Tuesday, 4 August 2009


This week seems to be the 'shut up' week. First Eddie Mair ran a piece on Radio 4's PM show about noisy audiences, then a woman was attacked in Leeds for asking some young kids to quiet down at a screening of Harry Potter.

Just last night we had to ask two customers inside the cinema to be quiet. I should have known they were trouble when they asked if COCO BEFORE CHANEL was a really violent film. They seemed puzzled when I explained it was a biopic of the fashion icon.

In NYC, I once had a chap threaten to "meet me outside" after the film when I asked him to stop whistling at Thandie Newton in Mission Impossible 2. I stayed and watched ALL the credits.

It's definitely a cultural thing - I have witnessed screenings in America where the audience clap when the hero saves the girl - whereas in the UK no one would dare say a word. When audiences are requested to participate, they really go all out though - our infamous late night screenings of WITHNAIL & I include customers quoting the film, and playing along to the drinking game (sans lighter fluid). The Lord of the Rings Trilogy all nighter had plenty of cheers for the hobbits too.

You can hear me talk about this with Eddie Mair on today's PM around 5.45pm.


  1. I was frankly surprised that the 13.30 screening of the Chanel film was so deathly silent,considering the number of stroppy 'Senior Citizens'who were insisting that 'I got here at 12.30 so I must be 1st in the queue'!And WOULD you excuse me,I am determined to get my free coffee;quite hilarious-perhaps we Brits are taking on the US entitlement culture(sorry,Jon).

    Seriously,I think the mainstream cinemas have got to take this on board-I've had popcorn thrown at me in the Odeon for insisting that people should be quiet during the credits fot the Pianist-which is the last movement of a Chopin piano concerto in its own right.

    The States -well that's a different matter;I saw an X-Men movie in which children ran around the cinema yelling in a NJ multiplex;perhaps there's something to be said for our certification

  2. One of my most memorable cinema visits was seeing Independence Day on the day after Independence Day in a Baltimore cinema. The audience reaction (loud!) made it something quite different. Of course, the biggest cheer was when the dog jumped out of the way of a fireball and lived to bark another day...but that's another story.