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Inconsiderate behaviour in theatres

(120 Posts)
Vintagejazz Wed 27-Apr-22 12:44:03

Time and again lately I have had visits to the theatre ruined by people coming in late, checking phones, eating noisily, talking etc

I remember the days when latecomers weren't allowed in until the interval, someone would be absolutely mortified if they forgot to switch off their phone and it went off during the performance and people weren't constantly drinking water and going in and out to the loo, disturbing everyone around them.

AIBU to think some people just haven't a clue how to behave at the theatre any more?

Penygirl Wed 27-Apr-22 14:05:52

We went to see a musical recently and were very distracted by the people using their phones to video.
Plus you can guarantee that late comers will have seats in the middle of the row!

Antonia Wed 27-Apr-22 14:11:10

It's a general lack of good manners that seems to get worse with every passing year.
I know I'm old now but in my day, it was the norm for children to stand on buses to let an adult sit down.
Now you hear, 'my child will fall over.' What's wrong with sitting a young child on the parent's knee? It's mostly older children I'm talking about, who don't give up their seat.
Behaviour in cinemas and theatres is part of the lack of consideration too.

Rosie51 Wed 27-Apr-22 14:16:02

Plus you can guarantee that late comers will have seats in the middle of the row! Last time we went to the theatre, not only were the people in the mid row seats late for the start, they were also late back from the interval. As we all had to stand to let them pass the people in the row behind us could see nothing but a 'Mexican wave' of bodies. It really is inconsiderate. Even if the late arrival at the start couldn't be avoided because of extenuating circumstances, coming back late from the interval is inexcusable.

Redhead56 Wed 27-Apr-22 14:24:31

Totally agree selfish people ruin a trip to the theatre for everyone else.

Vintagejazz Wed 27-Apr-22 15:50:33

People arriving late and clambering over people to get to their seat really annoy me. They should at the very least be made to sit in the nearest available seats until the interval.
Preferably they shouldn't even be let in until the interval but I suppose you'd have people bleating about their rights.

ShazzaKanazza Wed 27-Apr-22 16:30:26

My daughter was performing in a show in Shanghai and she said they were so rude. They’d think nothing of climbing over the backs of the seats and shouting into their phones.

Redhead56 Wed 27-Apr-22 16:55:59

Some years ago we went to see Marc Almond in concert. I loved the fact that when a mobile phone went off or people arrived late. He would stop the music and make a point of telling people off for disturbing the audience.

maddyone Wed 27-Apr-22 18:08:05

I absolutely hate the horrible smell of all sorts of hot food in the cinema. Popcorn or ice creams, or even sweets, are okay, but seriously, hot dogs smothered in foul smelling sauces that everyone else in the cinema is forced to smell are really unacceptable in my opinion. Still it’s all in the name of progress.

CanadianGran Wed 27-Apr-22 19:52:06

I have volunteered as an usher in our local theatre and while most patrons are polite, we do get some that don't know etiquette. There's a huge difference in the evenings depending on the performance. For a classical music group, everyone knows the rules; for a Christmas pageant...not so much!

Also, because we live in a small town, everyone arrives at the very last minute, and people are still drifting in at 5 or 7 minutes past show start time. Drives me nuts.

AreWeThereYet Wed 27-Apr-22 20:47:52

Mr A and I stopped going to the cinema some time ago, and now rarely go to the theatre either. The constant rustling, moving around, talking on phones, talking generally, really annoys me. I like to be able to concentrate on what I am watching.

The best show we saw in the last few years was Shen Yun - we had seats right at the very back. Proper chairs, not in a row of seats, set behind the last row. Brilliant view, no neighbours to annoy, no getting up and down. In fact the seats in front of us were unused, so we were in our own little world of music, dance and colour. Don't know why it happened but I was very glad it did.

nadateturbe Wed 27-Apr-22 21:37:52

We go to a small cinema in Belfast. A message flashes on screen to remind patrons yo turn mobiles off and to not talk during the screening.
When we were young if you talked during a film the usherette shone her torch on you.
Surely theatres could have some rules/guidance.

Shandy57 Wed 27-Apr-22 22:00:29

My daughter worked at our city centre theatre as an usher and was initially shocked at the amount of loud and unco-operative drunks that came in. She hadn't expected such behaviour and was the butt of extreme rudeness and coarse language several times.

She was often assigned to the 'gods' and most of the audiences were coach parties of retired people, sometimes with mobility difficulties. On more than one occasion she accompanied someone to the toilet during the performance but they didn't know where they were sitting on return. When my daughter asked to see their tickets they'd left it on their seat! Somewhere in the very high up darkness!

Covid ended her temporary work as an usher, I think she was relieved.

Mancjules Wed 27-Apr-22 22:12:58

I volunteer at a large theatre and 98% of patrons are fine and just want to enjoy the performance. The ballet, opera, some plays and performances are naturally quiet...but musicals, bands and comedians can be noisy. We don't allow hot food in the auditorium and the FOH staff do the best they can if there is a problem. As theatre has become more accessible it has relaxed...and I think that is a good thing.

nadateturbe Wed 27-Apr-22 22:38:35

It's not a good thing if it spoils enjoyment of the performance.

maddyone Wed 27-Apr-22 22:45:26

I mentioned hot food in the cinema. I’m not aware that hot food can be taken into theatres, but maybe someone will be along who knows differently.

Pepper59 Wed 27-Apr-22 23:55:20

Don't go often to theatre or cinema, like others mainly due to the noise and mobile phones. Don't get me started on concerts and drunk folk.

Redhead56 Thu 28-Apr-22 00:03:48

That made me laugh Pepper I am very intolerant and I don’t hide my annoyance either!

Pepper59 Thu 28-Apr-22 00:13:49

I loved being at the theatre one evening. There were two ladies beginning to chat during the performance, well, this lady of senior years just turned her head and went ' sshht'. The look on the ladies faces was worth the ticket price. They never uttered a single word for the rest of the evening.

Marmight Thu 28-Apr-22 03:31:59

People these days consider the cinema or theatre as an extension of their tv room at home where they chat, wander about, eat snacks or full meals & generally jump up & down. It doesn’t occur to them to consider other patrons might like a bit of hush to enjoy the performance/film. Respect has gone out of the window. It’s up to the theatre management to lay down the rules and make sure they’re adhered to. It doesn’t help that cinemas sell all kinds of food for consumption during the performance. At a pantomime many years ago at the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh, the family alongside us munched their way through deep fried haggis & chips during the 2nd act ?

BigBertha1 Thu 28-Apr-22 05:41:05

We look up the cinema to see how many bookings there are before we book seats. We don't go often but when we do we try to get a morning showing when there are fewer people it's usually quiet and free from the dreaded nachos.

harrigran Thu 28-Apr-22 09:18:41

GD went to see Fantastic beasts last week and she was te.ling me that the lady in front of her spent the entire 2.5 hours performance on her phone. Why go to the cinema and sit on your phone ?
The last time I was in a theatre it was ruined by people standing up and singing along, I do not pay good money to hear some amateur squawking.

nadateturbe Thu 28-Apr-22 11:16:28

That would be so annoying Harrigran. I would have said something.

Pepper59 I have done the Shh! thing.

Management need to take control.
I have moved seats in cinema because of crisp crunching and sweets being unwrapped continually. I only take water to the cinema.

Namsnanny Thu 28-Apr-22 11:38:35

I think twice when I see a show advertised, and invariably decide not to go nowadays, for all the reasons above.
I do go to the cinema still, but generally book a quiet time of day.
Sometimes I go to the 'live' opera or ballet concerts that our cinema show.
The seats are more up to date than the lovely old theatres generally have, so are more comfortable!
Not so busy generally, so less disruption.
If I could stop any one behaviour, it would be eating at the cinema. The smell is atrocious, and AC sends it all around the auditorium.
I dont know when society became so infantalised that people had to have something in their mouth all the time?

Vintagejazz Thu 28-Apr-22 11:50:01

I don't understand the constant eating either but for some people it's an essential part of the 'experience'. A bar of chocolate or packet of sweets isn't enough, it has to be the dreaded nachos along with a bucket of coke that has to be slurped down to the last ice cube.