I took an American friend to the cinema last night.
He's over here on business from Utah.
For those of you unfamiliar with the charms of that particular state let me just say it isn't exactly a cultural hotspot. It's the sort of place that equates arthouse with liberal...not a good thing. It is a Republican state now and always will be. It's not the sort of place for the likes of you and I dear reader.
As we prepared to leave for the cinema I was extoling the virtues of a British arthouse audience compared to the multiplex audience he would be used to.
"These people are serious about film" I said "They see it as an artform and not just as entertainment".
He is a cultured man and as much of a cinephile as Utah allows him to be so he was excited about what lay ahead.
His initial impressions of the Filmhouse were very good.
As we sat in cinema three he remarked "I wish we had a cinema like this in Utah, there must be an audience for this sort of film, it can't just be me"
I was feeling quite smug.
My city, my cinema...cultured, arty, exotic.
Imagine my horror as a young couple sat down in the back row two seats apart from us and proceeded to take out a packed lunch (at 9pm) which included an enormous bag of "Bobbys" Onion Rings.
In a packed cinema?
I made a jokey comment about the situation but it made no difference and so I had to put up with the whiff of stale onions for the duration.
This was made even worse by the arrival of a Spanish couple who sat in between me and the Onion Twins and sucked each others faces intermittently during the film. That sort of thing might be fine on the Continent or at a swingers party but in a packed cinema on a wet Tuesday night in Edinburghs Filmhouse cinema....really?
The cinema is a place to go and WATCH films.
It isn't a place to eat a picnic or copulate.
If you want to eat a picnic or copulate do it somewhere where that might be acceptable...a park or a bedroom perhaps.
I'm slowly drifting towards misanthrope.