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Being an ardent film buff, going to cinema halls around the city is an indispensable part of my life. I enjoy this to the core and the big wide screen is the place where I get to escape from the mundane realities of everyday life like noise, stress and the likes.

I prefer sitting in the hall silently and immersing myself in the movie. The phone is put on silent mode; I don’t take any calls even if they hardly come and my full attention is on the movie screen as much as possible.

Unless if it is the FDFS of a big superstar’s release and I am accompanied by my friends, I am generally a silent movie watcher. On the other extreme, if the movie is really bad, I also start squirming in my seats and start muttering comments. In the case of bad movies, talking in the theater and listening to other’s comments is actually more entertaining than the movie itself. But, when you go to a good movie to experience the magic of cinema, it’s a totally different story.  

Recently I had been to Finding Nemo 3D to revisit this cute movie on 3D in the best multiplex in the city. I was having a rough day and was looking to forget the happenings of the day till then, by travelling along with Nemo, Marlin and Dory on their great adventure in the ocean. But unfortunately, my neighbors in the cinema hall happened to be a bunch of morons. Three of them, probably college youngsters, entered the hall, occupied their seats beside me and from the moment the movie started, then didn’t shut their mouths. It was as if they were sitting in a beach or a coffee shop and happily catching up on the lost years.

They were oblivious to their surroundings and just refused to do a ‘mouthshut’. And with an English movie where you need to pay constant attention to the accent spoken in order to understand the dialogs properly, having people like them around you just boils down to your bad luck. The others in the hall were what you can say the normal cine-goers who pass some momentary comments and then continue enjoying the show on screen. But these guys were from another planet; they didn’t even see the screen on some occasions and were just interested in looking into each other’s eyes and chit-chatting.

It is their personal choice but in a cinema hall which is like a community where people sit together to see a movie, you got to have some respect and decorum for the audience around you as well. Passing few comments now and then is perfectly fine, but constant blabber is stretching the freedom of speech and expression too far.

I have also had my days of chit-chatting in the theater in my younger days and now I understand that we guys must have been a nuisance to the people around us who had come to see the movie without much disturbance.

While speaking to each other is one nuisance, speaking loudly on the phone, not putting the phone on silent mode are other activities that our audience continues to indulge in. This is despite messages by the multiplexes before the start of the movie requesting the audience to keep their phones in silent mode and to not indulge in phone chats. 

Some people also take the liberty to put their legs on the seats ahead of them and people like me who are fussy about this aspect have to bear the brunt. It is as if someone is giving you a kick on your derriere. Your seat keeps vibrating when someone keeps his/her leg on your seat. This is despite the spacious multiplex seating arrangement as people want to keep their legs on top of one another or want to stretch their legs as much as possible. It’s a matter of pushing the limits of comfort and convenience.

All this said, I feel happy on the other hand that spitting in theaters, spitting gutka, smoking inside theaters and doing drunken antics inside have reduced a lot. A popular multiplex in Chennai even chucks out people who are carrying gutka, cigarettes or if they are drunk.

Theater maintenance has also improved with wooden chairs being almost extinct save a few single screens. Comfy chairs, good air aroma, adequate spacing between rows and proper alignment of columns in such a way that two seats aren’t exactly behind each other are other such improvements to the overall experience.

If only people reduced their need to do worthless chit-chat for a few hours inside the cinema hall and if they abstain from using their cell phone; things would be even better. Not to mention, curtailing their legs too.

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This page hosts the views of the authors of the column. The views are generally about films, movie reviews, movie news, songs, music, film actors and actresses, directors, producers, cinematographers, music directors, and all others that contribute for the success or failure of a film. People looking for movies online, movie reviews, movie analysis, public response for a movie, will find this page useful.