My Ideal Cinema – The Reel Deel.

These days, going to the cinema can be a bit of a nightmare. Take away the fact that if you are insistent on always going with someone else you have to plan around each other’s schedules, you also have to put up with the chatters, the phone users, the seat kickers, the late comers and the constant bladder emptiers. Basically, the most irritating type of people to ever encounter in a cinema. I was in the cinema recently and two people in separate rows were using their phones as the film started, one proceeded to Snapchat it and the other was filming the movie. What is wrong with these people?! Using your phone should be a good enough reason to get yourself tossed out of there but filming it? It’s illegal, no discussion, prosecute them. Plain and simple. This never happens, it’s always up to other audience members to shush people and tell them to put their phones away. Why pay so much money to talk and stare at small screen? It makes no sense, I’m at my wits end. So if I ever become lucky enough to lay down my own plans for a cinema I own (I’d probably call it The Reel Deel, in case you were wondering), this is how I would run things.

No phones. AT ALL.

When Prometheus was released, I was lucky enough to go to a preview screening. Due to the timing of said screening (happening about an hour after the premier) we all had to hand in our phones. We queued, gave them in, got a ticket to pick them up after the movie. Perfect. It was a quick process to pick them up after. This is a great system for cinemas. It would immediately eliminate the cause of so many random glaring screens that are such a distraction and take you out of the experiences of whatever you are watching.

Phones in cinema

Cloth bags for food

The bags of sweet and chocolate plus certain cinemas who inexplicably serve popcorn in paper bags which creates more noise than they should. When someone is rustling around for a few kernels to chew on, or wanting to suck down that final piece of chocolate, it’s amazing how annoying it is when the shove their hand into whatever they are eating from to grab it. It’s shocking that all of that digging around in such a small bag can create such a large disturbance. No more! The cloth bag will be used instead. At my cinema, once someone buys a crinkly bag of whatever confectionery they desire, the contents will be transferred into a cloth bag and once they return, they’ll receive a discount on their next purchase. If they don’t return it, free cloth bag!

cloth bagsNo talking

I need someone to please explain why people pay money to talk in the cinema. Why? WHY?! For the love of GOD, you’ve come to the cinema to chat. WHY?! Why come here when you can do that anywhere else in which it is socially acceptable? A pub, café, coffee shop, bar, home, restaurant, shops, so many place to chat which are not the cinema. Don’t do it! For my cinema, there would be ushers at hand, ready to tell people to stop talking or to leave. Two strikes and then you’re out. No refund, no coming back. That is that. Harsh? GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!


No toilet breaks

Okay okay, I’ve calmed down. Now this might sound a little mean and we’ve all needed to relieve ourselves during a movie. But it can be distracting to others to see someone get up and attempt to duck down whilst a film is playing and they are running for the loo. There are a couple of ways in which this can be solved. First is to ban all breaks, pretty much lock the doors until the credits. I’ll be a nice and say that if it’s a Marvel film who commonly have mid and end credits scenes, the doors would open when the credits begin if you need to duck out before the very end. Yeah, I’m pretty nice like that. The second way is to have easier access to the exit. The best way to do this is have steps on the left, middle and right of the seats which leads directly to the door. Or the image below could serve as a solution. Maybe not…


Carpet only throughout each screen

Whilst we’re on the steps, it should be carpeted fully with no hard wood floors. Nothing that can make a sound. Including the small section of each step with has a hard bit of plastic on the edge. It makes noise when anyone walks on it and creates yet another disturbance. Get rid of it, I hate that thing!


No late entry

What is the point in going to the cinema if you are going to miss bits? You may as well not see it at all. I’ve seen people come in 10 minutes after a film has begun and it makes no sense to do this. The first 10 minutes of countless films sets the whole thing up, you will not understand fully what’s going on or why. If you can’t make it on time, then don’t go. At all. A ban on late entries sounds pretty ideal.

no entry

No smelly food

Don’t serve something that will make other who have come to watch a film vomit! Hot food you can buy at the cinema is gross. Nachos and hot dogs are the primary culprits. The less smelly the better. The smell is offensive as is that taste. It makes no sense to film the screen with something that will piss off most of the people who sit near to you. No hot food in The Reel Deel.

hot dog

No 3D movies

I hate them. There’s light loss, there’s rarely enhancement on the picture which is worth it. If you ever saw Toy Story 3 in 3D, I’m sire that you’ll agree the film is just amazing however the 3D is a perfect example of how not to use it. It gave the audience nothing more that we were already getting from the characters. So why is it used so heavily? Well apparently it’s working because it’s making the studios more money. Of course it is, it’s a gigantic rip off that so many people are forced into due to lack of 2D option! So no 3D films at all. All movies do have a 2D option but a lot of the big chains, depending on which branch you frequent, only have the 3D option. More money, that’s what it’s all about.


Charging an affordable set price throughout the week.

On the subject of money, this is something I’d like to see implemented. Arguable a couple of chains have their own see as much as you want for a monthly fee card. A brilliant scheme which saves a lot of money. However, let’s say you have one of these cards and there’s nothing to see which is playing a decent time for this particular franchise. Well, you’d have to go elsewhere in the hope that you don’t have to pay too much as you’re already forking out around £20 a month. Now, credit where credit is due, the Odeon in Covent Garden has almost done this. They charge £7 during the week and the prices go up on the weekend and there are no booking fees online. It’s pretty impressive, but it’s just not good enough. I was going to see Jason Bourne during the week at another of their branches close by in Leicester Square and the prices was £18.50. How anyone can justify this is beyond me. This is £1.40 less than what I pay per month for my Cineworld Unlimited card. It’s just ridiculous! A flat rate Monday to Sunday no matter what time or what day would make things easier and fairer for anyone who wanted to see film.

cinema ticket

So what do you think? Harsh? No harsh enough? Or just right? Maybe one day this dream will exist, one day…

Keep. It. Reel.

Reasons to go to the cinema by yourself

What’s so bad about spending time by yourself? It seems as if it’s still considered taboo. I lived in Sydney for 6 months where the only people I know were family. So they have their own things happening and I was forced to spend time by myself. I embraced it! I loved it! I went shopping, to the cinema, out for meals and around about the city, exploring it as much as I could. All by myself. There’s nothing wrong with it. Especially going to the cinema by yourself.

I’m going say that whilst I do prefer going to the cinema by myself, I’ve never had a bad experience when I’ve gone with a friend (unless there are strangers who just don’t shut up, that’s out of my control unfortunately). I like going with my friends, but I also think there’s a solid argument in going by yourself. Allow me to convince you, or at least try to.


When you go

When you go with friends, whether it’s one person or a group, your schedules have to match, you have to agree on a time and then meet up before the film. Fairly standard procedure, but not one I normally enjoy organising. People are busier now more than they have ever been, so I read recently and it makes sense. Our jobs are so much more demanding, trying to organise any sort of meet up is difficult. July is quickly approaching and there are still friends who I’ve not seen this year at all. So, put away your diaries and calendars, get up and go on your own. Chances are that you’ll see others there with just themselves as company.


What you watch

There’s normally a good selection of films to watch so you could probably agree on something. But there’s no guarantee. If you’re a big film fan like myself, chances are you’ll know what films are which are not the big budget movies most people go to see. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with them, but when it’s your choice, and your choice alone, you have the rare chance to pick any film showing anywhere you want to go. Think about that. No compromise, no discussions, no arguments, no disagreements. Just one simple choice. What do you want to see?


Seating arrangements

When I think about that, with the people I’ve gone to the cinema with recently, (hello George, Michael and Ness!) this hasn’t been a problem, I don’t think that it ever is. But we did get there early to buy our allocated tickets so we had the choice of sitting in the back row. Perfect. But when it’s unallocated, what then? Some like the back, some the middle, but no one at the front! And then, the middle of the row? The aisle? The end by the wall? There’s a lot of options to consider. Before I enter a movie theatre, assuming I know it as well as I know the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square, I think of where I want to sit, where did it not work last time? Where was it perfect before? Where will I not be disturbed? So many questions to consider. When you’re alone, you really can pick and choose. Unless it’s frustratingly jam packed.




No sharing, of anything

There’s always someone who goes to the cinema who will enjoy the film and the entire movie-going experience. However, they may enjoy it at your expense. You buy the popcorn but they don’t want any however they end up eating half of yours. Then what happens? They’re thirsty and there goes half of your drink. Oh what’s that? The arm rest? You don’t need it do you? Of course not. Are you starting to see a pattern emerging? That person, and not everyone you watch a film with is like this, will pay for their ticket but get a lot more out of the experience than you. Yes you’re there for the film (and in my case the trailers, LOVE watching them) but these lovely added perks of a big bucket of popcorn, or chocolate or a huge drink and the wonderful armrest, all to make it even more enjoyable are taken away when someone else is there. No sharing is so much better in the cinema


You are not alone

I went to the cinema on Sunday to watch Fruitvale Station. I wasn’t the only one who went by themselves. There’s some sort of taboo in doing things by yourself, it’s remarkable how much more you can do by yourself. You don’t have anyone to answer to, that day / outing is all about you. And others do it too. This weekend, there was myself, 3 couples and 5 others who were on their own. If the couples or groups judge you, you’ll never know it. You’re there to watch a movie, or eat a meal, enjoy an exhibition and so on. When I reached home, my cousin says she just doesn’t understand how I can go by myself. When you really think about it, watching a film isn’t a social experience, you’re not there to speak to anyone, you’re not there to interact at all.

you are not alone

When you do anything by yourself, the trick is to not care and enjoy yourself. The day is yours, this is your time, use it as you wish and let those naysayers carry on as they are. At the end of the day, it’s just you and a movie, what more could you possibly want? Here’s to you!


Does cinema etiquette exist any more?

As she reaches over to whisper her final words to the only man she ever loved, she says “Hahaha!” What the hell was that? Why is she laughing? It’s not her; it’s the person sitting a few rows in front of me. Not this again…

Over the past year, I have been attending the cinema on a regular basis, as I always have. I’ve seen some great films, some shocking films, some sad and Oscar winning films. Amongst the good, comes the bad. But I’m not talking about what I see on the screen, I mean the general movie-going public. Those who put us through hell by talking during vital parts of dialogue, arriving late and leaving to relieve themselves, or grazing on crisps. (Whoever thought of bringing those in as a selection in the lobby deserves a kicking!) Why has going to cinema become so difficult? I now beg that I don’t have any half-wits parading through at the worst times, but most of the time there is someone to ruin the experience. Perhaps some rules need to be followed.

1. No talking from the start of the trailers.

I love watching trailers. Chances are I have seen them before but I still enjoy that thrill of a new film. There was a time when I paid a rather high rate to see the final Harry Potter movie at the cinema in Westfield. My friend and I wanted to see it somewhere special and it’s a truly fantastic screen. Nice and big, plenty of seat, lots of room, better than your average cinema. We sit down and throughout the film, people to our left are talking. On and off during the film. How stupid can people be to not just shut the fuck up during a film? And why the hell would you pay such a steep price to talk to your friends? Fuck off outside you dicks! Excuse that outburst but it pisses me off!

2. No noisy food at all.

It’s as bad as those who eat crisps ion the cinema. I once heard the Alfred Hitchcock banned popcorn from his films. I don’t know how true this is but it’s an interesting concept. No food at all in the cinema. Popcorn isn’t too bad, you can be careful with it; you can eat it quietly if you put a little effort in. But things like crisps are absurd! The rustling of the bag, the rattling around the bag trying to find a few crisps and finally crunching it in your mouth. Crunch! Crunch! Crunch! Really? You bought crisps? Another reason intelligence tests should be taken by all those entering the screen. Idiots.

3. Everyone’s phone is to be placed in a locker outside of the screen and it will be returned after the film has finished.

During an advanced screening of Prometheus that I was lucky enough to snag a free ticket to, my phone, along with everyone else’s, was taken off of them put into a little plastic bag and stored until after the screening had ended. They did this so they could keep the secrets of Ridley Scott’s return to the sci-fi genre and rightly so. A real film fan will never want a plot ruined or an end given away, no matter how over hyped a film may be. So after it ended we queued up, most of us patient enough, collected our phones and left. Very simple, no hassle, no stress. Is this too much to ask of everyday cinema? If we did give up our phones, which no one should be using at all whilst being entertained, no longer would we notice that glow in the corner of our eye, or hear the vibration or god forbid a ringtone at the most inopportune moments. Perhaps removing the phone from a person is going a step too far. But it’s still worth thinking about.

4. No leaving the screen at any point after the trailer have begun and no arriving late.

If you have a bladder the size of a child’s maybe the cinema isn’t the place for you. Think of somewhere you can go and have fun move around as much as you want without disturbing anyone else. A bar? A pub? A club? Just go outside? Getting up to relieve yourself and returning moments later seems very strange doesn’t it? You leave and miss part of the film to do something you could have done before you sat down. You can’t rewind, you can’t pause, and you can’t stop. You miss a few minutes. To me, that could potential ruin the film, I wouldn’t exactly be lost but I don’t want to think that I haven’t seen something vital. This then causes the problem of talking, again. Does it ever end?!

These rules I have come up with may be extreme but I’m sure most if not all of you can relate to inconsiderate tossers who we come across at the most awful times. We all put up with the intolerances of everyday life but when it comes to the cinema should we not leave it all at the door, walk through, sit down, shut up and watch? Or am I wrong? Maybe we will come to a time when we need these rules but until then either endure it or do what I did once, yell for them to shut the fuck up.

Keep It Reel.