From brawls to sex, ceiling collapses to women giving birth (yes, really!), it’s quite astonishing to learn of the vast array of goings on that happen inside darkened cinema screens on a more regular basis than you might think.
And, while some of the activities seem like everyday occurrences (noisy chatterboxes, unusual food choices), there are other entries that range from the bizarre to the downright scandalous (who pays the extortionate ticket prices to have sex in a cramped, busy space).
The full list, which was supplied to us as a press release, is included below:
Babies, beer and buff bodies… unusual cinema experiences unveiled
Fights, sex, ceilings collapsing, women giving birth – all the excitement of life can be seen at the cinema – not just on screen!
An amazing variety of drama, strange sightings and mishaps take place in the darkened auditoriums, according to research by leading cinema promotions specialists Filmology.
Here is a taster of the unusual experiences of cinemagoers.
The importance of hydration
Imagine sitting near a man, who throughout the duration of a film wore a huge black leather coat, with many pockets all containing cans of beer. During the course of the film he drank ten cans; needless to say, he left the cinema extremely merry!
Hull on earth
At the now demolished UCI cinema in Hull, one cinemagoer says the audience was suddenly exposed to the sky after part of the ceiling caved in! Whilst no one was hurt, the entire cinema had to be evacuated.
Baby due? What better place to go into labour than a cinema?
With just a week to go before the birth of her first daughter, and being a big fan of horror films, one lady decided to watch ‘SAW’ with her husband. After scaring herself thoroughly, she went into labour. Her advice to overdue expectant mothers is now to head to the local picture house and watch a gory horror!
Another respondent had a similar experience and actually went into labour walking into the cinema… she didn’t quite make it to her seat.
Those who already have babies should take heed; crying infants and cinemas don’t mix. Whilst watching Benjamin Button, one poor audience member got more than her money’s worth after a family entered the cinema bringing, not one, but THREE babies! Of course they cried for most of the film, and much to the dismay of the audience, instead of taking the screaming babies outside, the parents continued to enjoy the film. This eventually resulted in a fist fight between the male family members and three other cinema goers. A complaint was made at the end of the film, which was rejected by the cinema, since apparently “babies are permitted”.
Noisy neighbours… and other irritating disturbances
Mobile phones are increasingly a prevalent source of irritation in the cinema, as one person experienced after sitting next to a movie goer’s rebellious girlfriend who clearly didn’t want to be there. Apparently she spent the majority of the film fiddling with her bejewelled phone – until being told to switch it off.
Another mobile phone related mishap was reported by a lady whose boyfriend almost ended up in a punch-up with a fellow film viewer who spoke loudly on his phone at the start of a film. Not the most relaxing start to a cinema experience.
When watching ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’, in the USA, a cinemagoer was extremely surprised by the extreme enthusiasm displayed by the audience, with every member standing up and cheering every time Chow Yun-fat won a fight!
Direct market research
Feedback is always helpful, but one cinema attendee saw this taken to the extreme when Danny Boyle walked in and stood in front of the screen at the end of a preview showing of ‘28 Days Later’ to personally request the audience’s views of the film.
Laugh a loud
Even if a film isn’t intended as a comedy, the cinema can still deliver a barrel full of laughs. One lady went to watch the somewhat aesthetically pleasing Magic Mike film, which, unsurprisingly, had a largely female dominated audience. As the excitement and anticipation of seeing the film built up, the viewers discussed loudly how they couldn’t wait to see Channing Tatum take his shirt off. However, much to the disappointment and shock of the audience, the children’s cartoon ‘Brave’ appeared on the screen in place of Magic Mike. It wasn’t changed for a good ten minutes. The poor usher struggled to be heard after trying to calm down a cinema-full of hormonal women as they surrounded him shrieking that they expected to see six packs, not a Disney film!
And of course, the darkened cinema often plays host to sexual activity that would leave even the most unflappable of people blushing. One lady saw a couple start to enjoy a night of passion right before her eyes. Whilst watching a Disney film! Thankfully, just before it got too out of hand, a bright torch was shone to shame them, and they were swiftly ejected by the usher.
Annoying munching and unusual snacks
Whether it’s loud and irritating crunching, or weird refreshment choices, food and drink can be a constant source of complaint for many cinema attendees. One viewer sat next to a man who thought he was conducting the music throughout the entire Les Miserables film, all whilst snacking on… quail’s eggs.
Mike Croston, Business Development Director, Filmology summarised: “The cinema continues to maintain its position as a favourite pastime and, with an impressive reel of summer blockbusters lined up, its popularity is set to grow, so to its marketing potential. These examples demonstrate that, at times, a trip to the cinema offers the viewer a lot more entertainment value than they’d bargained for!”