For our wedding anniversary I booked a sofa at The Electric Cinema to see The Grand Bucharest Hotel. We went to the Wednesday Matinee as later we were dining at Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse Bar and Grill. We don’t do gifts we do experiences to celebrate special occasions.
I have written before about how I struggle with cinemas and the behaviour of the people in them, which prompted me to write about why I avoid cinemas. When I do go I choose times that I hope is too early for the yobs to be up, usually the first showing on a Sunday morning. It still doesn’t stop people taking toddlers to see 12A films which I ranted about here in my guide to cinema etiquette.
The Electric is a small independent cinema and the people who tend to go are there to watch ‘intelligent mainstream,independent, foriegn and classic films’. i.e. They don’t go to snog, indulge in heavy petting or throw sweets at the audience. Here I expect to be able to watch a film without anyone talking, texting or fornicating.
Yet on the last two visits, I have been severely let down by the clientele. Last time it was a couple who thought having a sofa would be a chance to indulge in a snog, and, that the film Before Midnight would be erotic as there was some nudity in it. They also seemed to disapprove of anyone over 30 as the looks we got from them were to kill. Not only were there people on the next sofa to them but they were old people. Halfway through they left thank goodness, after spending the first half on Facebook.
This time is was the turn of the Saga Louts to annoy me. Saga Louts with tech. Tech they couldn’t use. Lazy Saga Louts.
Let me explain. If you book certain sofas at The Electric you have the option of ordering food and drinks by text and have it delivered to you. I have mixed feeling about this to be honest. It is a novelty, and is convenient, but IMHO why? If you are on a sofa in Screen 1 you are les than 20 steps to the bar. If you get there early, ie before the film starts, you can order what you want and take it in with you, settle down and not interrupt anyone once the film starts. And, for those that know me, I am the slowest texter on this planet, so by the time I had remembered what sofa I was on, checked the menu and texted the order, the credits would be rolling and I would have missed the film.
This is what the Sage Louts did.
They were on the Harlow sofa and we were on the Baker Sofa.
You can see how close they were to the exit. The Box Office and bar is located very near to this exit. As they sat down the woman asked her male companion if they were going to get a drink. He told her that there was waiter service. The lights had dimmed and the adverts had started, so to see the menu they had to use one of their smart phones to read the menu. Then they had a long and loud discussion about what to order. I am surprised the bar staff did not hear them and bring the order through there and then to put them and me out of our misery.
They begin to
text hunt and peck the order. He cannot see his keypad so she uses her phone as a torch to help him.
At this stage I am losing the will to live. I can see the funny side. It would make a great comedy sketch.
Here comes the BUT. In bullet points. And it is all about me.
- I am here to see a film
- I chose this cinema to see a film with like minded people
- I paid a lot of money to have a sofa
- It is our wedding anniversary
- It is my birthday
- Get off your fat asses and walk ten paces to the bar and place your bloody order
The film starts, they are still faffing. I am distracted.
Finally they settle, shut up, put phones and spectacles and torch away. Yes she had a bloody torch with her. It wasn’t her phone.
Oh flip, I just realised I carry a torch in my handbag.
Ten minutes later their order hasn’t arrived so he get off his ass, and walks ten paces to the bar to enquire where it is.
The Electric Cinema needs a door policy. Here are my suggestions.
- have you been here before?
- you do realise it is not longer a porn cinema (yes it used to be)
- no this is not the lap dancing club (they get asked this all the time)
- have you booked a sofa?
- you know the sofas don’t mean you can make out, right?
- do you know how to text?
- if the answer is no we have to take your refreshment order now please
- if the answer is yes, you can use you phone to order food and drink but not to text your mates
- go to the loo before the film starts
- we don’t show loads of trailers so take you seat now please (this advice is on their web site)
- you may be a hipster (really) but old people ie over 55 like films too and they grew up in the sixties and seventies mate so are already way cooler than you will ever be
- while cooler than a hipster, people over 55 are usually crap at texting so place your order now please
- put your torch away
- and don’t talk at all through the film
That is all.
Disclaimer: I am over 55 (just) and lived on the Kings Road in the sixties. I have a Saga insurance policy. I don’t hate young people or hipsters (I dont actually know what a hipster is). I can’t text. I am
probably a grumpy old woman. I don’t care, I wear purple, have red shoes instead of a red hat and eat sausages and butter. I have not yet run my stick along the public railings. I am however my mothers daughter so let that be a Warning to you. Yup. I like to offer a poem now and then.
PS The film was very good. Go and see it.