Unless you want to be confronted by a group of ninjas, you don’t want to break the code of conduct at London’s Prince Charles Cinema. They won’t run a katana through you or use throwing stars, but they will pop out of nowhere and give you a stern warning.
Invisible Cinema Ninjas, now there’s a cool concept! Well, they’re not really ninjas trained in the deadly arts, but really just volunteers dressed in all-black Lycra suits called “Morphsuits”. They’re offered free tickets by the Prince Charles Cinema, in London, and have the task of keeping an eye out for any misconduct from moviegoers, during screenings. “The ‘Cinema Ninjas’ may sound ludicrous, but they have been a real success in clamping down on those ruining films for everyone else with inconsiderate behavior,” says Paul Vickery, head of public relations for the theater. “Like every cinema, we were irritated and upset by the minority of people running films for everyone else.”
Gregor Lawson, founder of Morphsuits, said the idea for this wacky project was inspired by Facebook fans of the company who discussed using the stealthy outfits to dress up as ninjas. He decided it was a wonderful marketing idea, and soon struck a deal with Prince Charles Cinema. It was supposed to be a short trial run, but the idea was apparently so successful that the cinema doesn’t want to put an end to it.
The idea behind these stealthy cinema ninjas is very simple. They position themselves in the darkest places of the cinema, and whenever they hear a cell phone ringing, someone talking loudly or doing anything that might threaten to ruin the movie experience for anybody else, they spring into action and remind the culprit they need to act respectfully. Adbul Stagg, a visitor caught taking out a cell phone at the start of a movie, said that when he was suddenly confronted by two cinema ninjas, it was “pretty terrifying at first,” but eventually got a good laugh and realized he was being a distraction.