Theatres might soon allow texting during movies

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You’ve got your movie ticket, you’ve got your seat, your popcorn and beverage, and you can’t wait to watch Ben Stiller in Scorcher 7 : The Re-Freezening.

But as the lights go dark and the Dolby assaults your ear-drums, you see it. A wave of fluorescent square-shaped lights, attacking your eyes with a blinding luminescence, while the tapping of OMG keystrokes drowns out the action.

Gentlemen, this might soon be a reality, if theatres allow for cell phones to be used inside again.

Deadline reported this week that a panel on industry issues was held at CinemaCon, where some theatre chain execs talked about about allowing texting and cell phone use back inside.

Regal Entertainment CEO Amy Miles commented such a move would appeal to younger viewers, as it would offer the tweens something that other cinemas couldn’t.

If we had a movie that appealed to a younger demographic, we could test some of these concepts. You’re trying to figure out if there’s something you can offer in the theater that I would not find appealing but my 18 year old son might.

Greg Foster, of IMAX, kind of agreed with this, commenting on how his 17 year old son was constantly using a phone.

We want them to pay $12 to $14 to come into an auditorium and watch a movie. But they’ve become accustomed to controlling their own existence.

One lone voice of reason spoke up though, in the form of Tim League from the Alamo Drafthouse, who explained that he would be considering a boots to asses approach to cell phones being used inside one of his cinemas;

Over my dead body will I introduce texting into the movie theater. I love the idea of playing around with a new concept. But that is the scourge of our industry… It’s our job to understand that this is a sacred space and we have to teach manners.

While cinemas need to draw in younger audiences, in order to make a profit, they also need to realise that waiving rules such as this will hurt everyone else who goes to the movies to escape from such distractions.

It’s not that kids feel like they are unnecessarily restricted, but that certain rules should apply to everyone.

Last Updated: April 26, 2012

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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