back to article Cinema chain bans laptops, tablets

Cinema chain Vue is deciding whether to ban mobile phones from its venues, having already decided that laptop computers are a no-no. The Ts&Cs Vue imposes on anyone entering its cinemas - nothing odd there; all entertainment venues have these - forbids punters from taking "sound and video recording equipment" into the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    banning phones

    is going to impact them unless they provide some sort of secure locker for to put your stuff in.

    Call me paranoid, but i don't particularly trust some of the minimum wage droolers employed by cinemas with my expensive smartphone.

    Anyway, all the best cam recordings of new films are done, from the projection booth, by the staff!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    title title

    Congrats on making it on el reg, Dom ;)

    It's also ignorant of how pirated copies of movies end up on the net - from leaks directly from the distributer!

    Camcorder copies of movies are rare, almost makes you think pirates have become snobbish of the usually shite quality >.<

  3. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Oh, yeah...

    Go ahead - ban the mobile phones. And I will never, ever go to their cinema again. Freaks.

    1. Mullerrad
      Thumb Down


      I won't hand my kit over, refund please byeeeee

  4. Dan Price

    Why was he carrying it anyway?

    I can't think of a single good reason why anybody would need to carry their laptop into a cinema anyway. Was he planning on annoying the other punters by catching up on his emails during the boring bits?

    Lock it in the boot of your car and quit whining.

    1. DPWDC


      As someone that goes to that cinema - I can understand why he wouldnt want something thats worth over a grand in his boot... Not to mention the value of the data on there...

      Anyway, who said he went in his car - he (most likelly) went to the cinema after work, and as such had his laptop with him.

    2. leakyPC

      A little more though maybe

      I work in London so have no car, I travel to work by train. Therefore have to carry my Laptop on me when I take it home from work, some times I stop off at the cinema on the way home.

      My suggestion is maybe you didn't think for quite long enough.

    3. bluesxman

      Think a little harder then...

      Perhaps he has a job.

      Perhaps he has a work laptop that he sometimes takes home.

      Perhaps he went out straight from work.

      Perhaps he takes public transport or perhaps he's rather not risk it being stolen from his boot.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Vue's anti-piracy policy is a bit pointless.

    The films are already available on the internet before the films reach British cinemas.

  6. FIA Silver badge


    Haven't cinema attendances soared over the last few years? (You know, those years where 'piracy' has become a serious problem??)


  7. Anonymous Coward


    would you even be bringing "kit" to the cinema. I might be the minority but I go to the pictures to actually watch the film. Messing about with laptop/mobile phones I can do in places I've not just paid £8 to get into.

    Blanket ban on all those who have 'seeing the film' low in the priorities would be nice, and Terminator icon, as I'd like to terminate those who talk as well.

    1. Mullerrad

      I can see why

      I always have two mobiles with me work and personal. What I would like to see is some dampening field so they can't be used in the auditorioum itself. There are some ignorant people out there.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Maybe some people always need a mobile with them?

        I'm a doctor, and I do. Yes, I am on call all the time. Does this mean I can never go to the cinema?

    2. Dave Bell

      But what is special about a mobile phone?

      I'll let other people explain why they might have their laptop with them--the reasons I see here sound pretty sensible--but a mobile phone? Yes, switch it off so that you don't disturb people watching the film, but if you're not in the habit of carrying your mobile phone, what's the point?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just use some IR lights

    If cinemas shone bright IR lights at the screen, it would wash out the image for any recording device, making them useless. Surely that's easier than searching bags and confiscating anything with a CMOS / CCD sensor on board.

    1. Ed 16

      re IR lights

      I can see the idea here (no pun intended) but would bouncing large doses of IR into the viewers eyeballs possibly cause damage? Bright light is bright light regardless of whether its visible?

      1. Shades

        I can't work out...

        ...if you're being serious or simply trolling?!

      2. Jack 12

        Re: IR lights

        Also, once someone worked out that was what was happening (and it wouldn't take long), then anyone who seriously wanted to record the film could just buy a filter to block anything above say 700nm.

  9. paulf

    That's why I don't go to the cinema any more...

    Most films seem to be out on DVD within 6-9 months of theatrical release, and usually for less than the price of two admission tickets to my local Vue in the Home counties.

    At home:

    I can eat what I want, without having to pay stupid prices for trash food

    Drink what I want,

    Pause the film (should I drink too much) and adjust the volume etc

    not have to put up with Chavvy little shits talking, fighting, eating loudly, using mobile phones, throwing things etc,

    Not have to risk getting searched like a terrorist because I might have a mobile on me,

    I can watch it again without having to pay a further admission fees

    I understand piracy is a problem, but videoing a film like this takes only one person in one showing at one multiplex. As a result they've decided that the best solution is to potentially inconvenience every punter at every showing of every multiplex. I wouldn't deliberately take my laptop and dSLR to a cinema, but I would my mobile. Then there are people who may go to the Cinema after work etc, and still have their laptop with them. I know I wouldn't trust my kit to Cinema staff and their small sign stating that "Equipment left is entirely at the owners risk [even if we have confiscated it]".

    Perhaps they should be a bit smarter. How about scanning the auditorium twice during the showing with an IR camera in the ceiling looking for people with recording equipment. And anyway, using a laptop in a dark auditorium is going to stand out like a lighthouse?

    Just my tuppence worth. I know the cinema is pretty popular for film buffs.

    1. Andy Scott

      Re: That's why I don't go to the cinema any more

      I know in Cineworld in Glasgow's Renfrew Street the staff come in a few times during the film with night vision goggles to see if anyone is filming or using a mobile phone/laptop etc

      1. david 12 Silver badge

        night vision goggles to see if anyone is filming...

        You think THAT is what they are looking for? They are looking because they don't want sticky seats and spare items of clothing left after the film.

        BTW, Gilbert and Sullivan had the same problem more than 100 years ago (people making copies), and they didn't find that banning laptops and mobile phones helped any. In fact, their fith colabaration was inpired by the piracy of there fourth, HMS Pinafore.

  10. Anthony Shortland
    Thumb Up

    Banning phones will stop the problem

    Its simple, if they ban people taking phones in people will stop going.

    When no one goes, the cinemas will have to close

    Problem solved!

  11. MikeyD85
    Thumb Down

    I can't imagine...

    people being asked to hand over their mobile phones every time they go to the cinema going down well at all.

    Where are staff storing them, how will they be identified so the right person gets the right phone, how quickly can they do all of this?

    1. Peter H. Coffin

      I can't believe

      You've never seen a classic coat-and-hat check in action? It's simple, really. One walks up to a little room, where an appealing young woman accepts your property and gives you a numbered token (like a browser cookie, but real) and stores your item in a place corresponding to the number thereon. As you leave, you surrender your token to the PYT, she returns your items, you put a coin into hand in appreciation of her cheerful assistance and be on your way. It classes up the joint.

      1. Mullerrad


        When you hand over your ticket she says someone has stolen you expensive kit. Btw my company is not liable ect

      2. Anonymous Coward

        In the meantime...

        ... "an appealing young woman" riffles through your property and looses the phone, laptop, ipad etc. Afterwards you "you surrender your token to the PYT" who says it's been lost, you then contact the manager who points a small notice that contains the phrase "Equipment is left entirely at the owners risk".

        I'd be demanding my money back before seeing the film.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Preventing piracy?

    Surely stopping people taking laptops into cinemas is not so much about preventing piracy as it is about preventing them annoying the hell out of the rest of the audience.

    Why would you take your laptop in the first place? If you intend to use it, well, you're clearly an inconsiderate berk who's quite happy to irritate other patrons. If you don't intend to use it, why are you taking it? If this is such a problem, then maybe cinemas should invest in swimming pool-type lockers - pay your deposit, stick your laptop / iPad / mobile phones or whatever in it, take your key and collect when you leave. They could even employ a guard to watch the lockers to make sure no-one tries to break in to them.

    Still don't understand why someone would want to take their laptop to the cinema in the first place though.

  13. Thomas 18


    Hello? this is reality calling. Your bureaucracy and micromanaging are not welcome here. As if people are going to drop their mobiles into a basket at the door. That's just retardo logic.

  14. yoinkster

    the real question here is

    Why the nuts would anyone take a laptop, diepad, camera AND phone to the cinema?!

    I know nerds will be nerds but surely you don't need to go everywhere with every gadget owned?

    1. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: the real question here is

      Well, you could be like me the other day and going to the pictures on your way home from work. I take my laptop to work and back every day, so it's almost always in my backpack.

      1. TheRobster

        @ Tony Smith

        So, if you're going out after work, why not just leave your kit in the office?

        1. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: @ Tony Smith

          So I can use it when I get home afterwards.

        2. Sooty


          You may trust the people you work with enough to leave a laptop there, but after having a £3 phone charger cable stolen out of my "securely" locked desk drawers, I certainly wouldn't!

          we even had the few quid in the tea kitty stolen at one point!

          Seriously... this is in a very secure building's IT department, not a front line service desk, in-house software development, you really wouldn't expect it!

    2. Hedley Phillips

      No we don't but...

      Have you never gone to see a film on the way home from work?

  15. Anonymous Coward

    iPhad owners "value power and achievement much more than others"

    According to El Reg, however, being the owner of an iPad the gentleman concerned is likely to be "selfish, scoring low on measures of kindness and altruism."

    Or, to put it another way, he got the arse when someone dared tell him what to do.

  16. Thomas Davie

    It's not about video recording kit

    They're just trying to come up with a semi-viable excuse to search people's bags for food not bought in the cinema building.

    1. Daniel Harris 1


      I think Vue allow you to take in whatever food and drink you like. Or so it seems to be the case at my local one.

  17. Dave 126

    But the police have a notice...

    in the carpark saying "Do not leave valuables in your vehicle".

    Does Vue really think I should listen to them over the constabulary?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who the F takes an iPad/laptop to the pictures?

    Your incredibly sad if you really believe that you need your kit with you at all times.

    Just what are you doing? Shouldn't your attention be on the screen, actually watching the film?

    S A D D O!

    1. Cameron Colley

      Perhaps he's one of those weirdo's who work for a living?

      Or, perhaps, he was to visit a friend afterwards?

      Just because he had something on him doesn't mean he meant to use it in there. Do you always talk on your phone when you're in the cinema, or do you leave it outside with the staff?

      As for the "...leave it in the car..." argument above -- the LS1 postcode (ie the centre of Leeds) where this cinema is located has one of the highest car-crime rates in the country. Plus, some of us don't use our cars to go to the city centre and some people even live there!!!!!!

    2. Anonymous Coward


      Not very bright are you poor thing.

      Are you incapable of realising that many cinemas are in town centres where many people work.

      People often go to the cinema after work and therefore could have their laptop with them.

      Isn't it easy when someone thinks for you.

  19. Rob 101

    So, more price hikes?

    While they accomodate secure storage, advanced receipt system, an additional hour and a half queuing time, insurance and so on to confiscate the several hundred mobile phones per showing?

    I don't think so.

  20. GrumpyJoe
    Thumb Down

    ...from my cold dead hands

    Seriously, I barely credit the cinema twonks with the ability to get the computerised till to spit out tickets, now I am expected to let them fondle my phone and/or laptop for the duration?

    Nah. No chance. The first mobile phone they break / lose / call Botswana 'accidentally' on will put the brakes on this policy. There's no need to pirate this stuff with your phone, chances are it's already on the Pirate Bay from a screening months before.

    Security theatre.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    What is the problem here?

    Can I just step in here, and be dreadfully un-trendy for a moment, and add that I never go to the cinema with my Übertabmobtop in hand - because, God forbid, I've made a trip to see a film.

    I can understand some may have their lappy on them by chance - but let's face it, with the right kit it would not be hard to make a crappy recording. Let's be fair to them, it's illegal. End of.

    I'd wager that the real reason they are banning these devices is only partly related to piracy. The real problem, as any serious cinema-goer will tell you, is hordes of teenagers foaming at the mouth on sugar and OMG look @ dis'ing their Facebook updates all the way through a film. It's not only an aural distraction that ruins the film - especially if you DARE challenge the little t**ts, but a visual one, too. If I didn't pay to see Close Encounters, then I don't want the same light show going on in front me care of a dozen illuminated screens.

    Reminds me of this -

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Really, Laptops & Phones?

    I'd question VUE on this, are cameras really an issue?

    When was the last time you downloaded a movie (NEVER - of course), even before release and its was recorded in a cinema? probably very few... then how many were recorded in a normal screening (ie with an audience) even fewer.

    A friend (not me you understand) has noted that even pre release there is normally a DVD screener available.. or at the very least a cam job taken from the projection room in an empty cinema.

    No one is trying to capture films on their phones/laptops, they never have (and if anyone has no bugger was able to watch the stupidly low quality results anyway!)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Depends on the film

      Some films do not have copies available, even months after they hit the cinemas. Whereas some, cough, A-team, cough, have blu-ray quality rips available over a month before they are even released into the UK cinemas.

      This tells me that if a studio really doesn't want it to be available, it's not available!

      Also if, for example, it takes 6 months plus for a film to go from the cinema to dvd/blu-ray, people will go out of their way to pirate it. Less so, with those that only take a month or two. Personally I hate cinemas, I would much prefer to be able to watch it in the comfort of my own home, with the much higher quality that my kit provides at the time it's first released. (most of the cinemas i have been to seem to have the focus slightly off, too low definition for the projection size, not to mention distorted, overly loud sound)

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the positive side

    Having a ban on the use of mobile phones inside cinemas would be a positive outcome.

  24. DS 1

    End of the road

    Yeah, I'm going to tolerate being searched, hassled, and treated like an idiot to pay a fortune and be ripped off if I dare want some food or drink - and be presented with small or poor presentations, when the entire world has moved on. With everything in DVD/Blueray quality, and frankly with whatever I want in other 'channels' - such vendors don't seem to realise the word and actions of 'dinosaur' lead to extinction.

    In this day and age the idea that full body searches of hundreds of people and confiscation of expensive every day equipment is acceptable is one peddled by idiots. No you can't have my laptop, phone, PDA, and further, I'm not allowed to give it to unsecured people because its a work item holding confidential data.

    Therefore its simples, I no longer go to the cinema. The movie, film and cinema industry can squeel all it wants, its signing its own death warrant. You don't need any more reasons to put off people going to your establishments, yet you seem to think finding new ones is clever.

    IF the movie industry was smart, it would quietly allow some crap cams around, because doing so actually under-writes the actual idea and experience of buying the real quality and goods. Cam versions tend to be poor and an advertisment of getting the real deal/watching the real deal.

    1. Goat Jam

      A Nice Idea

      with one small, fatal flaw.

      "Cam versions tend to be poor and an advertisment of getting the real deal/watching the real deal."

      This of course is perfectly true. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your POV) this statement is equally true.

      "Cam versions allow punters to separate the wheat from the chaff so they can avoid forking over their hard earned cash on utter dreck"

      The movie industry has a long history of pushing out utter dreck to unsuspecting punters hoping that even the most awful turd might claw back its production costs before the word gets out amongst the great unwashed.

      They want to continue being able to do that at all costs.

      Also, banning PC's and phones is a great way of stemming the tide of negative SMS/Tweeting for hot of the presses new releases too.

      If they had any confidence whatsoever in their products they wouldn't mind a bit of free advertising in the manner that you describe.

      The fact that they don't tells us more then they would probably like us to know.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    IN THE UK... I always wondered if you could be prosecuted (forgetting about the T&Cs for a minute) for recording a *broadcast* event, e.g. a football match or concert in a cinema or wether you could use a defence of timeshifting.

  26. david bates

    What about improving the experience?

    If they were banning mobiles to stamp on the idiots who insist on chatting and texting I wouldnt mind, but to 'stop piracy'? They can prise my (silent) mobile from my cold, dead hands.

    Serlously cinemas - sort out the chavs, the annoying teenage girls and the kids in adult films/late showings and people might start coming back

  27. Subban

    The Cinema is just playing catchup....

    ... With all those retail DVD's that have the trailers telling you not to pirate it, that you can't fast forward through, nor skip doing their best to put you off buying genuine product. It makes the downloaded version even more appealing than it might have been.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Skipping those messages

      The only way to skip the messages that you get at the start of a retail DVD, as far as I am aware, is to rip the DVD onto your hard-drive. Then you can watch it in whatever order you like. Don't you just love irony.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    One less customer

    If cinemas start implemening such T&C and enforce them, then they will find less customers going to the cinema. Who in their right mind is going to give up their mobile phone to a stranger. Will cinema staff understand the differences between phones with cameras and those without - leading to the banning of all phones.

  29. The BigYin

    Get a grip

    It's not taking the equipment in that's the problem, it's the use of it. It should be easy for the ushers to spot someone actually using said kit have have them dealt with.

    An last time I checked, we all have audio-visual recoding equipment hard-wired to our organic control units (full 3D too!). Are we all now banned from Vue cinemas?

  30. Tigra 07

    A load of cobblers!

    If they're stupid enough to ban phones, they'll lose their largest audience, which is young people with the newest phones.

    I wouldn't trust one of those nerds with my X10 while im watching a film.

    I'd just start using showcase cinemas instead.

    They might aswell just ban people, that's the best way to fight piracy!

  31. Steve Button Silver badge

    Why would you bring a laptop into a cinema?

    I'm nor sure why you'd need to bring a laptop AND an iPad AND a camera AND a phone into a cinema. There's not usually much legroom as it is.

    Perhaps they should provide lockers so you can leave some of your valuables, and not have to trust the (usually) teenagers.

    Having said that, sometimes I go to the cinema with my wife and leave the kids at home with a baby sitter, and the phone sits in my pocket in case of emergencies. If they start banning mobile phones, then I'll respond by taking ALL my custom to the local BitTorrent ( is particularly useful) instead of the current 90%.

  32. thesykes


    Would you need to take a camera, iPad and laptop in to a cinema to watch a movie? Leave it in the boot of the car, or, better still, at home.

    Anything that can't be stuffed in your pocket has to put under your seat, ready to be left behind in the semi-darkness at the end of the film, left unattended if you need to pay a visit (or take them all with you into the gents) or, covered in a litre of fizzy sugary water when the kid behind you drops a full soft drink and it pours down the back of your seat.

  33. Daniel Snowden
    Thumb Down

    They seriously expect me to

    trust them to hold on to my laptop?!? Not going to happen unless they provide a signed recepit for it (with Asset tag included)

  34. sazoo

    How will this work for "Orange Wednesdays"?

    Not that I go to the cinema very often, but if I do, we like to use an Orange Wednesday voucher to get the 2for1 ticket deal... this REQUIRES that you bring your Orange mobile phone to the cinema in order to get the offer!

    So on one hand we'll need to take the phone, but on the other, we're being advised to leave it at home...!?!?

    I second the point about going out after work... Quite often people meet after work for a meal/movie - and there's always some poor soul who doesn't finish until later, or who has a nasty commute, so comes straight from work to the social event... And EVERY company policy requires you to not leave your laptop in your car boot - EVERY! There have been too many incidents of theft...

    Lockers will be the only way. I'd never leave my mobile with the idiots in charge of trying to sell popcorn.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    fuck it

    Pay a fortune to see some exploding car flick, while some sweaty endomorph noisily chews popcorn in your ear through the whole fucking thing, pay a fortune for the privilege, and have some quavering-voiced oik attempt to divest me of the little camera that I carry everywhere in case of an unmissable shot?

    Not likely. I'll just torrent stuff, thanks.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Not just about piracy

    I've had an idiot fire up a laptop in front of me in a darkened cinema. A polite and threatening word fixed things in short order but that's not the point. Banning phones, tablets, laptops, PMPs and anything that glows in the dark is a bloody good idea. You go to a cinema to watch a movie, if you wan't to fiddle with out gadgets and toys sod off and do it someplace else.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Vue cinemas are crap anyway so even if I was wanting to create a screener (wtf would you want crap quality video anyway????) I would go to a chain with class :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Maybe your local picturehouse is a fleapit

      but the screens at Vue's Westfield site are uniformly superb

  38. Kay Burley ate my hamster

    Other Cinema chains...

    ...are available.

    That is all...

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why are people surprised...

    that people go to the cinema with their laptop on them?

    It doesn't mean they're going to the cinema to use it?!

    People are allowed to decide they fancy seeing a movie on the way back from work, college, shopping etc so they will have bags with them.

    And not everybody drives to the cinema but then not everybody likes to leave valuables in the car for some opportunistic scrote to smash your window just to check.

    Maybe this ban is something more.....they already ban food and drink bought off premise to make you pay over inflated prices for their crap inside. Maybe they want to sell you laptops and phones inside now!

    1. david bates

      Banning food and drink....?

      Thats never worked with me.

      Thats why we have coats with big pockets....

  40. Not a Happy Bunny

    Why I take Laptop to Cinema

    Because I need to take my laptop home after work* and on occasion I go to the Cinema to unwind from the daily grind by watching some mindless action flick on a nice big screen.

    Does that make me a saddo?

    *Just in case I need to remote into the office to fix issues at 4 in the ucking morning.

  41. tickedon

    Why people have laptops

    My local cinema, a Cineworld, has had notices up banning laptops and similar for many months now. As to why people would have them... well... next to the cinema there are 2 large universities within 5 minutes walking distance (one literally the next street along), along with at least two colleges. There are several other colleges and another University all within about 20 minutes walking/public transport.

    I have seen plenty of students coming in the evenings after (I assume) being at college/University during the day, with their laptops etc..., and arguing with staff that it's unfair they can't get in. While many business people aren't likely to go straight to the cinema after work, for students that seems quite reasonable - and they likely don't have a car to stash them away in as someone suggested above.

    I'm guessing students are a good part of the customer base of cinema's, and also from surveys, in the age group most likely to pirate and download films etc... I can't see how putting up barriers to them attending is going to help cinema attendance and reduce piracy.

    The big question is - what is going to start happening with the 5"-7" tablets like the Dell streak, if/when they start gaining significant audio and video recording equipment? Where is the line going to be between a phone, tablet, laptop etc...?

  42. Mark Rigby-Jones

    Not everyone has a car...

    At those who suggest we leave valuables in our cars, not all of us have cars - and doubtless some of those who do choose to go to the cinema via public transport. As regards why you'd have your gadgets with you, whilst it would seem unnecessary to take a laptop on a trip to the cinema, what if you're in town for the day where a cinema visit is just one thing on the itinerary?

    Still, I would take a dim view of anyone wanting to confiscate my gadgetry, and it seems that making people leave their phones is nothing more than an excellent way to dissuade customers. Even assuming you can trust the cinema staff with your phone, how long is it going to take to retrieve yours when several hundred people leave a large screen all at once? I can't see leaving it at home being an acceptable option to a large percentage of people...

  43. Belcher

    How to lose customers fast !

    So long as the phone stays in your pocket on Vibrate (or silent), then I dont see the problem. Some people might need to be contacted urgently. If your phone buzzes, you walk out and take the call. Banning mobiles in the cinema is a sure way of losing all your customers. Personally, I would rather see a ban of all people aged between 12 and 17 that dont have an adult with them so that between them, they have at least one brain !!

  44. Eradicate all BB entrants

    reason for taking it in? that the Vue in question is in the city centre, next to the financial/law district, hell of a lot of laptop users there. As for iPads, Leeds Light is a small shopping centre full of stupidly expensive shops ..... home to the more money than sense brigade.

    Does that answer the questions raised?

  45. Harry

    Yes and No ...

    "It should be easy for the ushers to spot someone actually using said kit"

    Yes, that's easy. Relatively easy at least.

    "have have them dealt with"

    That's the hard bit. The person is probably sitting in the middle of a row, surrounded front, back, left and right by other people. Short of stopping the film, putting a spotlight on the perpetrator and announcing "Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a copyright thief in our midst", how are you going to stop him doing it ?

  46. iMess

    You all ask why?

    Well i dunno about you, but being a photographer I always carry a laptop and a camera. Sometimes, I meet friends at a cinema straight after work. I rely on public transport for inner-city location shoots.

    Well they don't provide lockers. Guys, stope being DM readers and accept that not everyone has time to go home first, or can afford to run a car all the time.

  47. Chris O'Shea
    Thumb Down

    Last time I went I had my laptop, camera and three mobile phones with me ...

    ... as I always do when I'm travelling to/from work ... and having arranged to meet a friend after work at the cinema, I had my standard day bag with me (work laptop, small zoom camera, iPhone etc.) plus my work and personal mobiles in my pocket.

    Yes, I could go home and leave my bag there ... but I'd just stay home and not bother going to the cinema at all. The show times are inconvenient (can't get to a showing before 7pm because it takes time to commute home, can't go to a showing starting after 9pm because I have work the next day ... )

    Just owning this kit should not be an offence. *Using* a mobile phone in the cinema should be grounds for ejection and banning. Give me a free, secure lock-box and I'll put my bag and phones in it ... but add to the cost of going to the cinema and I might as well stay home and buy DVDs.

    And those of you who could not imagine how someone could be heading to the cinema after work, well, don't go to any mentally challenging movies, you won't understand them!

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I often go to the cinema after I finish work, which means I have a number of items that I have to take with me for support and testing purposes later in the evening.

    These can include a Blackberry, an iPhone, a laptop and an iPad. It's not often that I have to carry them all but it's not uncommon.

    Travelling by trains and tube means that I don't have the boot of a car to store them in and home is obviously too far away.

  49. Anonymous Coward

    Another vote for this being stupid

    I often go to the cinema after work. I often go when it's convenient for me, and to leave in time to avoid traffic, which means I'm sitting in the screen for a quarter of an hour before the lights go down. Then for another half an hour before the actual film starts, because the time for trailers is always variable. Call me wasteful of my time, but I've used that time to do some work before, and I'd have hoped to do so again. Of course I'd turn it off before the film starts (paying a tenner to sit in the dark and annoy people while not watching a film isn't my idea of fun), just as I turn my phone to silent, and I'm as irritated as anyone by those who use their phones (or, I guess, laptops) when I'm trying to watch a film I've paid for, but unless I'm actually bothering someone then I'd quite like a film to waste two hours, not three - otherwise I may as well watch it with adverts on the TV. Watching a film in a cinema is a borderline decision as it is.

    I'd not yet spotted Vue had begun this policy, but it'll make me think twice about visiting them. My laptop (which has a camera but no drivers for it), like any, would be an awful way of recording a film anyway - I don't watch pirated stuff, but surely there's no market for anything captured in the cinema anyway - especially a UK one, with releases months after the US. I wish the infrared idea would work - sadly, a cheap filter would bypass it - but a spotlight and a directional speaker to yell at anyone being a pain would be within reason. I can't believe it would be that hard to spot anyone who's got a decent-enough view to take a proper recording, especially if a member of staff spends five minutes wandering around with a photomultiplier on their eyes. Frankly, I'd be glad if they'd just notice when the film was being projected in the wrong format/misconverged/out of focus, since I keep having to run out of the screen to tell them.

  50. adrianww

    Let's face it...

    ...what with the ludicrous price of tickets (already mentioned), the preponderance of irritating little chavs talking, kicking the back of your seat or spilling drinks down your back (already mentioned) and the godawful audio experience (usually caused by the whole thing being turned up to 11 because of all the racket from the aforementioned chavs et al), you've got to be some kind of masochistic lunatic to want to go anywhere near the cinema nowadays. Either that or an absolute, total and utter film buff who just adores the cinema and wants to see everything on the big screen in spite of the dank horror of the modern multi-screen fleapit.

    And now they want to start confiscating expensive items of electronic equipment while you're in there as well? Even possibly mobile phones (such as the one that I always carry, that is kept beside my bed while I sleep and which is almost always turned on in case of emergency calls from my family)?

    Er, no thanks chaps. Even if I hadn't already realised that the cinema was a complete waste of time and money nowadays, this kind of thing would have nailed the coffin shut as far as I was concerned.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hang on...

    ...does anyone actually pirate movies with a cell phone camera? How the hell would that even WORK? Oh, look, it's a 640x480 MPEG2 at 200kbits, weaving around and with mono sound!

    Is there anyone in the universe that wants to watch that? Do people actually distribute movies like that?! Why would you ever bother?

    I would say that piracy on that level probably has zero effect on attendance; anyone who cares so little about quality would never bother going to the movies anyway.

    1. david bates

      Did you never see

      The Blair Witch Project?

  52. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    I banned cinemas 5 years ago...

    After all, they only show crap, overpriced crap at that.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No More Orange Weds then?

    With Orange Wednesday, you show the person at the ticket counter a text message sent by Orange to your phone, not really going to work if you can't take your phone with you is it!

  54. Robert Forsyth

    Why do saddos text during the film?

    At the Star Trek blockbuster, several people texting, including the beeping girl in front. Why pay £6 to sit in a noisy darken room, when you could sit the foyer for nowt?

  55. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @Perhaps he has a job.

    Unlikely - it did say Leeds !

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm one of those students ...

    Who goes to Leeds university, and sometimes likes to see a film after I've finished at the university for the day. To be able to work at the university I need my Laptop and so if I go to the cinema uni the Laptop has to come too as their are no secure places within the University to keep it and if I was to go home to leave it, by the time I get there on the bus (not everyone can afford a car) there would be no point in coming back into the city. This is why I can understand why people would be taking laptops to the cinema, it's not because they want to sit there and use them, it's because a lot of people like myself have not much choice.

    If this is now going to be the policy, then vue have lost my custom, the prices are bad enough, but their is no way I am trusting my laptop with their employees, I'd rather wait for the DVD.

  57. Daniel B.

    Secure lockers?

    Some places have some kind of "secure lockers", where you just choose an empty one (the key is in the slot), chuck your stuff in, put in a coin, close & lock the thing and take the key with you. So nobody can open it 'till you return with your key. If cinemas offer this option, I would see no problem in just chucking in my laptop/iDevice/whatever. I would want to have my phone on me, though ... there is the odd chance that someone calling me would be doing so for an emergency, that's why I put my Blackberry on vibrating/silent mode.

    1. David Beck

      Semtex storage facility?

      These anonymous lockers are not in favour as they once were due to their alternative use as described in the title.

  58. John Tserkezis

    Ahh, the cinema industry marketing types, bless their hearts.

    They're just trying to make a buck, even if they only do have two brain cells left...

    Banning laptops, although misguided, is almost understandable, but have a listen to what they've tried here in Australia in the past (and failed miserably).

    In our sunday papers, there's a regular cinema section where they advertise what's playing, and their time schedules. They canned that, for a 1900 paid-for phone dial up service, so you have to fiddle with some moron who can't set up an automated system. And pay for it dearly too.

    Of course, only having two brain cells, means they forgot their web sites do the same job better, and it's free.

    Needless to say normal programming was resumed after they wondered why their patronage dropped off.

    Another was when they banned outside food from being brought in. Though, you could still purchase THEIR food and drink at the usual outrageosly inflated prices. How thoughtful of them.

    Again, after noticing people didn't visit them as frequently as usual, they canned that idea too.

    Don't be too hard on them, they do after all do their best on two brain cells.

  59. Andy 18

    Vue auto-termination

    I regularly go to the cinema with my Android phone. I often take my whole team. We rather enjoy a decent break in the Directors Suite when coding becomes too much or we just need a break from the office to do a time boxed discussing of something with the rather handy deadline of "the film starts in 20 minutes". We have Nagios set up to priority text us (on vibrate) if anything goes squiffy and if it does we can VPN and SSH to any servers we need.

    I wouldn't trust a minimum wage hot dog wallah with my sparkly new phone or to fetch me if it received a text and the disturbance if they did would be far worse than me looking at a text message and thinking "not a problem".

    If I can't take the phones, we'll have to find the Nerf guns again and just won't go to the cinema.

  60. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

    Piracy from the cinema seat

    Sure people may pirate these films, but I have a funny feeling not many people are actually happy with the quality of such ventures.

    I once tried to watch one such movie (I can't even remember which film it was) but the quality was so bad that I had to shut it off after a few minutes.

  61. David Beck

    Yet another commercial suicide attempt

    I love this rash of commercial suicide by media/content related business. Having had a good run of business does not mean you get to keep it. Certainly it's not the Vue manager who is setting this policy but the distributor under pressure from the content supplier. So far down the chain that they don't notice that the policy will relieve them of those pesky customers. And who is to blame, why pirates of course, not the stupidity of the policy.

    Anybody read the Times-on-line lately? Thought not.

  62. Da Weezil


    Locker hire... now theres another way to relieve the punters of a another quid or 3... Glad that the 3 cinemas within a 50 mile drive of me are not Vue - not that I have seen anything in a couple of years.. not due to piracy... just the total Dreck that is churned out by the industry.

    This will just be another nail in the coffin of an already dying industry - killed from the inside by the greed of suits and a lack of original content

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