I love going to the cinema. For me nothing beats sitting down in a giant dark room  to watch a movie on the big screen with the booming surround sound. I’m sure many of you share the sentiment (or am I just being sappy?).

However, as much as I love going to the movies there are many, many things about the experience that annoy the hell out of me. Of course there’s the obvious ones like people using their phone (phone calls and texting aside, the general light pollution it causes is beyond infuriating), noisy/smelly food, overpriced tickets, people commentating on the movie as if they made the damn thing and so forth.

But what else is there to annoy the rest of us who just want to watch the movie in peace? We’ve listed a group of the worst offenders below.

Why do I have to wait in THIS line?!

This is a problem that occurs before you even get near your comfy viewing seat. Picture the scene: You arrive half an hour before a movie is scheduled to start (more on scheduling later) and notice the place is pretty busy. You go up to wait in line to buy your ticket and are stuck standing there for a good 15-20 minutes as the people in front you seemingly decide to buy one of every food and drink item on the menu. Or at least that’s what it seems like because you’re standing there so long.

Why is there no separate line for people who want to buy tickets and people who want concessions? This is a problem found only at certain cinemas while others have been courteous enough to offer two separate purchasing areas with two separate economic functions. But when you turn up to see a movie at a cinema which does have the problem, you’re already there, it’s too late to choose a different establishment. You have no real choice but to suffer through the waiting.

Somebody turn off the lights!

This is an increasingly common problem that’s just as irritating the 30th time as it is the first. You get yourself comfortable in your chair, ready for that familiar feeling of the lights dimming down and the adverts starting (more on that later) and then realize there’s still an annoying bright light that hasn’t been switched off right above your head. You wait. And you wait. And you wait. No one wants to be the one to go out and complain but eventually someone does and the brightness suddenly slams off like a floodlight in an action movie. Or sometimes it doesn’t happen quite so quickly and you’re stuck with this glaring light for a portion of the movie’s opening sequence until eventually it’s turned off and all is finally as it should be. If I wanted to watch a movie with that sort of distraction I’d go watch one on my iPod while standing under a lamp post.

Of all the seats in all the cinemas…

If you’re like me and you like to seek out the film showings most likely to make for a relatively empty auditorium then this unfortunate problem should seem sadly familiar. You spend a minute or two scanning the near empty rows of seats to find the perfect seat in terms of being far enough away from the screen but not too far, eye-level exactly right. You have yourself settled and then out of the corner of your eye you notice one, or two, or three (etc.) people come in and start heading up the stairs. Nah, there’s no way they’ll choose a seat near me, the place is empty! Or so you’d think. Nope, they decide of all the seats in the place to choose one of the ones in front of you to sit on. What to do now? If you move it might seem rude, if you stay your previously perfect seating choice is utterly ruined. This is a problem of inconsideration. If you’re guilty of causing this problem I politely ask you to think before you sit.

Wasn’t this movie supposed to have started by now?

This is one of my absolute biggest pet peeves when it comes to going to the movies. The cinema listings say a movie starts at 9pm, for example, and so you turn up in plenty time for that specified starting point. You enjoy/internally scream in annoyance at the music they play before that starting time for any early-birds patiently waiting for the movie to start (remember, they turned up early to get a good seat before someone sat in front of them and they had to move). You look at your watch just as it turns 9, when the cinema said the movie was going to start. But what’s this? No movie but advert after advert after bloody advert selling you everything from cars to deodorant. This isn’t what you paid your ticket price for, to sit through 10-15 minutes of completely unrelated advertising.

It’s different from everyday advertising where you pass posters and billboards trying to get you to buy things because you’re not forced to look at them. In a cinema you’re a captive audience and are being forced to watch ads for things which aren’t movie-related (for the most part). You wouldn’t expect to walk into a clothes shop and before getting to look at that new jacket you came in to buy you were sat down and forced to watch movie trailers, would you? 10-15 minutes of those trailers follow those cinema adverts but this is completely understandable because they are at least are advertising to you other movies which you might want to go see in the future. When you turn up for a movie which is supposed to start at 9pm and it doesn’t actually start until 9:30pm something is very wrong.

It ain’t over ’til it’s over.

The fifth and final problem on this list is another audience problem. It never used to happen as much (or maybe I was too young to notice/care) but it’s become annoyingly common. You’ve sat through almost the entire movie you paid to see and it’s clear, as is often the case, that it’s about to come to an end. But since you paid your (overpriced) ticket you’re going to stay until the credits start rolling. Why wouldn’t you? But not everyone feels that way. It doesn’t usually happen en masse but at least one person, usually someone with shopping bags for some reason, will get up and start walking out before the credits. Are they in that much of a hurry that they can’t stick it out till the end? Perhaps they are, on occasion, but it happens almost every single time I visit the cinema. Often it’s the damn person who irritatingly sat in front of me when there were plenty of other seats available, in which case I get to enjoy a view of them stumbling their way out of the aisle as I try to catch the final line of movie dialogue. Typical…

– – –

Do you ever find yourself falling victim to one of the above cinema-going annoyances? What other alternative issues have you experienced? Let us know in the comments below!