Rustling candy bags, crispy chips, popcorn, and drinks are all the source of disturbing cacophony during a movie. It’s the most irritating experience after having paid the high ticket prices to enjoy an evening of entertainment. This writer cannot stand moviegoers who forget that they’re not at home. Unnecessary racket destroys any sense of escapism during a movie. Annoying people talking on the phone, or to their friends, is the pinnacle of bad etiquette.
At London’s Prince Charles cinema on Leicester Square, staff and audience members dress in black and stamp out viewers with any of the aforementioned bad habits. As seen in the video below, Catherine Small is one of the volunteering cinema ninjas, tasked to don the anonymous black body suits, and monitor audiences during screenings. She and her team hope to be successful in shushing a gang of teenagers unable to keep quiet during the most important scenes; this doesn’t mean that the audience shouldn’t be allowed to react to emotional or dramatic moments in the film.
Morphsuits a UK-based manufacturer of all-in-one spandex suits, approached the Prince Charles cinema with the idea, and staff immediately agreed to put the concept to the test. The recruited volunteers are not only cinema staff, but also consist of regular cinemagoers. It might sound ludicrous, but it has so far been a success with theater guests. In return for their volunteering, these keepers of order receive complimentary admissions to the cinema. The Prince Charles is famous for showing old classics, sing-along musicals, and repeats of epic trilogies such as The Lord Of The Rings.
Gregor Lawson, cofounder at Morphsuits, commented: “I’m a big fan of going to the cinema, but there’s an unspoken code of conduct when you’re watching a movie that some people just don’t understand.”
Even though this idea seems a bit overly bizarre, this concept is a good balance between seriousness and entertainment. People are more likely to listen when it’s fun; after all, a cinema is not a classroom. Yet a certain behavior is expected in such a public place, since it belongs to no one in particular. Luckily, most people do switch off their phones and try to keep it down when relishing their candies.
Would you welcome these measures if they were enacted in your favorite theater, or do you think they’re too bizarre and intrusive? Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
Images: Morphsuits/Anthony Hunt Press photos