News of a group of teenagers being kicked out of Lincoln Odeon for wearing suits to the new Minions movie as part of a TikTok trend has divided opinion in the city.
The Lincolnite reported on Tuesday that a group of young people were ‘kicked out’ of the Odeon cinema on Lincoln’s Brayford Wharf North – as they arrived to watch the new Minions: The Rise of Gru film dressed in formal suit attire.
The reason for this outfit choice was to join an emerging TikTok trend called #gentleminions, where teens ironically head out to the cinema to watch the recently released Minions movie in suits.
Why Minions is crushing the box office. pic.twitter.com/IsFSW7Tkrf
— Rob Keyes (@rob_keyes) July 3, 2022
Cinemas across the country have been implementing bans on people coming to watch it in suits, following accusations of groups shouting and pretending to cry throughout the film, as well as throwing bananas at the screen.
An Odeon spokesperson said on Tuesday: “Due to a small number of incidents in our cinemas over the weekend we have had to restrict access in some circumstances.”
Liz Emmerson got in touch to say that her son and his friends were also refused entry for a Saturday screening at Odeon Lincoln, again saying that staff mentioned it was because of the suits.
She told The Lincolnite: “They had dressed up especially to go and see the film and had no intention of causing any trouble before, during or after the film. I contacted the Odeon to ask why my son and his friends had been refused entry for dressing up smartly and I’m still waiting to hear anything back!
“The boys asked if they were to remove their jackets would they be allowed in and were again refused. They left the premises and went up to Ginos in the Bailgate for a meal instead.
“It’s sad to think that wanting to look smart means you are discriminated against. All 6 boys have said they will not use the Odeon Cinema in the future and which is sad for the company who are clearly already struggling after the pandemic!”
The reader response to our initial story was largely divided, with many criticising the decision to ban people based on their smart attire, while others say it is justified given reports of anti-social behaviour during screenings.
“They ruined it”
A section of commenters were not amused by the TikTok trend, saying that the actions of those participating ruined their cinema experience.
Heather Harris-Parkes said: “For people in there with young kids they ruined it, it isn’t a matter that they turned up in suits, they were loud, clapping, cheering, sobbing for no apparent reason apart to put it on TikTok.
“It’s not cheap to go to the cinema so it’s not fair to have it disrupted by the latest craze.”
Will Garner-Jones suggested that cinemas should “pause the movie and kick them out, then continue for the rest”, while Natasha Barnes said: “So they should be, why should they get to ruin things for other people?”
“Leave the kids alone”
This wasn’t a view shared, by everybody, however. Plenty of readers felt refusing entry was unnecessary and in fact discriminated against young people who had made the effort to dress smart for a trip to the cinema.
Samantha Axton couldn’t believe the teens were kicked out for wearing suits, saying: “Leave the poor kids alone – if they actually start throwing bananas or whatever then fair enough.”
Kerry Smith said: “If the kids are not causing any issues and just wearing a suit, leave them be it’s pathetic. Obviously if they are causing nuisance then I agree, don’t allow them in, but I’m sure all lads are not the same.”
Brian McKeown pointed out that it was “nice to see kids dress smart”, while Jake Sharp described it as “a bit of fun” and Amy Cunningham said “they were not causing harm”.
Separate screenings for TikTokers?
Richard Hill proposed a solution, by offering additional screenings exclusively for those wanting to take part in the Gentleminions trend, rather than mixing with families and young children.
He commented on The Lincolnite‘s post: “Obviously missing a trick. They should put on special screenings for these groups, get them all in the same screenings, can do it in those screenings and only them screenings, probably would actually generate more ticket sales!”
Chris Coward agreed, saying: “If their marketing department had any sense they would have a special screening so these guys have their fun.”
Jon Wilson compared this craze to that of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, which was famed for boisterous crowds that made the experience memorable.
“Crowd participation is a must, the cinema managers could make a fortune so long as it’s organised.”