FUCKING DICKHEAD FACE. The cinema is for films. Films and popcorn and pick-n-mix and nothing else. If you are doing something other than watching a film or eating cinema food, then GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE FUCKING CINEMA.
And since no-one else asked him to stop, I can only assume I was the only one annoyed by the light moving around in the corner of my eye every twenty minutes in an otherwise dark room. If I had been sat directly behind him, I would have definitely asked a member of staff to throw him out. Not that it would have done any good, because the cinema appeared to be run solely by teenagers who has no more fucks left to give.
Or, more likely, everyone was too polite to ask, in which case SHAME ON ALL OF YOU. You are as bad the dickhead himself. Don't you realise that by being so inexplicably polite, you are letting the bad manners win, thus helping to end politeness forever? Don't let bad manners win.
So the film ended, and as well as being in a bad mood I was also scared to walk past the dickhead man in case he shouted at me. Then I saw that he was with a small girl of about 5 or 6, who I assume was his daughter, and I got even more annoyed because WHO EVEN DOES THAT?!
Mobile phones didn't exist when I was little, but if they did my parents sure as hell wouldn't have pulled them out during The Little Mermaid.
"Well, maybe he'd already seen it and was taking his daughter to see it again?"
No. Shut up. I don't care. He should sit through it again or wait outside if he really can't not look at his phone for two hours.
When she says afterwards, "Daddy, which part of Chris Pratt and the velociraptors was your favourite?" He will say, "I don't know, I wasn't paying attention. Here, why don't you play Candy Crush and be quiet. And give me my phone back in ten minutes because I'll need to check Facebook again."
I am not a parenting expert, but staring constantly at your phone when you are spending time with your child is not good parenting.
Maybe she wasn't his daughter. Maybe it was his little sister. Whatever. It makes no difference. She'll now grow up thinking that's an okay way to act at the cinema.
To summarise, here are my annoyances in order of how much I wanted to physically hurt the man with the phone:
- Man checking Facebook during film in dark cinema.
- Him getting annoyed with me when asked to stop.
- The fact that a small girl will now grow up thinking it's okay to use her phone during a film.
- The slow demise of good parenting skills.
- The slow demise of manners.
In short, the stress of that experience has genuinely put me off going to the cinema for good. And what even is the point any more? There are hardly any good films being made any more, unless you like superhero remakes, and my boyfriend has a huge TV with incredible speakers, a Netflix subscription, and living room devoid of irritating strangers.
Things that would potentially encourage me visit the cinema again:
- Cinema Ninjas in every screen of every cinema in the UK.
- Better still, making people hand in their phones at the screen entrance.
- Having a job that doesn't require me to be in an office during the day so I could go on weekday afternoons and be the only one there.
Until then, feel free to do whatever you like at the cinema, because I won't be there.
Image: Abandoned Cinema by Chris Marchant from Flickr.