I have some issues with my local cinema.
Firstly, the majority of viewers come to eat rather than to watch the film.
A surround-sound of shuffling and crackling packets makes it impossible to hear what anyone is saying for the first twenty minutes.
As the trailers begin I’m already thinking, “If I was a dictator…”
But of course, if I were a dictator I’d have more important things to do than ban noisy eaters from cinemas.
My second issue is the existence of Premier seats, those indulgent armchair seats that cost extra and take the best part of the cinema.
For me, these seats are a symbol of all that’s wrong with our society. Every square inch has a price. You can no longer have a decent seat for just turning up early.
Must every little comfort really incur a charge?
Will we soon be paying an additional charge for sitting down on a bus, and eventually for clinging onto the bar?
Next there’ll be tracks in Oxford Street. The lane nearest the shop windows will be the most expensive and the free lanes will veer in and out of the traffic.
Oh we’ll never allow that, you say.
But not so long ago we had a tax on windows. If you couldn’t pay they’d come along and brick them up.
These charges will creep in so we barely notice them, until one day we wake up and submissively pop a pound in a metre for the first breath of the day.
Last week the Premier section at my local cinema was completely empty.
A staff member sat in the aisle guarding its emptiness from people that assumed, wrongly, that their ten pound ticket entitled them to a normal position in the cinema.
Nope, ten pounds gets you a seat at the back or at the front.
It seemed churlish to stop people enjoying those seats when no one else was coming for them.
Frankly, Premier seats give me the creeps.
Elitism doesn’t belong in the cinema.