Wanted: A code of conduct for cinema employees
I believe the vast majority agree of us support the Wittertainment’s code of conduct. Where our opinions might differ is on what is worst – is it slurping, rustling, usage of mobile phones or arriving late? For my own part I’d vouch for talking. There’s nothing that can destroy a movie watching experience as listening to some random persons director’s commentary. It’s a deal breaker.
But with all the respect for the damage that the moviegoers can cause, there’s a category of people who are in the position to create chaos, dispair and destruction in a bigger scale. You can’t threaten to throw them out of the premises if they behave badly. Noting sticks on them, because they rule the place and they know it. They’re the staff.
The current code of conduct apparently doesn’t apply to them. But if there was one, I’d dare say that what I experienced the other night was a flagrant violation of it.
It was in the middle of the afternoon, about 4PM, quite an unusual time for watching a film intended for grown-ups, but it was the only show offered and since I’m on vacation I decided to go for it. The film was Take This Waltz, a Canadian movie that turned out not to be as good as I had hoped. But the event that took place certainly didn’t help out to improve the experience.
We must have been about halfway through the screening when the image suddenly froze and someone turned up the lights. I flinched, for a moment confused of where I were and who I was, as if I had been abruptly woken from a dream by someone shaking me. Before I had found myself, two cinema employees entered the room. My heart jumped for a moment. There must surely be some kind of emergency? Was the theatre on fire? Good for me I was in the salon closest to the entrance. But I couldn’t hear any fire alarm?
And then they did the announcement telling us about the emergency that was so important that they had to interrupt the show: someone had dropped their cell phone in the theatre and they needed to search for it. It would only take a few minutes they assured us before starting to walk back and forward through the rows, examining the floor under every seat like dogs sniffing for drugs. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Was this happening? Really?
The search turned out to be fruitless. There was no phone. The lights went down again and the film started to run. I tried to get back into the mood. Where were we? The search still lingered in my mind. They hadn’t offered us any kind of compensation for the interference. Did they even as much as apologize? I growled. Admittedly we weren’t a huge audience, but that doesn’t mean that we didn’t deserve some kind of respect. And who were we? A handful of middle aged ladies who I can’t fathom stealing a phone even if they found one right in front of them on the floor.
You could wonder what that person been doing with the phone in the first place by the way in order to be able to drop it? Chances were that he or she had been violating the code of conduct – otherwise it would have been properly stored and turned off in a handbag or pocket. And whose phone was so urgent that you couldn’t let the search wait until the mvoie had finished? The queen? The prime minister?
In need of a code of conduct
It’s apparent that not only the audience, but also the staff at cinemas is in need of a code of conduct.
I would suggest a rule along the lines: “No interruption of ongoing screenings unless people’s health and safety is endangered. In such a case, proper compensation should be offered, such as free tickets to another screening.”
Have you experienced bad behavior from the personnel at a theatre? And if you made a code of conduct for the employees, what other rules would you like to include?