Here are some highlights:
No eating of anything harder than a soft roll with no filling. No-one wants to hear you crunch, chew or masticate in any way.
No slurping of drinks. You’ve already drunk a 5 litre flagon of pop, you really don’t need the melting ice too. You are not six years old.
No rustling of super high-density, rustle-o-matic, extra rustle bags. No foraging of any kind. If you’re going to need it during the film, get it out beforehand.
No talking. You are in a cinema. You have come here to watch, not to discuss. Or ‘engage’, or ‘participate’, or ‘explain’, or whatever. More importantly, no-one in the cinema has paid £8.50 to hear your director’s commentary on the movie. Just sit down and shut up.
No mobile phone usage. At all. Not even on ‘flight mode’. This isn’t an aeroplane, it’s a cinema. Even if you’re not yapping, you are still creating light pollution. Put your thumbs away.
No shoe removal. You are not in your own front room. Nor are you in Japan (unless you are, in which case, carry on). A cinema is a public space. Keep your bodily odours to yourself.
You can tell there is a lot of unresolved rage behind the writing of these rules. Many years, perhaps, of having your art-house movie ruined by a box of nachos behind you or six inches of ice that simply won’t melt being swirled around the cup by the person in the seat to your side.
I’d adapt these slightly. Talking is OK for me, through the adverts and trailers, up to the moment when the age certification slide comes up, as long as no plot is discussed. I’ve already confessed on this blog to putting my fingers in my ears and humming loudly when a trailer comes up for a film I want to see but don’t want to be ruined by spoilers. I’m almost ashamed to admit that I did this once when a couple in the row in front of me started revealing key moments in the plot of the very film that we were about to watch! It was either the humming and the fingers in the ears or pretending to have a heart attack in the hope of distracting them from the conversation they were having.