Why I now hate Cineworld

Why I now hate Cineworld

I like to go to the Cinema. It is something I do every two weeks as per my timetable. I enjoy watching films a lot. Now it seems I am no longer allowed to do this. On the 30th December (yes, it has taken me this long to stop FUMING!!!) I decided to go and watch Gulliver's travels at the Milton Keynes Cineworld. I was over that way anyway visiting my Mum. I usually go to Bedford.

I deliberately sat as far away from people as possible, which isn't always easy, especially since the cinema was quite full. But luckily... well that's how I see it... I didn't have any really bad tics, just the occasional squeak, groan and grunt. It seems though, that there was someone in the audience who was in a bad mood as they left to complain about my 'bad behaviour' and how I was 'disrupting the film'. The first I was aware of any complaint was when a worker came into the cinema and stood WATCHING ME! Of course this made me more uncomfortable, so my squeaking and grunting increased with a few outbursts of, 'shut up' and 'leave me alone' (which have become tics...). The worker came in and spoke, not to me, but my support assistant and told him that if I carried on we would have to leave. This particular support assistant is pretty new and asked me to stop ticcing (obviously I tried to correct him but he was not listening to me) then when I said I couldn't, he said 'you CAN control it'. Note to everyone... no I can't.

Needless to say, this disruption upset me quite a bit. I have autism as well so I struggled to understand what was going on. As far as I was concerned at the time I was just a regular person enjoying a film, although squeaking occasionally. My tics got worse again because I was worrying about them. Again though, when I say worse, it was still non-offensive tics, just grunting, squeaking, saying 'I'm a doggy' and the previous tics. By the time we were given the second warning, I was crying too and the film was three quarters of the way through so I was not willing to leave. The woman obviously complained again though because the worker came back, stood by the door and stared at me again which increased my tics' volume and severity (wouldn't it do that to ANYONE!?). He asked us to leave and I refused. I told him it was against disability rights to ask me to leave the cinema and that I was doing absolutely nothing wrong. I wasn't doing anything wrong, I was watching a film, I was sitting in my seat and I wasn't throwing popcorn... in fact I didn't even have popcorn. (I am allergic...)

For the final 10 minutes of the film... YES there were only 10 minutes left ANYWAY! My 'support' worker (who I've now complained about to the manager) just kept talking and talking and talking. I was getting more and more stressed. My tics were getting worse and I was bawling my eyes out (not literally). The worker was sitting with us but had obviously used all of his power up because he couldn't physically evict me, plus I said I didn't exactly want the displeasure of sitting through the whole thing AGAIN only for the same thing to happen.

At the end of the film the worker came to speak to us. He apologized but said it was company policy to ask ANYONE making noise to leave. I challenged this by saying, 'what if it was a kid with Down syndrome or severe Cerebral palsy? Would you ask him to leave?' He didn't answer that... conveniently... He explained it was the same woman who kept complaining and that he had tried to explain that I had Tourette syndrome to her but she didn't seem to care. I said, 'well the policy needs to change because I have NEVER felt so singled out and like a freak in my entire life'. Again no response. He gave us free tickets to go and see another film. I muttered, 'what, so I can get kicked out again?' but no one heard.

The following day I was put on suicide watch because I got to the point where I was so upset that I didn't want to go out in public ever again. I ended up coated in bruises because I was so distressed (autism makes you do strange things) and my tics were debilitating. Thankfully, and as I mentioned earlier it took me this long to calm down, I am feeling better now thanks to the fact that I GOT THE JOB AT THE SMALL ANIMAL SHELTER!!! So some things are looking up, and I am seeing a psychiatrist later to try and get some temporary medication for between now and a month and a half later when I have an appointment at Addenbrooks.

So yeah, haven't had a great new year on the whole but some things are looking up... Still not sure whether to make a formal complaint to Cineworld though.

4 Replies

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  • EXCELLENT post LittleClapham...

    I'd agree a written complaint be written to Cineworld regarding their company's policy of having to take action against those making a noise should NOT be discriminatory of YOUR disability and YOUR rights to public facilities.

    What annoys me most, personally... and I'll be careful how I word it (as you know why)... the staff member SHOULD have even the most basic understanding of those who is working with... Even before I knew you I knew that raising someone's awareness of their tourettes increases anxiety and thus increases tics (unless I'm wrong - and please correct me if I am).

    As mentioned, a letter to Cineworld would be a good idea, as you don't need one of your favourite activities to become one that causes increases your anxiety and fear of being in public.

    Dependent on Cineworld's reply OR as an alternative course of action (if you're not happy with 'their' response of feel the issue need be brought to PUBLIC light, are their Tourette Organisations who'd be willing to raise this issue to the local/national press (not disclosing your name of course).

    In this day and age such situations should NOT be happening, REGARDLESS of public ignorance, BUT as a MAJOR COMPANY, THEIR polices NEED to be CHANGED and/or brought to light.

    Regards, You Know Who

  • I just want to give you a big hug, I'm glad you've got the voluntary job, that's great news. Unfortunately I haven't got broadband at the mo so I'm having to rely on the generosity of friends and my village library to use the internet. Yesterday I went for my HRT in Brum and within the space of about 2 hours I had received a text from Julie, the group support officer for Tourettes Action asking if I knew you and if I'd seen your blog post and also my HRT therapist told me what had happened to you. I shocked not so much by the woman in the cinema, it's unfortunate but there are always some narrow minded idiots that should know better around, but the most shocking was the behaviour of your support worker, he should be disiplined by the management, that's appaling behaviour. Julie was wondering if you had considered writting to your local newspaper about your local cineworld? If you are interested Julie and I have fixed up a meeting in Brum for the begining for Feb, it's a Sat afternoon, I forget the date, so if you fancy coming up north for the day (we're suppling lunch) and meeting some ticcers you're more than welcome. Catherine xx

  • You might like to read about this

    facebook.com/group.php?gid=...

    You're not alone.xx

  • Aye, I know I am not alone, that's what makes it worse. I wish I could sort this out but I am so unable to write a good letter. I'm trying to get help from a staff member but I don't know where to start. I really need to get an identicit to be honest, I doubt it would have helped in that situation but it would be good to have just to prove I ACTUALLY have got TS. At the moment I have an Americans with disabilities card which does state it is illegal to discriminate against me... In America... We need something similar in this country I think.

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