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The Moviegoers Code of Conduct

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Mark Kermode | 13:02 UK time, Thursday, 2 December 2010

In the company of my 5 live colleague the estimable Simon Mayo, and featuring a mystery guest, here is the definitive Wittertainment Code of Conduct for Moviegoers presented for your attention in the Kermode Uncut style.

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  • Comment number 1.


  • Comment number 2.

    You forgot no freakin' laser pointers!!!!

  • Comment number 3.

    Just brilliant.

    and the James King cameo for the kid was a genius bit of casting.

  • Comment number 4.

    Fantastic. Should be shown as an intro in all cinemas!

  • Comment number 5.

    bloody marvellous chaps

  • Comment number 6.

    Great rules Mark. Who's the old geezer?

  • Comment number 7.

    Great stuff! Particularly enjoyed Dr M kicking Dr K's chair :D

    By the way I went to see Unstoppable last night, as you would imagine it is a very loud movie with lots of shouting and a rock style soundtrack. However, I could still hear the couple sat across the centre aisle, two rows up and a few seats in from me.
    Un-be-lieve-able, they talked through the entire movie at this high level. I regretted not having the code of conduct on me...I think I may print off some pocket sized copies of it and hand them out to anyone who is impeding my enjoyment of a movie by breaking any of the rules.

    @Grinty That is a brilliant idea, make it so!

  • Comment number 8.

    Like the power drill. Nice one.

    I've sort of kind of broken one of these rules (while in the Curzon I drew something on my iPod - I'm a mobile digital doodler - prior to the film being on but shut it off the moment the dull adverts stopped thinking, ironically, what would Kermode say?) and want to break one of these rules at the other end: I'm a college teacher and would love to have the space to take my IT graphics students to see a film and then discuss it there and then, the moment the credits have finished. Best of all would be if we could replicate the Ebert thing where we could stop the film as it goes and discuss specific details but I understand that would be Uber annoying for the rest of the audience.

    Still, all I've got locally is an Odeon cinema (Guildford, incidentally, which you've CRUELLY ignored the tweets about) and all I get is squat. Unless I get the train to the Curzon in which case life's a little more jolly).

  • Comment number 9.

    Also: you know those dull ads thanking you for supporting the UK cinema industry? We've done those. Now is the time for Mark to start a film off PROPERLY by telling us all what we've done wrong already, what we might have in mind to do wrong and to SIT DOWN, SHUT UP and WATCH THE FILM. He could also tell us to BERATE the other members of the audience who are still sitting with shoes off, eating doritoes. The film industry has been too nice for too long. It's time to get the message through. Mobile phones were just the beginning, now its time to cry havoc against all the dogs of cinema goers and their slipping standards.

    C'mon Mark, Let's Do This :)

  • Comment number 10.

    Very amusing. I liked the comment about 3D, good cameo from the 12 year old James King but where was Jason Isaacs?

  • Comment number 11.

    Excellent - Can we have this played before the start every film at my local world of cine please.

  • Comment number 12.

    I agree with all of the rules except one: please let me take my shoes off? (guilty as charged!)...

    p.s. don't you think Mayo looks quite Dickensian with his little round spectacles?

  • Comment number 13.

    Would be better in 3D. Ha Ha. I like it, it's very funny.

  • Comment number 14.

    "The nation's favourite, Simon Mayo."

    How many Simon Mayos are there?

  • Comment number 15.

    This must become law. Now.

  • Comment number 16.

    I wish this had been shown before the Harry Potter screening I went to Friday night. Bunch of 15 year olds on the back row wouldn't shut up until a very disgruntled South African next to me went up and told them, in no uncertain terms that if they spoke again it would be the last time they would. He got a round of applause.

    Every cinema needs a large disgruntled South African for this very purpose.

  • Comment number 17.

    I would add 'Please make sure you empty your bladder before taking your seat' Or if you have drunk a bucket full of fizzy water before hand sit at the end of the isle.

  • Comment number 18.

    Mr Kermode, can you use your divine influence and get that skit screened before each show..

    ....tho' I do take my shoes off if it's quiet ;-/ ......

  • Comment number 19.

    Best UK export since The Beatles!

  • Comment number 20.

    Is it insulting that I think that as an older man, Mayo'll look like Lankester Merrin?

  • Comment number 21.

    Can we add other one that is just (if not more) important than any of the others as I went to watch The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest at the Cineworld in Cardiff and towards the any of the film some guys phone rang and he actually answered it and was yapping away. So can we have no answering phone calls!!!

  • Comment number 22.

    If only this code of conduct were enforced.

  • Comment number 23.

    Blah blah bla blah. Blah blah bla blah BLAH! Blah blah blah blah. BLAH! Yak yak yak yak yak... Blah! Blah! Bla bla bla bla blah... Yak yak yak yak yak yak yak yak . Bla. Bla blah blah blah. Blah! BLAH!

  • Comment number 24.




    I would applaud, but I'm too afraid that one of the pair of you might try to take my head off for making too much noise.

    (@Joel: I hear Japan is nice this time of year...)

  • Comment number 25.

    Dear Wash your hair and Droopy Jowels. What about a code of conduct for Cinemas themselves?

  • Comment number 26.

    Doesn't apply to screenings of Tommy Wiseau's The Room though surely.

    Mind you people were throwing rugby balls about at the last screening of that I was at, which maybe taking it a little too far.

  • Comment number 27.

    Simply brilliant! Superb and pertinent visualisations in glorious 2D.
    Thanks to the good Dr and Simon.

    If only this were shown globally, we might have people take it on board (sigh).

  • Comment number 28.

    i went to see 'once upon a time in america' and an old lady near the back knitted throughout the entire 4 hours, with the clicking of her pins only changing tempo during the rape scene

  • Comment number 29.

    @Markmoretti I would love to see a code of conduct for cinemas I have a choice of 2 cinemas localy one 15min drive the other 30min drive. The first is hellishly bad on so many levels, firstly its an eating cinema in that it has buttons to call for food service at any point through the film so not only do you have to endure eating but a server coming to take the order and return with said order. Secondly because of the eating element there are lamps in front of the seats that stay on, you can use the menus to block the light. Next up is the woefully inadiquate sound proofing, the last time I went the film next door was so loud I could hear it throughout the film I was watching. Lastly somehow this cinema doesn't seem to always ahere to the correct age classifications, on the fact that Kick Ass was listed as a 12 by this cinema I took my 11year old to see it and had to leave half way though because it was too much for him. I must add that I live in Netherlands so I'm not sure this would happen in UK.
    The second cinema is futher away and slightly better but not good. My first complaint is in almost every film they have an intermission and no second film as in my youth just half way through the film with no consideration of chosing an appropriate moment it just stops, often in th emiddle of an important scene and sometimes mid sentance. Next up in poor air con in winter make sure you wrap up in summer watch out for heat exhustion. I took execption when I took my son to see Potter 7 to what I considered an innapropriate trailer but have realised this is a cultural thing as this film is rated 12 in NL but we saw a trailer for New Kids Turbo a Dutch film, the trailer was litered with the word Kut which is the NL equivilant to the C word and featured a guy masterbating to a music video.

  • Comment number 30.

    Thanks so much - you can't beat a good guffaw first thing in the morning! Spot on with mobile phones: why do otherwise responsible people think it's ok to text? It's NOT - that annoying little light in the corner of your vision is infuriating.

    Also I love Picturehouse cinemas and salute them for trying so hard (fairtrade, recyclable & biodegradable packaging) but their snacks - both the packaging and what's inside - must be some of the noisiest in the UK!

  • Comment number 31.

    Simon's right. It would have been better in 3D, then we would have got the full effect in the infamous "Simmo extends his unshod foot" scene.

    My favourite filmwatching companion is a girlfriend who used to be a flight attendant so she's accustomed to issuing authoritative instructions. She has zero tolerance for talking and mobile phone usage in cinemas and frequently admonishes people with instructions on how they should behave. In every case it has resulted in meek compliance from the perp and cessation of the behaviour.

  • Comment number 32.

    Fantastic. Unfortunately, most of these are reasons why i don't go to the cinema much nowadays.

    One point missed - alongside people arriving late is people leaving early. They should be made to remain through the rest of the film as punishment for not doing their research properly (plus they could miss 'the twist')

    Finally, is the rule sheet that made an appearance at the end available to be printed. I can see it appearing at every multiplex across the country!

  • Comment number 33.

    If only!

  • Comment number 34.

    Actually I'm wondering whether, like the poor, these offensive cinema people have always been with us. Don't forget that in the bad old days smoking was actually permitted in cinemas and everyone watched the action through a haze and put up with people lighting up and disposing of their smokes. I bet that no-one wants to swap current cinemasins for that history.

  • Comment number 35.

    Excellent effort gentlemen. Now, as one of my fellow reviews suggested we need a Code of Conduct for cinemas. Obviously all cinemas should adopt your moviegoer's code but can I offer the following to get us all going:

    1. Can we be allowed to watch the film in darkness. On my last visit to a multiplex I sat under a ceiling mounted spotlight that was bright enough for me to read! Films should be shown in the dark, so do so!

    2. Can cinemas please have proper masking around the screens. I hate it when a film is not masked and the edges are all ragged. Grrrrr!

    3. Some of us will tell our fellow cinemagoers who are making a noise etc to shut up but it's really your job! So, get some staff in the auditorium.

    4. We know and you know when the cinema is busiest so, multiplex owners in particular, can we have more than 2 people manning the 10 ticket desks on a Saturday night when Harry Potter is showing please.

    5. If you are going to charge us a fee to book tickets in advance (my local Showcase!) then why can't we book a particular seat? Theatres do it. Concert venues do it. Why can't you?

  • Comment number 36.

    You should pay for this to be shown in cinemas in place of those cringe-inducing Orange adverts.

  • Comment number 37.


    Not only should the posters be up in every single cinema but the film should be shown before every film! It's a hell of a lot better than those nasty 'Orange - Don't let a mobile phone ruin the film' ads and I bet they cost megabucks.

  • Comment number 38.

    I must admit to being guilt as charged. I've had my iPhone out far too many time at the cinema, but in my defense, it's gone by the time the actual film starts. I delude myself into think that it's fair game during the trailers.

  • Comment number 39.

    Ok.I Have one Vote for Cinemas themselves to have a code of conduct. I Hope Mr Kermode is reading this. The worst Cinema experience in my life was at the Electric Cinema, Portobello Road. I went to see, The Bourne Supremacy in 2004, where do I start? A Bar IN THE ACTUAL CINEMA, GAPS (Sorry Caps, Getting Angry just typing it) between the Leather Squeeky Seats, so therefore people who where constantly having to pee, because of the anount of alcohol being consumed were weaving through the seats, as it was a shorter route. A Chill out lounge area, where people were chilling out and talking throughout and eating meals!!! OMG This place sucks in every possible way, and as for the eeeeeccccchhhhhooooooiiiinnnggggg sssssoooouuunnndddd! Don't get me started. My dream is to open a 50-100 seater cinema with silence (Like the Bfi) top quality sound and crystal High Def picture, I tried but the red tape is incredible. My Code of Conduct would be as follows: 1. No Phones or you will be thrown out 2. No food (You can go without it for 2 hours?)...Ok those who are interested please add to the list..Lets get the revolution started here TODAY! :)

  • Comment number 40.

    So which one or you was the Arnold Schwarzenegger that gave birth to James King? Hasn't he grown, last time I saw him he was only that ..... big.

  • Comment number 41.

    Bloody hilarious, fellas! Laurel & Hardy are reborn!

    After reading endless complaints from cinema-goers about other cinema-goers' behaviour, I'm glad I haven't been to the cinema since '96. People and films just don't mix. Just get yourself a huge TV with "home cinema" or a projector, and invite your friends around...or not.

  • Comment number 42.


    A bar IN the cinema!?

    That actually sounds... really awesome. Granted, the place would be useless for serious ventures, but I imagine watching something like Avatar or Scott Pilgrim with an in-house bar could be a blast.

  • Comment number 43.

    Cinemas will never put this skit on before films so what we need is a guerilla army of people sneaking printed versions into the cinemas and sticking them up on the doors to each screen.

    Perhaps with a photo of Dr K telling them to following the rules or he will come down on them with great vengeance and furious anger.

  • Comment number 44.

    This list is great. It's exactly like the one I made a while ago except may I add my own:

    Laugh at the good jokes, laugh at the bad jokes if you must. But don't laugh at nothing.
    There's no need to be nervous, I know it's a room full of people, but don't feel bullied into laughing at everything because you're worried people are thinking "He didn't find THAT funny? What a freak!". This results in you laughing at everything, even when no one else is. THEN they're looking at you!
    If you really can't handle it, wait for at least 5 people to laugh, then join in.

  • Comment number 45.

    well, now we not that he may be able to talk the talk but he cant walk the walk

  • Comment number 46.

    @ rminkley im a dyslexic film student. i have the opposite problem

  • Comment number 47.

    I'll consider following these rules as soon as Mark stops talking over Simon reading out emails ;-)

  • Comment number 48.

    Mark's reaction to the mobile phone is priceless! hahaha :)

  • Comment number 49.

    Magnificent! Get it cinemas now. SOOOOOOOO much better than having a advert with Chris Moyles in . . .

    However, already I have a suggestion for a remake. Still with Simon and Mark (and James boy Kings fine cameo!) but with a 'fuller' audience, each doing different things on the list. This could include . . .

    - Jason Issacs
    - David Morrissey
    - Stephen Fry
    - Micheal Caine
    - Fairport Convention
    - ELO
    - Pentangle
    - The Comsat Angels

    . . . and how about trying to get Micheal Bay in too?

    A sort of 'Band On The Run cover ' approach. Get the idea?

  • Comment number 50.

    Oops, missed out 'in' before cinemas. Unforgivable . . .

  • Comment number 51.

    please please please - get this short film out in the major cinema complexes.....

    It is very funny, but also very important.....

  • Comment number 52.

    I would have enjoyed Mike Leighs 'Another Year' if I hadn’t had a larger gentlemen and his very small wife talking through the film for me. Even when he went out for what I assume was a another attack on the confectionary store, he came back and asked his wife, what he had missed. The irony of this situation was not lost on me, this very noisy person seemed to have a lot of the quirky qualities Mike Leigh puts into his characters’. I’m not into confrontation so I limited my displeasure to long hard hateful stares at the offending couple, but unlike the irony of the situation, the stares were lost on these offenders. After this I went home and joined a facebook group calling for the death penalty for those who speak in the cinema. Harsh? I think not.

  • Comment number 53.

    Crave them in stone and take them to the mount!

    Can I just draw attention to the particularly sweaty appearance of Mr Mayo's sock, most unpleasant. Suffering for the Arts, Dr K you are a brave man and I salute you sir.

  • Comment number 54.

    Carve ...not crave, oops!

  • Comment number 55.

    I normally listen to my ipod till the trailers start, I believe this is be defiantly acceptable cause adverts are evil.

  • Comment number 56.

    Brilliant and much needed; it could only have been written by two wise critics who see movies with audiences as well as in posh screening rooms. Now turn it around and tell cinemas how to behave. (I used to be a critic on an American newspaper and got suspended by the publisher for writing a Moviegoer's Bill of Rights that included things like focus, framing, sound, have ushers remove unruly patrons, etc.).

  • Comment number 57.


    re: 24.

    I don't know - isn't it winter there as well? I've seen "Departures" and Hokkaido looks b*ll**k-numbingly cold :-/ Mind you, can't be any worse than here at the moment.


    When I went to see Avatar, there was a particular night-time scene where my immediate thought was "this has been specifically designed for 'shrooms" (and I don't mean the kind you have with pasta).

    I wouldn't recommend booze at screenings, though. I went to see "Last House on the Left" and there was a couple drinking cider throughout who broke many of the above rules, specifically "whispering" (aka, talking loudly), shuffling about in bags, eating, dropping their cans, etc, etc. They eventually left 2/3rds of the way through the film; not before loudly shrieking at the other patrons that we were all idiots (well, in slightly less polite terms).

    On another note, one of the oddest experiences of rule breaking was when I went to see "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" in the cinema. There were a number of deaf patrons in the screening I was at (maybe because the film's protagonist was a deaf character?).

    "No problem" one might think, except that they talked all the way through the film in sign language - as a side-effect, they also frequently made little yelps and other noises whilst doing so. I had to indicate to them to be quiet using my own custom-sign language - the pursed lip and the index finger. :-)

  • Comment number 58.

    I've been going to the cinema for over 30 years and can honestly say I have never found any other cinema goers behaviour annoying. It's an event held in a public auditorium. I suspect you guys just revel in having a moan. Hence as soon as any opportunity to become grumpy & irritable presents itself your minds just become obsessed with that. If you could just relax a little bit I promise you that not only will it become easier to concentrate on the film but also you'll enjoy the film lots more.

    Also, please promise me you'll never go to a gig. You'd loathe it. People sometimes put their hands in the air, whoop, sit on each others shoulders, glug whole bottles full of water, sweat a terrific amount, bump into you by accident & generally get up to all manner of the sort of behaviour that'd make you both apoplectic to the point of spontaneous combustion.

    Specifically regarding the feet issue, feet don't smell unless you have a fungul infection or are within 12 inches of said foot. And even then they quite often don't smell. You'll be telling people to keep their shoes on at the beach next. And no, it's not a different thing.

  • Comment number 59.

    ROTFLMAO. That is all.

  • Comment number 60.

    Get this in the cinemas! I'm bored of the now totally unfunny Orange adverts, this is much better!

    Screw Jack Black, we want Mark and Simon!

  • Comment number 61.

    Brilliant! I laughed more than three times, which puts it above most Hollywood 'comedies'. Can I just say that Simon's deadpan expression with the powerdrill is both amusing and creepy in the extreme?

    @ Luke Smith

    The phone shouldn't even be on according to the Commandments, so 'answering it' is definitely out of the question.

    Re: 58

    While I hate to state the obvious, a gig is a totally different experience from watching a film. The whole point of a gig is moving around to the music and enjoying yourself. I'm sure the good Doctor and Mr Mayo have been to many gigs in their time.

    As for smelly feet, you've obviously led a blessed life in which you've never sat anywhere near someone with unwashed/smelly feet or unwashed trainers, which can be even worse.

  • Comment number 62.

    What are you talking about Guy?

    Concerts by thier definition are celebrations of noise, jesus if I did half the things I'd done at concerts in the cinema i'd be banged up by now! (I'm fairly certain that I would get thrown out if I stood up in front of the screen and dived onto the front row.)

  • Comment number 63.

    Guy, we're beginning to suspect that you might be one of the people who's annoying us. If you can't understand the concept of different behaviour being appropriate in different social situations then I can't wait to attend a funeral with you.

  • Comment number 64.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 65.

    There is always one...Come the revolution.

  • Comment number 66.

    This (or a version thereof) should be played before every film screening until the ignoramuses who indulge in any of these annoyances get the message once and for all. Cheers lads.

  • Comment number 67.

    I would like to add a subclause on the "no talking rule" for my mate John.
    If you don't pay due attention to the first 5 minutes of the movie, don't expect to spend the next two hours asking your neighbour "what did he say just then?" and "what did she say while I was asking what he just said" and then "what did he reply to what she just said after he said that first thing that he said whilst I was asking you about the last thing..." etc etc.
    There are times when the Vulcan death grip is the only legitimate response.

  • Comment number 68.

    @Joel: Well, from the looks of it, you can either freeze to death in Glasgow or freeze to death in Japan where you will be justified in righteous indignation when asked to please keep your smelly shoes on your feet in the theater. (We're in the middle of a snowstorm at the moment here though and have also been freezing since late October so I feel your pain).

    I kind of feel like I might be a little less touchy about activity in the theater than a lot of people who have posted, though. It may just be a difference in disposition. I love the cinema, but I have always embraced it more as a community experience than a place of worship. It's the place I go to when I want to watch a film with other people; if I want to give a film my full attention without distraction, I usually hit an early weekday matinee where the crowd is virtually non-existent or else wait until the dvd so I can watch it alone at home. That doesn't mean I make it a habit to bring my extra-rustle rustle bags and fiddle around with my phone (I do try to stay on my best good-girl behavior in public areas), but I'm not really one to get worked up about people making a little noise, not unless they're shouting a conversation across the theater. Though truth be told when I went to see Airbender this summer, the rowdy audience was a godsend in getting my money's worth of entertainment from that picture.

    Your story about Last House on the Left reminds me of the night that I saw Speed Racer. I don't know WHAT this guy had been taking, but about thirty minutes into the movie he jumped out of his seat and started shrieking that his eyes were melting. He was escorted out a few minutes later by two theater patrons and a nervous-looking usher and the show went on. Sadly, we weren't treated to any face-melting effects, as I'm sure that more than a few of us had the ending of Raiders of the Lost Ark on our minds at that point.

    That, of course, is bad theater etiquette. So you may have a point about the bars. :P

  • Comment number 69.


    I would happily kick anyone out without a seconds notice for any of the aforementioned offences, especially putting feet up on the chairs in front with, or without shoes. But unfortunately the general public find this too approach too heavy handed. If I had my way half the people in the auditorium would be gone.

    @Stuart Hanson

    I can appreciate your point, but if your local cinema was seated then you would be writing to complain that when you buy a ticket on the spur of the moment that you can't sit where you want, or that your viewing experience was disrupted by customers fighting about who is in who’s seats as happened to me when I saw Passion of the Christ (no joke). Better off just trying to arrive on time, or perhaps a little early for an opening weekend.

    But if you really insist on going to see Harry Potter on a Saturday evening then in the words of Mr T: I pity the fool...

  • Comment number 70.

    @Mike Hunt

    If only there was a like buttom, I would like your comment on the Orange ad.

    Now imagine watching that Orange ad about 20 times a day. Imagine!

  • Comment number 71.

    Love the idea but I gotta tell you, if I've paid £10 for a VIP recliner then I'm taking my g*****n shoes off. In this instance I make it my responsibility to have un-smelly feet, which I expect is fair enough...but £10 for a ticket? The shoes are coming off.

    ...I might even slurp unexpectedly or whisper something to my partner.
    Get over it!

  • Comment number 72.

    As I was going into THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST a couple of weeks ago, I saw a man bring his pre-walking-age child out of the adjacent screen and cuddle the child while it cried. It was about 9pm and the film in question was the 12A-rated Harry Potter.

  • Comment number 73.

    I agree with all of the rules in this code of conduct, even though I do eat popcorn from time to time in cinemas and haven't generally been to screenings with people talking incessantly. The only exception would be a recent trip to the (fabulous) Tyneside to see The Arbor - there were two elderly ladies sitting behind me in really strong Geordie accents who kept nattering on about how tough the film was and comparing the scenes on the estates to their own families. I wasn't sufficiently annoyed enough to turn around and ask them to be quiet, but I could have done without it.

  • Comment number 74.

    Thank you for this - would it be wrong to insert these rules into offenders? My worst cinema experience was at Dark Knight with two dads and three 5 year olds sitting in front of me. The dads hid their eyes at the knee crushing bit but it was ok for small boys to watch it? It was a 12A film for a reason. Make all films either a U or 18, no parental guidance, no exceptions for babies in arms.
    Also quite happy to get cinema staff in to tell offenders off if they are too big (or scary) for me to tell off.

  • Comment number 75.

    Actually, my worst cinema experience was in a packed showing of Tim Burton's "Sleepy Hollow" in Manchester UCI (which must've seated about 1000 people).
    Some teenage scally git gets a call on his mobile about 40 minutes in. Not only did he not take the hint and turn it off, and not go into the foyer to conduct his inane half hour conversation but he made sure he could be heard over the 'racket' of the dolby digital soundsystem by bellowing to his mate at the top of his lungs. That's what I call a brass neck.
    How he didn't get lynched by the punters is anyone's guess.

  • Comment number 76.

    What about this? alternate day Silent screenings (For decent law abiding intelligent film lovers) and one for the 'I must talk to my mum on my mobile phone/I must eat & drink every 30secs or I'll die/Got to take my cheap shoes off because they don't fit/Got to talk to the person next to me as I'm affraid of the dark/Moronic' screenings? That'll sort it...

  • Comment number 77.

    @ 75. Rupert, I can only attribute that tolerance to either your infamous British reserve or the fear of being knifed. I was in a screening in Oz years ago (about Casino vintage) when someone answered their mobile and everyone around them started hissing, causing someone to ask loudly "what's going on?" and someone else to loudly proclaim "some word beginning with c has answered a mobile and is actually talking". Quiet very soon after and lesson hopefully learned.

    I went to a showing of Avatar 3D (hey, I loved it, I love the circus) where seating was allocated and I found myself surrounded by a family of 2 parents and 4 unruly kids (all under 8) running around and falling all over each other. Boy, was I relieved when a tribe of fan boys turned up and kicked them out, back to their properly allocated seats on the netherlands of the cinema compass. And the fan boys didn't even slurp their drinks.

  • Comment number 78.

    @73 I think those are probably the same two old dears who sat next to me in there watching Good Night & Good Luck and chatted on about Maureen's latest operation...

    However, love the code of conduct and the Tyneside actually made a cartoon (and rather amusing) Code of Conduct piece to go in front of every screening when it re-opened a couple of years ago. The phone chat, gossipping, eating, drinking (although you can buy a nice glass of wine/beer to have in the auditorium), behaving in a decent way were covered and as it made people laugh I think it engaged! More please!

  • Comment number 79.

    Totatally hilarious Dr K and Mr M and all the reasons why the cinema is not quite the experience it used to be. In fact I have become rather adept at looking around me and immediately sensing where the irritating clowns are seated who see the cinema as a social meeting place rather then somewhere to actually watch a film........!!!
    The most memorable incident was a weekday, lunchtime showing of Lost in Translation. Picture the scene about five of us in a huge auditorium when just as the credits go up, in walk what can only be described as The Golden Girls who promptly sat down and verbally swapped cookery tips so loudly I could hear recipes for fruit cake twelve rows away. After over 20 minutes of 'torture' and just as I was going to get up to have a quiet word. A guy sitting directly behind me got up and in full voice shouted ' Hey you lot just to let you know Dr Shipman is sitting in the front row' I almost fell off my seat in hysterics, and we didnt hear another peep!!

  • Comment number 80.

    A must read:

    A key passage:

    "The way people were talking to each other, like absolutely out loud, having conversations as though there was no sense of this as an experience that needed a degree of respect or consideration, was amazing,” [Atom Egoyan] says. “It was as though they were watching in their living room.”

    For Egoyan, this signified more than a shift in people’s moviegoing etiquette. He suspects a fundamental change in the way people think of “the cinema.”

    “People were not respecting it as a cinema experience as I understood it,” he explains. “They were talking, they were texting each other, there were all these other sources of light in that room." (Geoff Pevere, The Star)

  • Comment number 81.

    I couldn't agree more with Mark on these rules. They definitely should be shown before every screening

  • Comment number 82.

    Nicely done - will there be a t-shirt showing the Code Of Conduct? Imagine an audience all wearing the Code Of Conduct t-shirt! I'm serious - I'd buy one!

  • Comment number 83.

    Love the code of conduct.

    My partner is blind and we often go to the cinema together, unfortunately this means breaking the 'no talking rule' as there are moments when you have to explain (quietly) what's going on.

  • Comment number 84.

    Bit late now I guess, but I just wanted to add that COUGHING should be included in the list. Sure, the occasional throat clear is a necessity, but if you know you've got a cough or a cold, STAY AT HOME AND WATCH A DVD!!!!!!!!!

    Sat through the bloody-awful-anyway Barney's Version last night, and had to endure 2+ hours of the man behind me coughing his guts up every other minute. Real phlegmy hacking coughs – which were exacerbated everytime he laughed – right onto the back of my head. Just so disgusting and inexcusable. Worse thing was, the cinema was jammed so there was nowhere to move to. I would have turned around and said something but I feared getting a face full of pestilent mucus.


  • Comment number 85.

    The Filmstock film festival, which was the greatest independant film festival in the universe (which sadley had its last hurrah in 2009) Had its very own code of conduct very similer to the two Doctors. I think the penalty for any infringement was cruxcifiction. It was like Spartacus one year.

  • Comment number 86.

    As someone who has had more than his fair share of cinema visits ruined by halfwits b*****ing around on their mobiles and kicking the back of my seat, I think these rules should be put on to the statute book as soon as possible.

    Anyone failing to follow these rules should be tarred, feathered, tied up and forced to watch all the films of Danny Dyer until their brains run out of their nostrils!

  • Comment number 87.

    I wonder if the good doctor has read - A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole - the main character is the epitome of dreadful movie goers - not only does he insist on commentating throughout the films, he is loud and abusive and his body habitus is such that he sheer bulk interfers with others ability to enjoy the films, added to this he eats noisily throughout.
    He is passionate and knowledgeable about movies though, I think his behaviour is simply selfish - maybe this is the unifying feature of the ten commandments - before the movie starts, after the "this is cinema" someone should yell "don't be selfish.."

  • Comment number 88.

    Unadulterated wittertainment genius from the good Doctors.

    Should be compulsory viewing before each and every movie!

  • Comment number 89.

    Highly amusing and necessary, guys :) The 'No Kicking of Seats' is an especially pertinent one for me. I almost had a fight with a very 'kicky' Russian in a Moscow theater three years ago.

  • Comment number 90.

    Sadly all too familiar. I mean how life threatening is it to turn your phone off for 2 hours?

  • Comment number 91.

    These need to be printed off and left on every seat.
    Why not just bring ushers back? Anyone talks, they get shushed. Anyone messing with a mobile phone, you're out. Etc etc.

  • Comment number 92.

    I agree with all but taking your shoes off, which should have an addendum relating to smelly feet.

    I take my shoes off, its way more comfy - but before I go to the cinema, I put on my comfy shoes (not my sweaty runners) and a new pair of socks. If either has even a small whiff I dont use them. Then when you are in the cinema itself take off one shoe first, leave it for a minute - if you can smell it then put that shoe back on. If that foot is ok, take the other one off, give it a minute - if it smells shoes back on.

    Using Scholl before you go isnt an option- that stinks but in a different way. The only way you should be allowed to do this is by maintaining your feet and shoes and socks in non smelly condition.

  • Comment number 93.

    This is definately breach of the code...

  • Comment number 94.

    Does the no talking rule apply to the time prior to the feature actually starting?

    I could barely contain my laughter tonight when a woman turned round to the party next to us and rudely complained 'are you going to talk through the whole film' and her husband went on to say 'If you talk through the film I will get the manager'.

    The film hadn't yet begun! Talking during the adds is fair game in my opinion. At first I was annoyed for the persons next to us to have their evening interrupted so rudely but now I am just annoyed they didn't say anything to me as I'd have enjoyed putting them in their place.

  • Comment number 95.

    Unfortunately, intolerance of code-breaking can be taken too far :

  • Comment number 96.

    Love the way the Brits want to make rules for everything. Admit it you just want the cinema to yourself.

  • Comment number 97.

    Public cinemas are like public bath houses. Something we used to do in public but now do not have to. 'Screen number 12's' minute projection area and it's distorted sound offer us nothing.

  • Comment number 98.

    Finally saw The King's Speech (it was released in the Netherlands only a couple of weeks ago). Fantastic film. A real shame a woman in the audience thought it necessary to hum along with Beethoven's 7th just as the speech reached it's climax. To make matters worse she loudly started asking who the composer was... accompanied by a lot of shushing from the other audience members. Now I'll have to see the film again to fully appreciate the final moments of the film... I think I'll just watch it on my own on DVD, in a quiet room.

  • Comment number 99.

    From a french fan based in NYC. I though you should know that its possible!Texan code of conduct:

  • Comment number 100.

    I love this!...but can i say, as a theatre usher, the vast majority of these rules can also apply to the theatre going public! The ammount of times i have had to tell people to shut up, switch off their phone and stop running up and down the ailse w,hen a show is on, is staggering!


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