Can You Vape at the Cinema and the Theatre?

By James Powley

Since Charlie Chaplin first graced the silver screen we’ve been adhering to a set of basic principles designed to help us keep the peace and enjoy the great art of moving pictures in comfort. Cinema etiquette is an important aspect of that, and as anyone who’s ever sat next to an overly talkative moviegoer knows, it’s kind of a big deal. We all know the score. No chatting and no mobile phones, But what about vaping?

Smoking is completely banned at cinemas, while individual cinemas are able to set their own rules when it comes to vaping since the indoor smoking ban doesn’t apply to vapes and e-cigarettes. Let’s find out a little more about vaping at the cinema.

Are You Allowed To Vape In a Cinema In The UK?

At the biggest cinema chains, like Cineworld, Odeon, Vue and Empire, vaping is not allowed.

Empire states that customers are not permitted to smoke at any Empire Cinema with electronic cigarettes included within this ban.[1] In Vue’s terms and conditions, it makes it clear that guests are not allowed to smoke on the premises, with electronic cigarettes or “any other artificial cigarettes or smoking devices” included under this rule. If you do, you risk being removed from the premises without a refund.[2]

The rules at Cineworld are similar to those at Vue. Cineworld customers are not allowed to smoke on the premises, a rule that includes the use of electronic cigarettes or artificial smoking devices. Anyone breaking this rule is at risk of being made to leave immediately with no refund.[3]

The bottom line is that your local multiplex is unlikely to allow you to vape on the premises. If your local cinema isn’t mentioned then it’s always best to double-check with the cinema ahead of time.

As outdoor cinemas become increasingly popular, you might be wondering if the rules around vaping at these venues are different? Well, they may offer a little more leeway with different rules at different venues. For example, The Luna Cinema[4], one of the largest outdoor cinema producers in the UK, does not allow smoking inside the arena. However, people are allowed to leave the site to smoke or vape and re-enter when finished. Other outdoor cinemas have mentioned that smoking or vaping may be allowed as long as it doesn’t affect the rest of the attendees.[5]

Remember to check with the specific outdoor cinema you’re visiting before vaping.

Why is Vaping Banned in Cinemas?

As cinemas are generally set up in enclosed spaces, it shouldn’t come as a big surprise as to why smoking is banned in cinemas. When it comes to vaping, many businesses may perceive vaping to be the same as smoking and, as such, will just restrict the use of all cigarettes, vapes, and e-cigarettes. When wishing to vape at the cinema, the best option is to step outside to an area that permits vaping and then return to the film shortly afterward.

What about the Theatre?

Vaping at the theatre will be subject to the same restrictions as vaping at the cinema, so the majority won’t permit vaping inside. However, this might vary – particularly when it comes to smaller independent theatres, so it’s worth checking before your trip.

At many theatres, you may be able to visit a designated smoking area during the interval

[1] https://www.empirecinemas.co.uk/faq

[2] https://www.myvue.com/legal/terms-and-conditions#guest-admissions-policy

[3] https://www.cineworld.co.uk/help/other-questions/q35

[4] https://www.thelunacinema.com/faqs-1

[5]https://www.moonbeamers.co.uk/frequently-asked-questions/faq-drive-in-movie-events/

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