The Prince Charles Cinema in London has stepped it up a notch when dealing with noisy, phone using, disruptive movie goers. They’ve gathered a bunch of volunteer “ninjas” dressed in skintight black body suits to confront those annoying movie goers that disregard their fellow audience members right to watch a movie without distraction.
These volunteer “ninjas” are given free admission in exchange for their vigilant attention and confrontation of patrons who talk, text, throw popcorn, kick seats, or otherwise engage in rude behavior that is distracting for other movie goers.
A recent target of the program, Abdul Stagg, had this to say:
“I normally hate noisy people in cinemas, but I got a call from my friend just as the movie started and thought I could get away with taking it. The last thing I expected was two completely blacked-out people suddenly appearing by our seats and give me and my mates a warning to shut up. It was actually pretty terrifying at first, but then I realised it was a bit of a laugh and a great way to make it clear what I was doing was having an impact on those around me. It certainly made me hang up and shut up for the rest of the film.”
The idea is the brainchild of the co-founder of Morphsuits, Gregor Lawson.
“I’m a big fan of going to the cinema, but there’s an unspoken code of conduct when you’re watching a movie that some people just don’t understand. Then when some fans were discussing being ninjas in their Morphsuits on our Facebook page I had a eureka moment. I thought I’d find a cinema and see if we could bring a light hearted taskforce to the aid of movie fans.”
The big question that many people are asking is if this type of program would work in movie theaters in the United States. I have to say that I’m not so sure this is a good idea for American theaters. Perhaps some will take it as light-heartedly as London movie goers, but I have some severe doubts.
If I looked into my crystal ball, the future of a program like this would likely end badly. Cases where “inappropriate” touching, patrons throwing punches, spilling their soda, an older patron having a heart attack, or any number of other the myriad of possible responses to these volunteer ninjas will have ambulance chasing lawyers dripping saliva onto their knock-off Brooks Brother suits and drafting lawsuits left and right.
Suddenly some poor volunteer, with no training from the theater, is attacked by some noisy theater goer that doesn’t give a shit about those around them and is itching for a fight. It all ends with a lawsuit that ends up bankrupting the local theater, criminal charges against the volunteer ninja, as well as providing that noisy movie goer with enough money to install a home theater.
As annoying as those phone using, talking movie goers can be, what do you think the response would be to a program like this? Should theaters step up their own usher training to deal with those that have no movie etiquette?