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(18 Posts)
Tegan Sun 16-Nov-14 21:35:48

We go to a small independent cinema. Tonight we went to see a film and there was a man there who obviously has learning difficulties of some kind. He laughed throughout the film [it wasn't a comedy]. This has happened before; that time it was in one of the smaller studios and a young girl who had gone to see a film on her own [which I do sometimes] was quite unnerved by it; she said it had happened before when she was there. Going to the cinema is obviously a very important part of this mans life and I hate to complain, but it really did ruin the film. I feel like a complete bitch if I complain. What should I do? One couple did complain tonight and they were told that they could watch the film for free at the next showing but they didn't want to [I couldn't have sat through it again either sad].

liminetta Sun 16-Nov-14 21:51:55

Hmm; don't know the answer to this one, other than to speak to the manager and let him try (gently) to explain to the man.

annsixty Sun 16-Nov-14 22:01:50

This sort of thing is very difficult and actually makes us face up to our non attractive side. I went with a friend to a park cafe in the summer and there were several very handicapped people with their carers. The noises they were making and the way they were eating was "not nice" and whilst I realised they had has much right to visit and have an outing as I did I was really uncomfortable. I was not comfortable with my own reaction but I could not change it.

Tegan Sun 16-Nov-14 22:20:59

The cinema does cater for people with disabilities and has special showings at certain times. It's one of the reasons why we like to support it. It's a big part of our lives, which is why I feel awful about wanting to deprive someone else of going there.

FlicketyB Sun 16-Nov-14 22:27:48

We went to the theatre once where, just before the show started a man came in, respectably dressed, and sat in the seat in front of us. However it soon became very evident that, despite looking neatly dressed, he cannot have had a bath or changed his underwear in living memory.

By the interval the smell was ruining the show for us and the people sat on one side of him got up and walked out partway through the first act. At the interval we spoke to the Front-of-house staff and explained the situation and asked if there were any empty seats elsewhere. Initially they said 'no', but then checked and found two uncollected tickets in the box office and moved us to those seats. Had these seats not been available we too would have had to walked out.

The man concerned could obviously afford to pay for a reasonable seat in the house and had an interest in opera and was ostensibly well dressed. But whether he had something like Aspergers Syndrome or other problem that inhibits social skills I do not know but it is very difficult to know what to do when these occasions arise.

Soutra Sun 16-Nov-14 22:48:56

A couple of observations- we went to the opera a couple of years ago and the man next to me (not DH!!) did whiff a bit( he also slept throughput act1 leaning further and durther on to my shoulder!) as did a much younger man at the theatre last year. That time there were empty seats further back so I moved. Maybe someone should bring back nosegays? Re learning difficulties I am happy to say that the RSC at Stratford has special performances where it is perfectly in order to shout out or laugh in the "wrong" places. Put yourself in the place of e.g. the mum of an autistic /Downs/aspergers or any sort of teenager or an older person with one of the dementias- it is so laudable not toerxclude them from the enjoyment of a play or show. Finally I have been seriously put off a play by people with no apparent disability other than their inability to go 2 hours without stuffing their faces with popcorn/nachos/hot dogs/rustling sweets/ coke oh and texting their "bestie" throughout!

Maggiemaybe Sun 16-Nov-14 23:51:58

And these seem to be common afflictions these days, Soutra (ref your last sentence). When theatres and arena first allowed their customers to take drinks from the bar into the performance, I thought how pleasant it was to be able to enjoy your wine without gulping it down during the interval. But once you've sat next to someone who has to push past you three times to go to the bar and three times back during each half, slopping lager over your legs towards the end of the performance, you start to long for the days when people could just sit still and concentrate for an hour at a time.

Tegan Mon 17-Nov-14 00:02:09

But they do have special showings at our cinema for people with disabilities of various kinds; it's why we support it financially [not just by buying tickets].

soontobe Mon 17-Nov-14 08:41:51

I think that there is a difference between someone maybe spoiling an outing occasionally, which happens to us all, and the situation that the op describes.

Too early in the morning for me to come up with a suitable answer yet though.

soontobe Mon 17-Nov-14 08:47:49

Presumably the man likes to go to several film showings a week?

Perhaps the management could give him the same seat each time, and tell him that that is his seat each time he goes?
May make him feel good, and if this seat was say a little to the side, it may mean that others can still enjoy the film?

Wont work mind if he wants to sit whereever he wants, which he is obviously entitled to do.

I think that ultimately, it is going to be up to management.

Teetime Mon 17-Nov-14 09:38:26

I could probably cope with the situation you describe tegan what I cant cope with is people without such issues who rattle their sweet papers, kick the back of my seat and talk together all through the film so we have stopped going to our local independent where this is common and its such a small space you cant get away from it. We try to go during the day now at the big multiplex which is quite often empty especially for the early showings but I have to say we tend to wait for things on Box Office unless we are at a loose end or desperately want to see something straight away which doesn't happen more than a few times a year.

Tegan Mon 17-Nov-14 10:22:59

We don't go to the multiplex cinemas because of the sweet paper rattling/chatting through the film etc. This is a small, specialist cinema that shows, in the main, films that don't get to be shown at the multiplex's. People who go are real film lovers. It's had to recently change it's screening policy because of dwindling numbers and can't afford to lose customers. As I said initiially I feel really bad about the way I've reacted to this person and I'm only thankful that I didn't enjoy the film anyway and it wasn't a film such as Life of Pi which has become one of my favourite films of all time. The cinema caters for disabled people, with a lift and a row of specially adapted seats which, as I said is one reason why we support them financially. But I do expect to be able to watch a film without someone shouting out throughout the performance. The whole reason for going to the cinema rather than watching at home is to get the whole cinema experience. I think that some people who went last night probably won't go there again.

POGS Mon 17-Nov-14 11:18:37

It's a really tricky one isn't it.

Can you imagine the outcry in the media if the management tried to manage the times he could attend. They would be hung out to dry. You can count on someone reporting it to the media.

I don't think anybody wouldn't find it unsettling and it is a case of your enjoyment of the film being ruined but I don't see how it can be avoided as the management are in a noose.

I do think you are being perfectly reasonable to approach the management however but do so with possible solutions as opposed to complaint.

Could the management give him a free entry perhaps on the day you say is set aside for special showings, it could be a financial gain for the cinema if there is a chance of loosing custom. Could he be given 'special permission' to view the film from the projector room?

Good luck it is a case of feeling guilty for thinking this way but being practicle about the situation might throw up an as answer. confused

Mishap Mon 17-Nov-14 11:27:29

I once went to a play at Stratford - the man next to me was - how shall I put this - fiddling with himself - throughout the first half. I moved seats after the interval.

POGS Mon 17-Nov-14 12:01:09


Didn't you report him.

harrigran Mon 17-Nov-14 12:33:06

It is very difficult to say anything in these circumstances because of course he had every right to visit the cinema. DH and I went to the theatre and there were about thirty people with special needs beside us, they were quite noisy, calling out and squealing. The sad thing was that there were several carers but they all sat together and chatted and had their phones out. Not what I would call a well organised outing.

FarNorth Mon 17-Nov-14 12:43:50

The carers probably couldn't have done much to reduce the noise and possibly they scarcely noticed it, as they work with the clients all the time.

As people with special needs are less likely to understand that they could be disturbing others, I'd find it much easier to ignore that noise than the crisp-rustlers etc mentioned previously.

mrsmopp Wed 19-Nov-14 23:26:26

We were in a restaurant and a woman at a nearby table had an awful persistant hacking, retching cough. It quite put us off our food. Surely she should have cancelled her reservation? It was most unpleasant for people sitting near her. The staff couldn't really do anything, what could they do? I'm sorry for anyone who isn't well, but I would have stayed home if it had been me.