Cinema etiquette

What should be expected of other cinemagoers when the film starts? Ravindranath K / The National
What should be expected of other cinemagoers when the film starts? Ravindranath K / The National

Many film buffs in this country will be able to empathise with the uproar caused when a United States cinema chain briefly suggested that texting ought to be allowed in some showings. AMC, which operates more than 5,000 screens, quickly abandoned the proposal in the face of angry responses.

Distractions from other members of the audience – talking while the film is showing, making phone calls, texting, people arriving late and allowing children to run around – are all unfortunately familiar for anyone who watch movies here. Some shun the cinema entirely for this reason.

All this hints at the unspoken contract between the cinema and its audience. In return for providing a comfortable and clean environment featuring all the high-tech options on a big screen, the audience is expected to abide by etiquette to ensure everyone can enjoy the experience. It seems all too often, those watching fail to appreciate how their behaviour affects others.

Published: April 18, 2016 04:00 AM

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