How to not watch a trailer at the cinema…

Going to the cinema each week certainly teaches you a few things. Not only have I learnt which are the best screens at the multiplex which I frequent but I can even tell you the best place to sit in each screen for an unobstructed view (this recently paid dividends when I took my Mum to see Bodyguard – she wanted to sit at a certain seat but I told her that our view of the screen would be spoiled by latecomers who always go for the seats directly in front. We then moved to my suggested seats and five minutes later, a rowdy party of five sat bang in front of where we would have been sitting. Reader, I beamed smugly).

Such is my superpower that I can slowly tell the difference between projectionists (there is one who starts bang on time and then another who always seems distracted and is therefore unpredictable not only with the interval times but the lights too). However, the downside of going to the cinema all the time and arriving punctually (indeed, with great power comes great responsibility) is having to watch all the adverts and trailers before the film starts. When the trailers and ads are fresh, this is exciting and forms part of the magic that can only be had at the cinema.

But when you know which trailer/ad is going to the follow the previous one and worse, find that you know all the words verbatim (the Orange sponsorship reminding one to turn off one’s phone has to be the worst offender here), it suddenly becomes rather irritating. Especially since repeatedly viewing the trailer for that film you are excited about erodes that enthusiasm quite quickly and even spoils one’s enjoyment of the final product when the time comes to see it.

Now, you could rightly say if I am so down with the timings, surely I could time my entrance just as the main feature starts? Well, I tried that a few times – one time, I ended up missing the first ten minutes of the film as the adverts had been shortened to accommodate the long running time of the film, whilst another time I tripped over trying to get the  good seat in a dark busy cinema and ended up in a less desirable seat which gave me major neck ache. So, we can safely conclude that my powers do have some limitations.

So I have had to learn how not to watch a trailer, which is not the easiest thing to do given that the whole point of the cinema is to watch what is on screen with no distractions but it can and has been done with success – here are my 3 top tips on how to not watch a trailer you have already seen or do not wish to see:

1)       Organise your space – People normally do this as soon as they enter the cinema – remove coat, put snacks into holders, claim that extra seat next to you – but it is actually best to put this off till the trailers; not only will it distract you but sometimes, if undesirables come and sit near you, packing up and moving is a much quicker exercise than it would be otherwise.

2)       Your Phone – Claim the moral high ground over those annoying adverts reminding to you turn off your phone by using your phone during the trailers (not for calls though – that is NEVER acceptable) – send that text, check where you will be going after, update your Twitter/Facebook so that once the reminder does come up, you can switch off your phone and declare through action you are ready to watch the main feature.

3)       Talk it out – If you are with a companion, now is the time to talk (although keep it down to a whisper) and catch up on gossip or have a general natter because once the movie starts, the only thing you should be talking about is the film itself – how beautiful so and so looks, reacting in amusement/horror/tearfully (depending on what you are watching) and general shared moments of joy that wouldn’t look out of place on a Hallmark card for friendship. Other appropriate topics for trailer distraction include discussing strange behaviour from fellow viewers and why this cinema you are in is better/worse than the other cinema you could have gone to.

And before you know it, the trailers are over, you’ve switched your phone off and you can enjoy the main feature properly – having not seen the trailer a million times, there is no waiting for that scene to happen, the jokes are all fresh and there is no wondering why everything felt a little too familiar and (whisper it) underwhelming.

And that is how to not watch a trailer at the cinema. Do feel free to leave any tips you have below!

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