Movie Theater Company May Allow Texting During Movies
The idea of texting during a movie is considered one of the most unbearably rude things you could do, and now one theater chain may be open to allowing it during their screenings.
In an interview with Variety, AMC Theaters CEO Adam Aron stated the company needed to do something to attract “millenials” back to the movies. His answer is relaxing the rules on texting during the movie.
When you tell a 22-year-old to turn off the phone, don’t ruin the movie, they hear please cut off your left arm above the elbow. You can’t tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone. That’s not how they live their life.
At the same time, though, we’re going to have to figure out a way to do it that doesn’t disturb today’s audiences. There’s a reason there are ads up there saying turn off your phone, because today’s moviegoer doesn’t want somebody sitting next to them texting or having their phone on.
It’s good to know that Aron thinks 22 year-olds lack any self restraint when it comes to their cell phones.
For those of you who are mortified by the idea, apparently only certain auditoriums will be designated “texting friendly” so you can avoid them if you want to actually enjoy your the cinematic experience you’ve paid top dollar for.
This isn’t the first time this week there’s been a discussion regarding texting in theaters either. The issue was initially brought up during an industry issues panel at CinemaCon. Initially it was Regal Entertainment’s CEO Amy Mile who said the chain might consider lightening the ban on cell phone use for film’s markets to a younger audience, after Sony Entertainment’s Jefff Blake bemoaned that kids weren’t going to the theaters every weekend.
IMAX’s Greg Foster commented that his 17 year-old son constantly has his phone with him and “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. Banning cell phone use may make them “feel a little handcuffed.”
The discussion did ruffle a few feathers, including that of Tim League, CEO of Alamo Drafthouse, a chain which has thrown customers out for abusing their phones during movies, and even banned Madonna from theaters for refusing to apologize while texting during a screening of “12 Years a Slave” at the New York Film Festival.
“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.”
Perhaps instead of allowing texting in theaters to lure a younger generation in, maybe they should consider lowering the prices of tickets and concessions.
You know, so 22 year-old college students who are putting themselves in serious debt to attend school can ACTUALLY afford a night out with friends.
Update: AMC responded to the backlash on Twitter.
Not to argue the slippery slope here, but testing is where stuff like this starts to become the norm, so forgive us AMC for immediately expressing our distaste at the idea. We still think it’s terrible, test or not.