(This happened in 2014)
A bitter single man has sabotaged Valentine’s Day for film-loving couples in Shanghai by deliberately booking every other seat at one of the city’s cinemas to stop them sitting together. Couples who had hoped to celebrate February 14 by cuddling up in front of a special evening screening of “Beijing Love Story” found their plans thwarted. In a bid to show his intense displeasure at the happiness of others, the unnamed man, who split up with his girlfriend last year, bought tickets to ensure there were no two seats together, encouraging other singletons to do the same.
Other love-starved online activists started deliberately booking all of the odd-numbered seats in one theatre at the Xintiandi cinema complex thus rendering it impossible for couples to find seats together. The man, known only by the initials “UP”, had singlehandedly attempted to reserve every other seat in the cinema over the internet and - when that failed - at the cinema’s box office.
The self-described “nerd” used his computer to recruit a group of likeminded online accomplices, setting up a crowd-funding site that was used to pool resources and, eventually, book the tickets. Once their mission had been successfully accomplished, “UP” posted an online message, taunting those whose evening he had ruined. “Want to see a movie on Valentine’s Day? Sorry, you’ll have to sit separately,” he reportedly bragged on an online forum. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Give us singles a chance.”
In an interview with the Shanghai Morning Post, “UP” attempted to defuse the potential fury of frustrated boyfriends who had seen their chances of a popcorn-flavoured back-row snog snuffed out by his dastardly plot. “I hope all lovers understand this is just a small joke,” he told The Shanghai Morning Post. In an online post, one Chinese micro-blogger suggested the cinema saboteur of Shanghai had been looking for love in all the wrong places. “It’s no wonder he can’t find girlfriend when he spends all his time doing this,” they wrote.