I went to see the new James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, on Thursday night with my friend Marvin at Cinestar in Marina Mall.
Buying the tickets and popcorn just before the film was easy enough. The hard part was watching the movie without being distracted by the noisy patrons who refused to switch off their mobiles, and insisted on talking on them as if they were not in a darkened theater watching a film.
That sort of noise could be reasonably filtered out as the soundtrack of the film was quite loud, and tended to drown out any extraneous noise that viewers were making. But a group of young Emiratis sitting near the screen were so loud, shouting, singing and apparently playing a video game with the volume turned right up, that they had to be shouted at several times by other patrons until they left the cinema.
At the end of the movie, walking by the seats that they had occupied, I saw huge piles of popcorn just thrown on the ground, along with half drunk cups of Coke and other debris. It was shocking as undoubtedly they expected the workers of the cinema to clean up after them.
It was annoying having to endure the noise and disruption that they produced, so before leaving the cinema I went to the box office and complained.
“We have security guards and ushers who regularly check each cinema, didn’t anyone check on yours?” asked the woman behind the counter.
“No, no one came. This is ridiculous. We shouldn’t have to shout down rowdy patrons. This is your job to keep the cinema quiet and safe!” I said.
“Sorry sir,” was the only thing she could say.
It seems that the management of Cinestar are too scared to enforce good behavior and manners at their cinemas in Abu Dhabi, which is silly and unfortunate. When we pay Dh30 ($8) a head to watch a movie, we the public deserve to be able to enjoy the experience in relative quiet and safety. Cinemas are no place for bored and frustrated youth. I just wonder where the parents of these ruffians were, while they turned what was supposed to be a good evening of fun and escapism into one of annoyance.