CCTV Cameras installed in cinemas
CCTV Cameras have been installed to watch over their audiences by Britain's largest cinema chain.
By Jon Swaine
Last Updated: 5:45PM BST 23 Jul 2008
The cameras, which cost £30,000 each, have been installed at several Odeon cinemas across the country, allowing the audience in each screen to be monitored by staff in the foyer.
They have been installed at nine cinemas in major cities, including Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester and London, and the company plans to install them in all newly built cinemas.
Human rights groups and cinema-goers have expressed their concerns at the introduction of cameras to yet another area of life, with some declaring them an invasion into the audience's privacy.
Liberty, the civil liberties campaign group, has called for Odeon to make every audience member aware that they are being filmed.
Liberty's Policy Officer, Gareth Crossman said: "Film-goers should be informed of the presence of the cameras so that they can go elsewhere if they are unhappy with being filmed themselves."
James Dolan, 26, from Birmingham, who described himself as a regular cinema-goer, said: "I go to the cinema to watch other people be filmed, not to be filmed myself.
"I'm not happy about it. Isn't that why going to the cinema is so fun? So you can have a kiss and a cuddle in the back row. It is a complete infringement of my civil liberties."
Odeon say the cameras are being introduced to allow staff to monitor audience behaviour and prevent crime.
They say that all footage will be destroyed after 31 days, with only suspicious incidents preserved to be used as evidence.
A spokesperson for Odeon said: "Odeon is committed to providing the safest and most enjoyable experience possible for its guests and therefore install CCTV systems in-screen in cinemas where it is deemed necessary. The camera system and subsequent footage is solely for the safety and security of guests."