Sunderland cinema showing sweet rustlers and canoodling couples the red card – were you fooled?

From left Craig Wilkinson, Ami Dixon-Smith and Joe Ward
From left Craig Wilkinson, Ami Dixon-Smith and Joe Ward
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Were you fooled?

A Sunderland cinema is hoping to make annoying audience habits a thing of the past by employing cinema referees.

From left Kathryn Carter, Davey Allan, Darrin Miller and Shauna Christie

From left Kathryn Carter, Davey Allan, Darrin Miller and Shauna Christie

Much like football referees, they’ll be dishing out red and yellow cards to ensure people with poor cinema etiquette pay the penalty for their actions.

They’ll be put in place at Empire Cinema, in Sunniside, to tackle the six most annoying habits which, according to customer research, are: talking, using mobile phones, sweet rustling, eating popcorn loudly, laughing too loudly and canoodling couples.

Talking proved the most annoying with 67% of Brits saying it was the most inconvenient action, with mobile phone use ranked second, as almost half (49%) of Brits admitted being irritated by fellow customers tweeting, typing and posting social media updates during a film.

The above behaviour will receive a yellow card, while excessive shouting, aggressive behaviour and angry customers will warrant a straight red and be ejected from the cinema.

From left Craig Wilkinson, Joe Ward and Ami Dixon-Smith

From left Craig Wilkinson, Joe Ward and Ami Dixon-Smith

Jon Nutton, marketing director of Empire Cinemas, said: “Our primary goal is to guarantee our customers have the ultimate cinema experience and cinema etiquette plays a huge part in this. The shared experience, and therefore audience behaviour, is of vast importance and the introduction of our new cinema referees will ensure enjoyable viewing is had by all.”

Keen to answer the concerns of film lovers right across the UK, the cinema referees service will come into play in Empire Cinemas today, April 1.