So, I know the internet is pretty much bursting at the seams with useless lists and five point guides to stunning mediocrity but my mum always said ‘if you can’t beat them… batter them down with cine-trivia and secret memories’… therefore as a tribute, this one’s for you, you old crazy lady.
Here are the five weirdest things that have happened to me over the years in the cinema-
1.) Working in the Capital Odeon as an usher when I was 17, (best job ever invented by the way) I was greeted by the pretty unusual sight of a completely naked muscle-bound guy in his twenties standing in front of me. It was a Saturday afternoon and he was obviously absolutely shit-faced from watching a six nations match as he proceeded to wander into the foyer and up to my ticket counter. Checking out the boards behind me, he held out a tattered five pound note and asked quite calmly for a ticket.
This isn’t why it was weird though, despite the fact his little man was clearly winking at me.
It was more the fact that he asked for one ticket to Random Hearts, the dreadful Kristin Scott-Thomas/Harrison Ford lovey-dovey snorefest. And just for that, it heads right up there to the top spot of my list.
2.) This one only happened a few weeks ago and lately I’ve started thinking that I might have made it up! Anyway, Me and my friend were both heading up on the escalator to see The Gangster Squad at Cineworld in town (and yes, that sentence already fills me with shame.) We were both facing upwards talking about some gossipy nonsense no doubt, when an angry grey-haired man with a satchel elbowed me out of the way and pushed past leaving us with this delightful parting shot- ‘I mean, don’t they teach you anything. Keep to the right. The right. Everyone knows this. Anyone would think 7/7 had never happened. Christ.’
Obviously, now in hindsight its clear that being so deep in our conversation, I hadn’t realised that we’d accidentally stumbled onto a London tube escalator that was populated by a bunch of faceless terrorists with backpacks. So, it must be my bad, I guess.
3.) Now, number three goes out to the mad old bandit who saw the same showing of Pulse as me in New York Times Square. I don’t know you’re name sir, and I probably never will to be honest. I do know however that even though there were only three of us in there at ten am and it was a pretty shit film, you’re inexplicable decision to change seats every three minutes (I started counting- and it was three minutes on the dot) was both fascinating (from an anthropology pov) entertaining and mind-blowing. And actually, the three minutes you spent in the chair one away from mine, while I tried desperately not to look at your sideburns will forever be close to my heart. I salute you, unknown Joben.
4.) Almost there guys…. But we’re travelling back in time again I’m afraid, Cloud-Atlas style. Back to the days of the Cardiff UCI and me getting to catch up with my best friend over dinner at Old Orleans with a rom-com movie afterwards. I let her choose the seats, which is no big deal you’d think. That sort of trivial decision can’t make much difference to an evening, right? Well, I would have agreed with you, absolutely, complete agreement. Just up until the point where she leaned over and said, ‘you remember Dave I went out with in GCSE?’ I nodded. ‘These are the seats we were in when I gave him his first hand job.’ I think it’s fair to say I’ve never eaten so much popcorn in my life, purely to keep from retching.
5.) And onward, dear sirs to number five. This might actually be my favourite one except for the unmitigating humiliation involved. So I’m 17 yes, working as an usher and trying to get through my last hour until eleven o’clock because I’m on the food counter and it’s unbelievably mind-numbingly boring. That is, until a really hot guy, about the same age comes up and stands there smiling at me with his mussed up hair and Nostromo t-shirt. Now I’m thinking, it’s the stupid hat I’m wearing or the shirt that’s two sizes to big, he’s just about to start laughing and pointing… but then… Then he puts his hand down just lightly on top of mine on the glass counter and smiles even wider.
‘Would you be really offended if I asked what time you finish?’ he said and looked down at his feet. My heart’s pounding by this point! And before I can change my mind I tell him- eleven, hoping there’s going to be another question heading my way.
On hearing that, this teenage male adonis, runs a hand through his hair, straightens his shoulders, leans in towards me and says- ‘I know you don’t know me, but I was wondering…I was hoping…’ He pauses and I just about faint at this point. He rethinks his words, ‘…I was wondering… once everyone’s gone home…if you’d let me… if I could…lick out the cheese machine?’
You know the one right, the machine that circulates the godawful gloopy cheese that goes with the cardboard nachos? Yeah, thats what he wanted to ask. And that’s what kind of broke my heart a little bit when I was a young naive passionate cinema usher.
There it is then, my top five weirdest cinema moments. Hope you enjoyed, and if you’ve got any to top those please please please feel free to comment and add them on. Thanks guys, and remember- we’re all in this together!