Are you famished, misguided, connected or unsettled?
It’s a jungle in there -the cinema, I mean. If only going to the movie of your refined choice involved nothing more than buying a ticket, taking your chair and letting the good times roll.
No, the cinema is a volatile habitat where all kinds of wildlife are on the prowl to make your big-screen experience seem all the smaller.
Here are but eight of the many typical creatures you may well recognise from past visits to your local multiplex menagerie ...
The scourge of any busy session with unallocated seating. Just cannot settle on a satisfactory vantage point to save themselves. Less aggressive of the species merely wanders aisles with eerily vacant gaze, craning neck this way and that. However, a certain breed will absentmindedly enter and leave several rows in succession, brushing legs and crushing toes until lights go down.
These hungry beasts have ransacked the candy bar for items encased in the crinkliest materials known to man.
Then, once the main attraction begins, it is time to consume their sugary sustenance. Not afraid to serenade nearby ears with up to half an hour of improvised wrapper music. Thirstier performers will add rhythmic accompaniment by shaking a receptacle filled with ice cubes.
The kind of creature that does anything it can to upset the pack, often without knowing it. Brings along a 7-year-old child to a horror film. Brings along warm food of dubious and distracting odour. Takes a nap and snores
loudly. Takes off shoes. Gets shooshed and keeps talking anyway. Or shooshes someone else so sharply that a fight breaks out.
These cyber warriors enter the cinema armed with every hand-held electrical device known to man. And leave them switched on. And use them freely. They send texts. Check emails. Take phone calls. Play games. The
particularly dexterous will also wave about an illuminated object like a music fan holding a cigarette lighter aloft during an rousing encore.
Not just your friendly neighbourhood interpreter of all that transpires on-screen (“they’re about to crash!”, “she’s the killer!” “no, hang on, he’s the killer!”). Also happy enough to keep everyone in the loop with scene-by-
scene recaps and on-the-spot reviews.
Close relation of The Unseated. Cannot sit still. Likes to experience their movies in short 10-minute bursts. Needs to go to the toilet. Needs to return to the candy bar. Needs to go and check if the foyer is still there.
Does not know what to make of the seat in front of them: Is it a leg rest, or something to be kicked at random intervals?
Gets too involved and/or excited by the flickering pictures before them. Prematurely screams at moments of high tension. Randomly asks “did you see that?” of no-one in particular. Whoops and hollers at moments of
extreme action. Laughs long and hard at jokes that no-one found funny. Or at dialogue or events that were not jokes at all.
Cannot and will not be impressed by the flickering pictures before them. And not afraid to let everyone know it. Capable of exhaling an air of contemptuous exasperation without notice. Bizarrely, the more inclined this species is to hate a movie, the less inclined they are to leave.
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