Cinema courtesy

Not two months ago, it was reported that Madonna was banned from Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas in the US for annoying fellow filmgoers by texting during the premiere of 12 Years a Slave.

IMG-20131208-WA0003Most people know how to behave in the theatres and cinemas. For the rest of us who are not Madonna, here is a gentle reminder of what is conventional cinema courtesy.

1. Turn your phone off or put it into silent mode before the show starts. Putting it on vibrate would still create an annoying noise and, well, vibration.

2. As we learned from the above incident, do NOT send or read texts. Although texting is not as disrupting taking a call, the light the screen emits is distracting and annoying

3. Cinema food should be quiet, odourless and not messy. Avoid apples, crisps, and drippy food that could stain the seat or food with noisy packaging.

During a Mahler concerto, an elderly lady took two minutes, with great difficulty, to unwrap a cough drop. I found the juxtaposition of absurdity against a formal setting memorable, but I doubt the London Philharmonic Orchestra found it as funny as I did.

4. Try to avoid talking to your friends during the film. Wait until the end to say, ‘What else has he been in?’ or ‘I knew she’d be killed next.’ It’s distracting to your fellow filmgoers and your friend.

It also distracts you from the film. Chances are, the next thing you’ll say is ‘What just happened?’

5. When leaving, take your empty food packaging with you, and put it in the bin or give it an attendant. It is polite to do so.

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