1. The snackers
Once upon a time, cinema snacks meant styrofoam popcorn and a communal bag of dusty wine gums (best before end of: the Crimean War). But nowadays there's no end to the comestible crap that's on offer, and boy, don't people love to stuff it into their greedy faces, which are mere centimetres from your delicate lugholes. Listen to them: munching on a greasy 'pork' cylinder, slurping on a Brando-sized Coke. It's a Dolby-defying snackophony! The solution? Intravenous nacho cheese drips. It's the only way to guarantee any peace.
2. The under-fives
They shout, they scream, they eat off the floor. And some Hackney cinemagoers bring their kids along too. However many adult-friendly jokes Pixar sticks in its scripts, a visit to the flicks with the rug rats will leave you more traumatised than Brad Pitt at the end of 'Se7en'. And now they're all hopped up on sugar, getting them home and into their jim-jams is going to take longer - and be even less fun - than a 'Police Academy' marathon.
3. The bed heads
We open on a boutique picturehouse somewhere in west London, where middle-class cinèastes sprawl on beds, tonguing tiny tubs of organic ice cream like sweet-toothed Jabba the Huts. No, this isn't the latest Richard bloody Curtis: this is actual real bloody life. For some breathtakingly lazy Londoners, the whole sitting- upright-to-watch-a-film thing is just way too much effort. You have to wonder how these delicate flowers even make it to the cinema in the first place. Are they borne there on a fainting couch by a team of hand-fanning flunkies?
4. The quote fascists
Movie quote-alongs at the Prince Charles Cinema are there to separate the men from the boys, the nerd from the nerd pretender. Sure, you need standards: it's only proper, for example, to shoot the stink-eye at some douche painfully misquoting 'Anchorman' ('I'm a perspex box of emotion!') But, inevitably, there will be someone - normally the owner of a Forbidden Planet loyalty card - who takes things too far. They're the kind of person who picks a fight with someone because they failed to quote Bill Murray in 'Ghostbusters' with the requisite amount of irony. In other words, the kind of person who is a dick.
5. The chatterboxes
'Is that the dog from 'Turner & Hooch'?' (No, it's another dog.) 'Has Ian McKellen always looked like that?' (No, he used to look younger.) 'Is that the man from that film with the car?' (Yes, yes it is, you adorable cretin). There's no end to the idiocy people blurt out at the cinema, especially at a complicated plot point. So it's up to you to act: nip it in the bud or your durr-brained nemesis will be jabbering away throughout the the latest très cèrèbrale Adam Sandler vehicle, 'Fart King 2: Fart Harder'. (Time Out rating, five stars: 'Brave and assured').
By Michael Curle, who misses the dusty wine gums.
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Illustrations: Nathan James PageShare the story