It has been super busy at the cinema the past couple of weeks. We've had a festival on, and then tonight we ran the first of two special screenings of extreme sports films. So there have been a lot of crowds spilling out of my foyer.
I'm fascinated by watching crowds and crowd behavior. It's almost like people lose their sense of self once they find themselves in a large group of other people. During the festival, there were three or four guys who seemed obsessed with getting exactly the same seats at every session they attended. They would arrive at least half an hour before the doors would open to the cinema and hover by the entrance. Of course, because they were there, other people who arrived thought it was essential to queue, and started queuing. There was no need to, and their queuing blocked the top of the stairs and the way for other patrons to get to the box office. I asked them several times to move, and assured them that there was no shortage of seats in the theatre (it fits almost 500), but would they listen? No. Did they move? No.
So, by the time other patrons had struggled through this mass of people to reach the bar, they were, not surprisingly, a little grumpy. And it only takes one grumpy person at the counter to set off other people. They hear one person complaining about something and think maybe they might get into the act too and air their grievances. And that kind of thing can really ruin your night.
But it does have its good sides too. We chocolate dip our ice creams to order and it only takes one person to order one when the foyer is crowded, and everyone will start buying. It looks SOOOOO good. All that freshly melted chocolate clinging to the neat, round scoops of ice cream, hardening to a crisp shell. And the smell....
Do you like being in a crowd? Are you the one to start the trend or to follow it?