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James Stirling (6 Music) James Stirling (6 Music) | 18:21 UK time, Wednesday, 16 September 2009

We asked for your help in putting together the A&J Cinema Manifesto - a list of improvements whilst watching films that cinema chains MUST take notice of. Have a listen, see if you agree and please feel free to add further suggestions in the comments section below.


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Here are some of your suggestions so far:


Cinemas should have headphone sockets in the seats. (Gary Chamberlain)

When the film is on, the cinema should be engulfed in utter darkness. The only light in the room should be from the projector. (Tom in Loughborough)

All popcorn should be crushed and chewed so that when eaten, it does not disrupt the film. (Paul from Maidenhead) Sexy people should feed it to you. (Adam & Joe)

People must clap and cheer when the film certificate is shown at the beginning of a film to show their excitement. (Anon, possibly a cinema manager...)


  • Comment number 1.

    Whilst I love watching trailers for upcoming films (in fact, I often think it's one of the most exciting things about the cinema experience), being forced to be a captive audience for unsolicited commercial advertising before the previews is an utter con. Cinemas should be forced to provide proper movie start-times: the time when the movie will actually begin, not the time - twenty minutes before - when they start airing car commercials and other unwanted guff!
    Like a concert, where they give you a "start" time and a "doors" time, how hard can it be to say something like: ADAM AND JOE: THE MOVIE start-time: 20:30 (doors: 20:10)?

  • Comment number 2.

    I think the seats should be on a slope of at least 40 degrees to prevent the problem of being placed behind a really tall person and having him block half the screen during the movie.

    On the flip side there should be a small touch screen computer tucked under every seat with which you could leave feedback for each member of the audience. Leaving bad feedback for say, an annoying teenager, would result in his or her seat being lowered by 1-20cm depending on the level of annoyance. The point of this is to gradually lower the enjoyment of unwanted cinema goers.

    Thirdly I think each seat should have electric wires masking the back of it so if anyone decided to start kicking the chair in front of them, they would receive a well deserved electrical shock. Each subsequent shock would have an increased voltage.

  • Comment number 3.

    I've got to say no to the headphones thing, just gives people an excuse to talk/make noise during the film.

    To be fair about the adverts, it's how cinemas make their money, so they're not going to ingratiate themselves to advertisers by making it so easy for audiences to miss the adverts that companies pay a lot to have shown there. But, on the other hand, I used to work in a cinema, and if a customer actually asked us when the film itself started we were able to tell them. So maybe ask next time? Or just turn up about 15 minutes after the advertised time.

  • Comment number 4.

    I PROPOSE that there should be a vendor type guy who like in all American baseball movies just wanders up and down the aisles carting around munchies so that you dont have to buy your gummy sweets, fizzy sweets, pop corn, magnus classic ice cream, double chocolate fudge sundae, nachoes and or any other kind of food before the movie starts and then end up wolfing it down during the 20 minutes or so of adverts and trailers.

    Option 1: The high tech solution to calling the vendor over silently and efficiently while the film is running:

    You'd press a button on your arm rest and the small light would go off on the vedors eletronic "Bingo Card" type digital screen that would flash your seat number (like a flight attendants thing-gummy thing). He'd promptly come over, you'd pay him (please have change ready and the glow-in-the-dark menu is in front of your seat) he'd hand over your ice lolly and thats that. Just dont drop the change.

    Option 2: The budget version to call him over silently:

    All aisles would have a long string running along them in a convenient location (maybe along the row of seats in front of you, {like the old buses used to have to stop the bus} ).

    The exception here is that instead of the string being attached to a bell it would be attached to the vendor's body parts.

    You get the idea.

    I'd also like to put forward a motion to bring back the movie interval.

    Third world cinemas still do have 20 mins intervals.
    I think its for the best given the rubbish state of movies these days.
    (The 10,000 BC premier in Mumbai had a very welcome interval)

  • Comment number 5.

    "All popcorn should be crushed and chewed so that when eaten, it does not disrupt the film. (Paul from Maidenhead) Sexy people should feed it to you. (Adam & Joe)"

    not even the saliva of sexy people can make mulched pop corn sexy.

    Just get rid of all pop corn machines and replace with gummy bears.

  • Comment number 6.

    I postulate that "David Des Moines" "from Iowa" is, in fact, not called "David Des Moines" but instead is David from Des Moines, Iowa (the state capital).

  • Comment number 7.

    Ladies wearing bangles should be frog-marched out of the foyer as soon as they are detected.

    Ditto anyone wearing strong scent.

    Popcorn eaters should be seated in what used to be the 'smoking' area. It's the smell I can't stand.

    Couples containing one person who is too simple to understand the basic plot structures of the film necessitating the need to ask their companion to explain, should both learn morse code so they can tap questions and replies on each other's thighs. This will avoid spoiling the film for the other people around them and could even spice up an otherwise much too complicated film, for them.

    In a similar spirit, it should be illegal for anyone to laugh at a comedy moment more than 20 seconds after it happens. If you're a bit slow, recognise it, embrace it and shut up.

    On the other hand, people who feel their intelligence is so superior that they need to make their laugh or grunt louder than is natural in a human simply to display that they understood what they perceive to be a cleverly obscure or complex witty line or visual, should be unceremoniously mooned at by the person sitting immediately in front of them. If that seat is empty, the two nearest people in the row in front should complete the duty.

    Good night.

  • Comment number 8.

    - The seats should be arranged by 2s, with aisles between, like airplane seats.
    - All concession candies should be in silent, napkin-type wrappers.
    - Walls should be lead-lined to block mobile phone signals (if you're a doctor on call, wait and see a movie on your day off.)
    - Headphones might be ok, but might limit the range of sound (unless someone made a movie with binaural sound...you guys should do that) OR some well-placed headrests, with adjustable, wrap-around sides, might block all the sound except what is in front of you, and would discourage people from talking to each other during the show. This would be especially good for people who have a hard time getting their partner/friend/brother Charlie to be quiet even though I've asked him nicely.

  • Comment number 9.

    To avoid toilet related complications, perhaps the seats could be made of very comfortable sponge (with Tena Lady like freshening properties). As it would now be pitch-back in cinemas, the wearing of trousers and pants would be much less important. Plus cinemas are always nice and warm.

    A special "bum junk" pocket could be included, but under the strict stipulation that there be no "harumping" sounds while using it.

    I suppose this may lead to the need for dietary constraints, i.e. nobody who produces the kind of turkey-twizzler related mess that Gillian McKeith covets in a Tupperware container (for no scientific reason what so ever).

    Joel in Bristol

  • Comment number 10.

    I agree with the idea of bringing back movie intervals in cinemas.

    How about some sort of voting system for intervals? Every seat could have a button installed that one could press when he or she feels the call of nature, or perhaps fancies popping out for a snack. Once the vote reaches a critical number (say more than 50% of the audience), the projectionist picks a suitable time and pauses the film. There would be no intervals towards the end of the film; perhaps a subtle prompt could come up on screen indicating the last chance to vote for an interval, after which all votes are locked out.

  • Comment number 11.

    Make everyone in the cinema dance to the Pearl & Dean music. Me and my former flatmate used to do it, and the benefit of being seated means that both arms and legs get in on the act.

    The dance should best be described as thrashing about

  • Comment number 12.

    @Wolfticket I mused about that somewhere else on the net. I found such irony in the fact that lovely Cornballs pronounced Des Moines perfectly (in an otherwise confusing minefield of place names) and yet he didn't know it was a city.

    I should probably admit that I might not have know either, if I hadn't jumped on the Bill Bryson bandwagon all those years ago.

  • Comment number 13.

    my manifesto thoughts are thus:

    #1 I have recently noticed that at many multiplexes you have to go to the food/confectionary stand to purchase a ticket. Often this leads to even longer queues due the the drongheads in front of me over working their one half working brain cell as they try to buy tickets for hannah montana 13 AND order over priced warm slop that is advertised as Food.

    I do not wish to buy said slop. I just want a ticket. Therefore i propose that cinemas go back to the old fashioned way and have A FULLY STAFFED ticket booth.

    #2 All cinema staff members shall wear a proper uniform that involves a shirt/blouse/trouser/skirt type combination with waistcoat and either a bow tie or tie with appropiate clip. The current maccy d, baseball cap sports leisure suit look will simply not do and all such items should be burned with immediate effect. I demand standards please.

    #3 all films with a duration of 96.41 mins or longer should have an interval of atleast 13.37 mins.

    #4 during said interval ice cream in little tubs complete with mini wooden spoons shall be sold by confectionary vendors. said vendors should be pretty looking.

    #5 nachos, hot dogs and all other warm wee smelling drivel is now banned forthwith.

    #6 during the performance anyone who removes their shoes, answers their phone or disturbs the audience with a personal effect shall have said items removed and not returned. EVER.

    #7 talking during the ads/trailers is permissable. once the film begins a monastry like silence must be upheld, the only human sounds allowed are those deemed appropiate to the movie in question. e.g if you're watching a comedy you're allowed to laugh (but is has to be a GOOD comedy).

    #8 I (and my friends) always get the best seat(s) in the auditorium. hmm that might be a bit selfish that one.

    ok thats it. For now.....

    Glenn in Londinium.

  • Comment number 14.

    Once the film has finished and everyone's leaving everybody must remain in complete silence until they are well clear of the cinema (and more importantly me) so no-one has to hear inane people point out the bits they liked, not understand or any other ill thought out opinions which are wrong. If you want to discuss a film wait go to the nearest coffee shop and do it properly, away from me.

  • Comment number 15.

    In a cinema auditorium which is less than half full, it shall be an offence to sit next to a person or persons who are not in your own party. There must be a gap of at least one seat. Any transgressions shall be punished with immediate expulsion.

  • Comment number 16.

    No columnular gaps in the rows in the middle of the cinema, those are the best seats FFS!

    Again I would prefer robot masticated food, not humanly masticated, they'd steal all the tastienss.

    Seats should be sold according to height, so that short persons (me) can damn well see no matter how freakishly tall the person in front of them is (Joe).

  • Comment number 17.

    I don't know if anyone else with children does this but I always sneak sweeties (Minstrels) and a bottle of water into my bag when I go to the cinema and I know this practice is frowned upon. (you can tell which families do this by looking for a mum with an oddly bulging handbag) I refuse to pay the EXTORTIONATE (shouty Ad-type noise) prices they charge for sweets, it's an expensive treat to go to the cinema with children these days and with so many films out all year round it gets pricey. But I always feel like a criminal when I do it. So, here's my bid for the manifesto:

    Cinema owners, accept that some people cannot afford the price of the tickets and vastly overpriced sweets and drinks too, so let us bring our own in and pop an "honesty box" in the foyer for, let's say a £1 donation to charity, thereby allowing budget-wise mums and dads to treat the family in a guilt-free way without taking out a second mortgage.


  • Comment number 18.

    I have to say what with the seats at an incline and the movie being projected above your head on a enormous screen kind of makes the need to seat tall people at the back slightly redundant.

    That does make perfect sense for gigs however.

    (in fact i think that was one of the tenets of the gig ettiquette guide.)

  • Comment number 19.

    Cinemas should have silent snacks like...

    Marshmallows (dispensed into a small carton, not a rustley bag)
    Ice-Cream (dispensed into a small carton with a little wooden spoon to avoid slurpers)

    Cinemas should also have...
    Kissing booth (to avoid slurpers)
    Jabba seats (up the front, for larger individuals)
    Armaroundher seats (down the back, double seats)
    "Hold my bag, havta go loo" seats (located opposite the ladies toilets, for patient men, probably holding a bag)

    Sci-Fi-Fri (midnight Friday screenings of classic Sci-Fi movies)


  • Comment number 20.

    People who choose a seat in the middle of an aisle will NOT be allowed to travel back in the direction that they originally entered that aisle (if they enter the aisle from the left, then they have go back out of the aisle from the right n' vicey versee.) This rule would make things a lot easier on the good folks who got to the cinema on time and have to deal with the late arrivers shoving their arses into your popcorn just as the trailers start or the movie is ten minutes in.

  • Comment number 21.

    All pre-movie advert segments must include at least one poorly produced advert for a local chemist or restaurant, featuring clothes and hairstyles not seen for at least 20 years, and starring the actual owner of said chemist or restaurant in a woodenly acted cameo,in order to break the monotony of the slick modern ads.

  • Comment number 22.

    If corpulent air-breathers can have their foot-long hotdogs and nachocheesethings, 2 litres of coke-flavoured ice and illuminated mobile telephone screens, I don't think it's asking too much to permit the occasional pint of gin and comfy, but discreet, tug.

  • Comment number 23.

    Being over 6ft tall, I firmly believe that cinemas should charge 20% more peseat, and remove 20% of all the seats ... legroom-lack is worse than that popcorn crunching chav next to you!!!

  • Comment number 24.

    I texted in with de-chewing gum the seats, this goes for schools as well.

  • Comment number 25.

    20% more per-seat??

    What are trying to do? Cripple the movie industry even more? Drive prirate dvd sales up?

    You want someone to pay MORE that £8.50 for watch some saccarine labrador saturated nonsense like Marley and Me? Or even wose 27 Dresses?? (which I did, to my shame. Had I just eaten the £8.50, I would have gotten more value for my money)

    20% more and I'd boycott the who damn enterprise.


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