‘I had no idea’: Cinema worker reveals what staff can and can’t see when the lights go down (2023)

A lot of things happen in the cinema when the lights go down - and not all of them are to do with actually watching a movie.

But if you thought the cinema was a good place to get up to some frisky business without being noticed, you’re in for a surprise.

Check out what cinema workers can see in the video player above

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A cinema worker in the UK has taken to TikTok to reveal the truth about what staff actually see going on at the movies.

In a nutshell? They see EVERYTHING.

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In the viral clip, a 17-year-old TikTok user, @no1headache, shows a snapshot of the CCTV footage across all theatres in a Vue cinema complex in the UK.

What cinemagoers might think is happening secretly under the cover of darkness is not so secret, because staff members have “night vision goggles” that allow them to see everything that is going on - legal or otherwise.

The TikTok video has racked up a whopping 20 million views since it was posted.

The comments section has become a minefield of admissions from cinema-goers who have done something they thought nobody had seen.

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Some things are fairly innocuous, like bringing in food from outside the cinema or even throwing popcorn at the back of people’s heads.

Others admitted they’d smoked cigarettes during the movie, thrown slushies at the screen, and danced and screamed around the cinema when no-one else was in it.

Others were worried that something a bit more, well, intimate might have been more entertaining for cinema staff than the actual movie being screened.

“Nooooo please say this is a prank,” one person wrote.

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“Me and my man never did the nasty, we just be kissing, but I doubt I’ll ever do that again if you lot be watching,” another wrote.

“Panicking rn,” a third said.

Others were reassured by the knowledge.

“This is actually good to know in case of emergencies,” one person wrote.

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“I honestly had no idea, I thought you could get away with murder in there lol.”


Can cinema staff see everything? ›

There's pretty much nothing movie theater employees can't see, according to @. no1headache. She revealed in a comment that employees “also have night vision goggles,” so it doesn't matter how dark the theater is.

Can cinemas see what you're doing? ›

no1headache posted the following video to her account, revealing that while everyone is getting a bit frisky in the theatre, the staff can see pretty much everything going on in the screening. It's really not at all that surprising, to be honest - what with security and piracy procedures.

What can cinema workers see? ›

If you think you're hidden under the cover of darkness when the lights go out at the cinema, think again. Cinema-goers have been left stunned after a staff member revealed that workers can see everything that goes on in the seats.

Do cinemas have night vision camera? ›

One of the main components of CCTV cameras in cinemas should contain a night vision lens. Some CCTVs come without it.

Can staff rooms have cameras? ›

CCTV camera systems cannot be installed in any area considered private, including toilets and changing rooms. Similarly, you must not install 'hidden cameras' anywhere in your workplace, unless there are suspected criminal activities.

Can your employer secretly film you? ›

Targeted/covert monitoring will usually only be justified in exceptional circumstances, where there are grounds to suspect criminal activity or serious malpractice by the employee in question and the monitoring is necessary to prevent or detect this crime or malpractice, where no other method is feasible.

Do theatres have cameras inside? ›

A movie theater relies on its cameras in the auditoriums to ensure everyone is safe while the movie is playing. They also have cameras in the hallways and the main ticket area. This allows them to keep an eye on everything.

Can actors look at the camera? ›

In a standard interview, they should look at the interviewer (who should be close to the camera) rather than at the lens. For most drama shots, actors should look close to the lens but never directly at it (this is called 'spiking').

What should you not do at the cinema? ›

10 Things... You Should Never Do In The Cinema
  • Having the chats. So you haven't seen that friend in quite a while... ...
  • Taking out your phone in the screen. ...
  • ANSWERING your phone in the screen. ...
  • Kicking of seats... ...
  • Eating really, REALLY loud food. ...
  • Having the shift. ...
  • Being late. ...
  • Rustling.

Do you get to see movies for free if you work at a movie theater? ›

Our theatres are majestic kingdoms where our associates deliver movie magic daily. Work with us for perks like FREE movies and food discounts.

How do cinemas detect cameras? ›

Offending camera lenses bounce back a telltale reflection that the device senses, then records on a digital snapshot captured with a built-in digital camera of its own. If the machine spots a suspected pirating camcorder in the audience, it then sends out an automated alarm to in-theater security or law enforcement.

Can you make out in a cinema? ›

There's no shame in making out in a movie theatre. This romantic move is beloved by high school students and adults who are in the mood alike. And let's face it — sometimes, there's just no better place to make out than in a dark, cool movie theatre, where there is a sexy feeling of closeness and anonymity.

Can your boss watch you on camera? ›

It is only illegal to watch staff through security cameras if they are unaware they are being filmed or if the cameras are in private areas. Employees must be made aware if CCTV is being brought into a business or is currently installed.

Can your employers monitor you through camera? ›

In general, employees have no legal expectation of privacy in their workplace activities, particularly in their use of company computers. Employers are entitled to utilize reasonable methods such as video surveillance or computer monitoring programs to monitor employee activity on company time.

Can I put a hidden camera on my desk at work? ›

The short answer is yes. There is no law that makes it illegal to place surveillance cameras in your workplace in the United States.

Can my employer listen to me through my computer? ›

There are numerous ways employers can track workers' productivity. If you are using a work laptop or are connected to your company's virtual private network, your employer has the ability to monitor nearly everything you do.

What can my employer see on my personal phone? ›

Can my employer spy on my personal phone? A: NO, your employer cannot spy on your personal phone. Your employer must obtain access to your personal phone to be able to monitor it. Also, your employer is not allowed to monitor your personal phone without your consent.

How do employers spy on employees? ›

Productivity surveillance includes things like taking screenshots throughout the day, logging keystrokes and clicks, analyzing message frequency and length and tracking website usage. All in order to measure, safeguard and (managers hope) increase worker productivity.

Is it illegal to record in the cinema? ›

If you attempt to record any part of a film you will be stopped and the police will be called. You risk prosecution and may receive a criminal conviction.

What happens if you get caught recording a movie in the movie theater? ›

The 2005 law makes it a federal felony to record movies at the theater without the copyright owners' consent. Scofflaws face a maximum three-year prison term and $250,000 fine.

How do you detect night vision cameras in Theatre? ›

There is a simple test you can do to check whether if someone is surveilling you with night vision or not. Use your phone camera!. If your camera picks up light in pitch black darkness you can pretty much bet the environment you're in is lit up using infrared lights.

Do actors ever get turned on while filming? ›

Arousal while filming sex scenes is normal — and there's protocol for dealing with it. Thackeray explained that arousal is very normal when filming sex scenes, telling Insider that actors "are going through the physical and the mind, so yeah, it happens."

Do actors eat the food on set? ›

Production companies rely heavily on restaurant supply companies to give their kitchen and dining rooms a realistic look. Actors eat real food in the scenes, but they're not swallowing every bite. Since multiple takes are required to get the scene just right, actors spit the food into a bucket between takes.

Can actors go home during filming? ›

Producers who own property near the set may offer their homes to actors as a perk while also saving on accommodation costs. Or, if an actor's main residence isn't far from the filming location, they may choose to stay at home while filming, commuting to and from set everyday.

Does theatre have camera inside? ›

A movie theater relies on its cameras in the auditoriums to ensure everyone is safe while the movie is playing. They also have cameras in the hallways and the main ticket area. This allows them to keep an eye on everything.

Do movie theater employees check bags? ›

To ensure the safety of our guests and employees, backpacks and bags of any kind are subject to inspection prior to admission.


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