Cinema refs to crackdown on annoying habits

Left to right: Craig Wilkinson, Ami Dixon-Smith and Joe Ward
Left to right: Craig Wilkinson, Ami Dixon-Smith and Joe Ward

Noisy sweet-rustling, loud popcorn crunching and over-enthusiastic canoodling couples could all be a thing of the past as Empire Cinema is set to launch a cinema referee scheme.

The firm, the largest independently-owned cinema chain in the UK which has an outlet on Robin Park, wants to crack down on the annoying behaviours spoiling the experience of cinema-goers.

The scheme will start today, April 1, and the referees will be brandishing yellow and red cards to those who do not adhere to etiquette rules.

Jon Nutton, marketing director of Empire Cinemas, said: “Our primary goal is to guarantee our customers have the ultimate cinema experience and cinema etiquette plays a huge part in this.

“The shared experience, and therefore audience behaviour, is of vast importance and the introduction of our new cinema referees will ensure enjoyable viewing is had by all.”

The scheme is based on research determining what are the most annoying behaviours for regular cinema-goers.

The research into the cinematic experience found that chitter chatter during viewings is the most annoying disruption, with a staggering 67 per cent of Brits choosing this as the most inconvenient action.

The use of mobile phones ranked second, as almost half (49 per cent) of Brits admitted being irritated by fellow customers tweeting, typing and posting during a film.

As a nation of foodies, it appears our over enthusiastic snacking seems to make for some uncomfortable cinema viewing, almost half (49 per cent) of customers agreed incessantly loud sweet rustling is the third most distracting disruption.

A further 40 per cent of the UK admitted overly loud munching of popcorn was poor cinema etiquette. Canoodling couples angered 15 per cent of film lovers.

Oh, and Happy April Fools Day :)