Watching a film in a cinema and an IPL cricket match on the same big screen are completely different experiences. The only common point is the cinema hall, whether a multiplex or a single-screen. Otherwise, everything else is as different as cheese from chalk. I don’t know whether you’ve had an occasion to watch any of the cricket matches on a cinema screen during the last week (or years back, when Test cricket was screened by some cinemas – single-screens, of course, because there were no multiplexes then) but if you haven’t, here’s a lowdown on what the marked dissimilarities are:

(1) In a film screening, you are supposed to keep quiet and not disturb the others in the auditorium. But for a cricket match in a cinema house, you are expected to scream, shout,cheer, whistle, clap and generally keep the festive spirit alive. In films too, the audience does applaud a good scene, laugh at comic scenes, whistle when happy and make cat-calls when disappointed. But these reactions are intermittent whereas in a cricket match, you are supposed to be creating a din.

(2) If your cell phone rings loudly in a film screening, you are apt to get dirty stares from the public sitting close to you. Not so in a cricket match. You may talk loudly into the phone after taking the call but nobody is supposed to mind it.

(3) Silence is the keyword in a film. But UFO, which has bought IPL cricket to cinemas, actually provides you with paraphernalia to make a noise in the cinemas while watching cricket. Be prepared to get a whistle and other noise-inducing toys even if you are an adult or in your seventies and eighties.

(4) In a film screening, you generally don’t walk out midway unless the film is very bad (which, nowadays, is the rule!). But you will see people walking in and out any time during a cricket match because there’s nothing like continuity of script as is the case in a film. For the same reason, there is no single time to occupy your seats in a cricket match sreening in a cinema. You could walk in at the start of the cricket match, 10 minutes late or even an hour after it has begun. And nobody will think, you are mad.

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