Kerre McIvor

Kerre McIvor is a Herald on Sunday columnist

Kerre McIvor: Front-row seats to bad movie manners

By Kerre McIvor

Chris Hemsworth plays James Hunt, who had a playboy reputation in Rush.
Chris Hemsworth plays James Hunt, who had a playboy reputation in Rush.

I very seldom go to the movies. I work most nights but that's no excuse - I could always go during the day.

I think the real reason that I eschew movie-going is because I don't like fellow humans when they're sharing a theatre with me.

I find it very hard to be around people when I want to be transported by a film.

I must have trained myself to escape in a book because I don't have a problem reading on planes, where I'm in much closer quarters to people than I am in a movie theatre.

But maybe on a plane, because we are crammed together cheek to jowl, we are more respectful of one another.

In a movie theatre, with a bit of space, people can pretend they're at home and so they text, they talk, they crunch what sounds like tyrannosaurus bones, they walk up and down the aisles.

It's hard to stay focused on the action on the screen when there's more action in the audience.

The husband and I did go to see Rush on the big screen the other day, and I'm so glad we did. Yes, we could have got it out on DVD months later - which is how we generally see films - but then we'd have missed the surround sound of Formula One Ferraris revving on the start grid.

As a latent petrol-head, I would have been sorry to have missed that.

After Rush we resolved we'd see more films, and if Hoyts rolls out the "no disturbances" policy in its new Hamilton complex throughout the country I'll be even more inclined to pay to see movies at the cinemas.

A higher level of staffing will be required to police the cinemas more aggressively and, according to a Hoyts spokesman, staff are right behind the policy.

They have been trained to turn away latecomers and eject rude patrons, and have promised to do so regularly until movie patrons understand the etiquette of sharing a public space.

Can't happen soon enough for me, and I do hope the Auckland Council adopts a similar policy at its theatres. It's bad enough having latecomers to the movies - far worse when it's a live performance.

Shut the doors on tardy patrons and keep them locked. Better two people miss out on the show than have three rows of people have their enjoyment compromised.

- Herald on Sunday

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