There's nothing quite like going to the cinema. While the likes of Netflix and Lovefilm have made it easier than ever before to find the films we want to watch in the comfort of our own home, nothing beats the thrill of catching a new release in your local cinema. It's both a relaxing experience and a great occasion, a fun night out with friends and family and something which can carry great significance. In short, it's a place in which great memories are made. Well, that's the theory, and sometimes the theory comes off. But there are also many, many things about the modern cinema experience which can turn your night out into a nightmare in no time at all. Any one of these can ruin even the best film in the world, and if you get more than five of them together in one screening, it may just put you off going to the cinema for months. Here, then, are the 15 absolute worst things that can happen when you're at the cinema;
15. Ticket Prices
Picture the scene: you arrive at the cinema, meet up with all your mates, choose what film you want to see and then walk up to get your tickets - only to gasp inwardly at how damned expensive they are. Time was that you could see all the biggest releases for four or five quid, but now it's closer to a tenner each. And that's not counting the fuel you used to get there, car parking fees, any 3D surcharge (so you can wear someone else's smudgy glasses), or if you want to upgrade to the premium seats (you know, the ones that are actually comfortable). In short, cinemas will do everything they can to squeeze your hard-earned money out of you, even before you've reached the screening room. Which brings us to our next point...
14. Food Prices
So you've got your tickets - but you can't put your wallet away just yet. Assuming that you haven't eaten before you came, and given the length of most mainstream films, you'll want some food and drink to keep you going. That would be fine, except the food and drink probably adds up to more than your ticket, assuming that you go for a big popcorn and drink. Even the bottled water is a rip-off, and that's assuming you don't have to queue 20 minutes to get it. And don't think it's easy to smuggle in your own snacks. Try wearing a heavy jacket full of sweets in the middle of summer: you'll get noticed.
13. Walking Miles To Your Seat
If your local is a small independent or arthouse cinema, you won't have far to go to find your seat. But in a modern multiplex, you'll have to walk a mile just to find your screen, whilst juggling your tickets, food and whatever else you happen to be carrying. Even once you've found the screen, it can take ages to find your seat, with no ushers to guide you with their little torches and the dim lights making it hard to see the numbers and letters. By the time you get there, you might have missed the opening.
Freelance copywriter, film buff, community radio presenter. Former host of The Movie Hour podcast (http://www.lionheartradio.com/ and click 'Interviews'), currently presenting on Phonic FM in Exeter (http://www.phonic.fm/). Other loves include theatre, music and test cricket.