Moviegoers Code of Conduct
In order that film going remain a civilized pursuit, the Moviegoers Code of Conduct was compiled. It consists of the following tenets:
- No eating
... of anything harder than a soft roll with no filling. No one wants to hear you crunch, chew or masticate in any way. Nachos cause special offence and are of the devil.
- No slurping
... of drinks. You've already drunk a 5 litre flagon of pop, you really don't need the melting ice too. You are not six years old.
- No rustling
... of super high density, rustle-o-magic, extra rustle bags. No foraging of any kind; if you're going to need it during the film, get it out beforehand.
- No irresponsible parents
Your five-year-old does not want to come to see the latest 12A certificate: you are using the cinema as a babysitter. Your child's moaning, whinging and crying is your fault, and a profound annoyance to everyone else. Your interrupted sleep caused by your child's nightmares is also your fault and serves you right.
- No hobbies
This includes knitting, drug dealing, model aeroplane assembly, fighting, having sex and updating Facebook.
- No talking
You're in a cinema - you have come here to watch, not to discuss. Or 'engage', or 'participate', or 'explain' or whatever. More importantly, no-one in the cinema has paid £8.50 to hear your director's commentary on the movie. Just sit down and shut up.
- No mobile phone usage
At all. Not even on 'flight mode'. This isn't an aeroplane, it's a cinema. Even if you're not yapping, you're still creating light pollution. Put your thumbs away. NB: includes Blackberries, Palm Pilots, iPads - whatever.
- No kicking of seats
The area of floor directly in front of your seat is yours, and is there to put your legs in. The back of the seat in front of you belongs to someone else; do not touch, interfere with, or otherwise invade their space with your feet, knees, or other bodily appendages.
- No arriving late
Like Woody Allen in Annie Hall, you're supposed to watch movies from the very beginning to the very end. If you turn up late, tough: go see something else - The Sorrow and the Pity, perhaps.
- No shoe removal
You are not in your own front room. Nor are you in Japan (unless you are, in which case, carry on). A cinema is a public space: keep your bodily odours to yourself.
(NB Rule No.1 - Cakes might be ok to take into the cinema, as long as they are not wrapped in tin foil. Hot bacon sandwiches are right out!)
(NB Rule No.10 - despite being informed on numerous occasions by listeners in Japan that it is also unacceptable to remove shoes in cinemas in said country, the Code of Conduct has yet to be corrected on this point.)
See the link below for a printable version of this should you wish to carry a copy with you when visiting you local multiplex, thereby enabling you to brandish it at any rule breakers in the audience - which may include Jason Isaacs!