Going to the cinema is a gamble. There are elements you can control - such as picking a half decent film to see, or the choice of person you go with.
But there is also an uncontrollable element: the other hundred or so complete strangers you’ve decided to share a room with for two hours.
Put any group of people in a room together and you can be sure a handful of them will be terrible human beings and eager to let you know it. Normally the distraction of a massive screen and some reasonable entertainment suppresses their urge to ruin your enjoyment, but - as we are all aware - most the time it does not.
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Here’s our tick list of the very worst cinema behaviour...
Good manners go straight out of the non-existent windows in cinemas. With their popcorn and multiple bags of Maltesers, Percy Pigs, or smuggled-in pork scratchings, people gorge themselves and eat like their lives depend on it. Even worse, teeth gnashing and chewing becoming far more audible than you ever thought possible.
Why can’t these people eat with dignity like you? Nibbling away quietly at your Jelly Babies - the quietest of all sugary treats.
Using a phone
Those Orange adverts aren’t just there for cheap laughs or to slowly drive you insane with their inane celeb cameos. They also send a valuable and important message: all anyone ever asks is that people not use their phones for two hours.
They don’t even have to turn them off as per the adverts’ request. Just flick them onto silent, put them in a pocket and DO NOT USE THEM. And yet, as sure as night follows day, there’s always someone, somewhere who caves in to temptation.
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First they stretch themselves out so they can get into that tricky top jeans pocket without having to stand up. Then they slowly slide the device out, hoping that nobody sees them. But you do.
You always do.
When the time comes to check their texts/tweets/Facebook/screen for cracks, they give up trying to conceal their shame and illuminate the entire room with the pale glow of their phone’s tiny screen. How do those little things even produce so much light?
Maybe there’s a valid reason for someone to be checking their phone. Like they are waiting for urgent news regarding their own health or that of an ill family member. In which case, why are they in a cinema watching ‘Alvin and Chipmunks 3: Chipwrecked’?
Using seats any other way than the NORMAL WAY
Chairs are easy. Stand with your back to the seat and let gravity do the rest without giving yourself a concussion. In the privacy of one’s own home, people can use chairs however they like; sitting upside down, putting two on top of each other... even backwards like it’s the 90s and you're telling school kids not to do drugs.
At a cinema though? Just sit normally please. Couples don’t need to be sprawled across one another taking up three seats. You have more than enough leg room without propping them up on the seat in front. The latter is only fair game if there’s no one in that seat in front, but if there is and someone still does it? Well, they should be ashamed of themselves.
Attempting to copulate
This is self-explanatory. We know cinema screens are a lot less expensive than a room at a Travelodge (though only just these days), but please, there are people nearby.
The only person there who wants to see a couple necking is that dodgy guy with the trench coat right in the corner. Otherwise please, literally, get (another) room.
Rustling and slurping
No, not rustling cattle. Although that would be equally as annoying. As in packets of sweets! You know the ones made specifically by Cadbury, Mars and the like to make as much noise as humanly possible? These aren’t the ones typically sold in most cinemas, those pouch thingys are as delightful as packaging can be.
People should take their time getting sweets out. OR, if there’s no other choice, get it over with as quick as possible. Prolonged rustling will not be tolerated.
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Slurping occurs when deluded cinema-goers refuse to face the reality that their drinks are gone. Endlessly they suck that straw hoping for a few droplets like they’re Frodo on Mount Doom but their quest for sustenance is in vain, just give up!
Running out of the screen flailing limbs as they go to the toilet
We’ll admit, people don’t often flail their limbs Jim Carrey-style, but they might as well. If you need the loo, just calmly leave the seat, walk down the aisle and exit the room. Then - and only then - can you run to the toilet.
We get that you don’t want to miss lots of the film but there’s no need to bolt out of the cinema, making as much noise as possible. It’s the price you pay for poor bladder control.
Many of the above crimes are, sadly, committed by the young. Most young people by definition are loud and, if you don’t know them personally, horrible. They introduced screenings for over eighteens for a reason you know.
Being unable to control your young
A cinema trip may seem like an easy way to stop being a parent for a bit but mums and dads are still obliged to keep their demon offspring in line.
It may have been the kids’ idea to see ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to sit back and enjoy Jack Black’s kookiness in silence. Sometimes they refuse to sit still, most of the time they talk – in short they will always find some way to make noise.
That just about covers everything we think but let us know below if there’s anything else that drives you mad at the cinema...