It sounds like a scene from a James Bond film itself, full of mystery, intrigue and suspicion.
But when the new 007 blockbuster Spectre is released next month, cinemas across Britain will be on high alert, with security beefed up and staff donning military-style night-vision goggles to patrol the dark auditoriums in a bid to crack down on piracy.
Movie pirates are said to be resorting to increasingly clandestine tactics to avoid being caught, hiding recording devices in holes cut into popcorn cartons or covering their phones with a sock to hide the lit screen.
The film industry is determined to stop criminals intent on illegally recording the eagerly awaited new film and posting it online.
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Kieron Sharp, director-general of the Federation Against Copyright Theft, which tackles piracy, said staff would be taking extra measures to catch anyone trying to make illegal recordings.
"The bigger the film and the more anticipated it is, the higher risk it is," he said. "We have staff on extra alert for that.
"James Bond is a big risk and we will be working with cinema operators and the distributors making sure we will keep that as tight as possible. We really don't want to see that recorded.
"They still do the sweeps around the auditoriums with the night-vision glasses regardless of the film.
"But sometimes extra security is put in place for things like Bond," Sharp said.
Spectre, directed by Sam Mendes, is expected to be one of the biggest box office hits of the year.