Movie Theathers to Allow TXTING?!

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I have to agree with Vic.

Inside a movie theater, even the quickest peek at your phone can be extremely distracting for neighboring viewers. It's a topic we've covered time and time again on the Screen Rant Underground podcast. We've all been there - when the blinding light from a switched-on cell phone suddenly erupts in the seat next to us. While most moviegoers agree that texting during a film can be distracting, at least one theater chain believes that the anti-phone use crackdown has led to the alienation of certain (read: younger) moviegoers - and, as a result, it might be time for less-strict regulations.

As technology continues to evolve, and we become increasingly dependent on minute-to-minute connectivity with friends, family, and co-workers, it can be quite a shock to the system when we're asked to put away our smartphones. Whether we're at a family dinner, seated on an airplane, or stuck underground on a stalled subway train, these days, most of us get a little antsy when we're cut-off for too long. However, does that mean that we should throw common courtesy out the window?

According to a Deadline report, Regal Entertainment CEO, Amy Miles, addressed the possibility that her theaters could, in the near future, ease-up on texting enforcement (at least during certain movies) - in an effort to win-back younger moviegoers who might be down on seeing films in theaters:

"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]."

According to the report, Miles used the example of 21 Jump Street as a film where the theater might be less strict about phone use - as opposed to, we assume, a film like The Artist.

IMAX executive, Greg Foster, agreed, adding:

"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."

Of course, any attempt to categorize which movies fit into the stricter/less-strict categories would be entirely subjective - and could discourage non-phone-users from attending a film they might otherwise have wanted to see for fear that they'd just be surrounded by people who'd rather text than watch the film (the film everyone paid, as Foster put it, $12 to $14 to see).

Fortunately, Alamo Drafthouse CEO, Tim League, was also in attendance. League, as many movie fans will undoubtedly recall, is known for a heavy-hand when it comes to controlling the moviegoing experience in his theaters - which has earned him plenty of angry letters over the years from disgruntled customers but, at the same time, has made him the champion of big screen purists.

"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."

As the news broke, our own Screen Rant founder, Vic Holtreman, shared his thoughts on the matter today via Twitter - laying out a pretty clear-cut approach to the issue that many movie fans will no doubt agree with:

"Whichever theater chains decide to "allow" texting will be those that I will never visit again. Ever."

It's certainly a tricky balance - since, if we're being honest, most of us can recall a time where we skirted the no texting rule for one reason or another. However, the idea of lifting the ban on texting entirely (even if only in films targeted at "younger" audiences) is a very slippery slope - and it's easy to understand why League intends to continue throwing out habitual texters in an effort to maintain that "sacred" theater space. Ultimately, moviegoers should be able to expect a certain quality of experience when they go to the theater - in exchange for their hard-earned money and limited time.

Empty Movie Theater Worst Movies of 2010

Theatergoing is a communal experience that, in its purist form, is made better by the other people who share in the experience. We laugh more during a comedy film, surrounded by other people who are similarly entertained, than we would alone in our apartment. We knowingly enter into this social contract when attending public screenings - expecting that sharing in the experience with other people is worth any inconvenience we might face as a result of ignoring our phones for two hours.

Of course, like any other unspoken social "contract," there are plenty of people that will ignore the unspoken (and, in this case, spoken) rules of the community - with only their own feelings and wants in mind. Most of us can look past less considerate audience members from time to time - accepting that, like similarly chatty moviegoers, we're all a little inconsiderate once in awhile. That said, if theaters outright lift bans on phone usage, it's easy to imagine things getting out of hand and there's a big difference between getting stuck next to the inconsiderate guy (or gal) once in awhile - and having to choose what movie to watch based on whether or not the theater will be illuminated by a tiny sea of LCD screens.

That said, the whole "target" of the conversation is kind of bizarre, and borderline condescending towards younger viewers, considering that plenty of grown adults are guilty of focusing more on their phone than any on-screen action.

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Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further suggestions on theater etiquette (kidding, kind of) as well as other movie, TV, and gaming news.

Source: Deadline

http://screenrant.com/movie-texting-in-theaters-benk-167333/

Blargh I never understood the whole texting thing at the cinemas. You're here to watch a movie with friends yet you need to text other friends while at the movies? what's the point of going in the first place then!
But I'm fine as long as they don't make any noise, people who leave their mobiles on at max ring volume are way worse than people who just text.

Do whatever someone here said they did. Pick up their phone and throw it across the room, hopefully at a hard surface.

I can allow people looking at phones during a film if they're being quiet about it. But if someone is constantly fiddling with their phone and it's in my view i want to give them a nice bop across the bonce.

Eh, if the theater wants to make it ok that's fine by me, it is their theater so they can do whatever the want with it.

That said, I wouldn't object if most theaters were like the one in Texas where you get one warning to shut the hell up and if you continue on they'll boot you out on your ass, no refund, no ifs ands or buts about it.

Texting / Talking before the movie is no problem, hell even during the bazillion previews that happen it isn't a big deal, but once the main movie starts you should put it away and shut up. If something important is going on well, you shouldn't be in the movie theater now should you? Yeah there are emergencies but I doubt most teens are going to be texting because of that.

The day one of the theaters in my area allow texting they'll lose me as a regular and customer (I go at least once a week to the movies).

Was anyone ever really driven off from the movies because they couldn't text? It just seems like something that would never happen except in a few rare occasions

HenrySugar:
I have to agree with Vic.

Also OP, you might want to add quote brackets around this article, so it doesn't look like you wrote it out, which could be seen as plagarism[1] and it would be easier to read.

[1] Or are trying to advertise a blog, which is against forum rules

What's a theather?

Texting in a movie theater is pointless, watch the damn movie you paid to see.

Wish I got my money back for Easy A, would have walked out of that piece of shit if I wasn't on a date. We made out when we were bored.

imahobbit4062:
Do whatever someone here said they did. Pick up their phone and throw it across the room, hopefully at a hard surface.

I was the one who did that, but honestly, I'm pretty sure the only reason I can get away with it is because I'm 6'3 and buff as hell, making me a really imposing figure. If I was any smaller I'd probably get my ass kicked as a result.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lUEDBuoT7c
anyone else think of this while reading?

As if cinemas aren't off-putting enough already, knowing that pretty much any film you go and see that isn't a PG will be full of squeeling teenagers who won't shut the hell up and staff won't do anything about it because theres only four of them in a teen screen cinema...

They want to let these annoying shitbags flash lights around the place (because that's exactly what'll happen, the room will be too dark to see the phone screen without a backlight)? I'll pass - I'd rather wait for it to come out on blu-ray and not have it ruined.

Quite brilliant of them, if the younger people text then they'll miss what happened in the movie therefore they'll have to go see it again.

Keoul:
Blargh I never understood the whole texting thing at the cinemas. You're here to watch a movie with friends yet you need to text other friends while at the movies? what's the point of going in the first place then!
But I'm fine as long as they don't make any noise, people who leave their mobiles on at max ring volume are way worse than people who just text.

Duh, I totally have to tweet my friend next to me how good the movie is.

OT: It's annoying and just rude to use your phone at all during the movie (unless your like having a heart attack, then please use the phone). People now a days just seem to be getting in the habit of being rude to others. When the lights come on after the movie you always see garbage all over the place, it's like a popcorn war zone. Also people think your crazy when you do something polite from them.
I held the door open for a lady at the movies, she looked at me like I was crazy and going to jump her or something. She backed away slowly and rushed back to her husband who was heading from the lobby to the door.

Time for me to respond with an undoubtedly unpopular opinion:

I don't give a shit. I know for a fact that whenever I go the the theatre, people all around my are texting. I don't do it myself because I'm generally far too immersed in the movie to bother. The reason I know is because some nosey loud-mouth often sees fit to yell at them during the movie. Of course, this tends to be infinitely more disruptive and annoying than the person texting in the first place.

If I'm watching a movie and it's good, I seriously don't notice a few stray photons emanating from 2-4" screens several meters away from me in my peripheral vision, while I'm willingly and attentively staring at a screen orders of magnitude bigger. If the movie sucks I might notice... at which point I don't care anyway, because the movie sucks...

So, there are a few possibilities here:

a) People don't get nearly as immersed into movies as I do and are basically sitting there bored, more susceptible to visual distractions.
b) People are much more sensitive to light in their peripheral vision than I am. Though, given how much trouble I have with glare during night driving, I somehow doubt this.
c) People love to complain about shit that doesn't affect them at all. This could well just be some left over "common courtesy" that came from the days when everyone hated cellphones to completely unreasonable degrees. You know, when seeing someone have a conversation in person was completely fine and normal, but as soon as they were on a phone, they were somehow inconsiderate assholes?

And that's everyone's queue to yell at me :)

This is what should happen to ppl who go to a theater who text during movies.

"We are worried we are alienating a small portion of our audience by disallowing mobile phones, so we are going to alienate everybody else by allowing them!"

floobie:

And that's everyone's queue to yell at me :)

It should be CUE. There, that's my yelling done. Weren't expecting that were you?

In all seriousness, I don't give a shit if it doesn't bother you, it does bother a lot of people. Should I not care about somebody getting beaten up because it doesn't affect me?

you go to the cinema, the phone goes off. it's really annoying when you see a light suddenly appear from someone's phone. if people are going to be texting all around me, i won't be going to the cinema

Or people could just be smart about their texting. When I was a teenager, my mom would blow up my phone all the time and I couldn't ignore her because I was at a movie. I would just hold the phone in a way that the only person who could even see me texting was the person sitting next to me, who was most likely a friend of mine that knows why I'm texting in a movie.

To text another person who isn't there in the middle of the movie, unless it's SUPER urgent, is absolutely pointless.

I just weep for the younger generation if they cannot part from their phones for a couple of hours!

VonKlaw:
As if cinemas aren't off-putting enough already, knowing that pretty much any film you go and see that isn't a PG will be full of squeeling teenagers who won't shut the hell up and staff won't do anything about it because theres only four of them in a teen screen cinema...

They want to let these annoying shitbags flash lights around the place (because that's exactly what'll happen, the room will be too dark to see the phone screen without a backlight)? I'll pass - I'd rather wait for it to come out on blu-ray and not have it ruined.

I saw a post similar to this one last week, and it reminded me about why I hate movie theaters and stopped going to them a while ago. I was almost considering going to see The Cabin in the Woods last weekend until that point, but I'd rather wait a few months and try to avoid spoilers instead of paying a higher price for a much worse experience.

limberer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lUEDBuoT7c
anyone else think of this while reading?

I prefer the phone security one for this.

You know, if I took a dull flashlight into a movie theater and shone it over my shoulder at the folks behind me, I bet somebody would talk to me about it. It doesn't matter that it's not blinding, it's still distracting in an enviroment where you're paying for perfectly conditioned light and sound. To say nothing of the clicking noises.

If it's important enough to text about right now, it's important enough to step out for. Frankly, I doubt it's usually that important.

I don't get the big deal to be honest. It's not like it's difficult to send a quick text without annoying your neighbors. Besides, the theaters are on their way out anyway, with people's TVs being absolutely enormous and higher-def than many theaters the incentive to go to one has dropped like a rock.

Chairman Miaow:
Should I not care about somebody getting beaten up because it doesn't affect me?

No, you shouldn't. You have no logical reason to. You don't know them, you don't have any business with them, you're not beating them up, so logically you have no reason to care about it.

TestECull:
I don't get the big deal to be honest. It's not like it's difficult to send a quick text without annoying your neighbors. Besides, the theaters are on their way out anyway, with people's TVs being absolutely enormous and higher-def than many theaters the incentive to go to one has dropped like a rock.

Chairman Miaow:
Should I not care about somebody getting beaten up because it doesn't affect me?

No, you shouldn't. You have no logical reason to. You don't know them, you don't have any business with them, you're not beating them up, so logically you have no reason to care about it.

Then why does law exist at all? Lets all be anarchists and misanthropes because it is edgy and cool! Look at me, I hate everybody!

Just so long as movie theaters allow handguns and open season on texters, I'm okay with this.

I'd like to pose a question....who the fuck actually cares if someone texts in a movie? It's a tiny source of light and if it doesn't make any noise, why the hell does it matter?

Honestly, I couldn't care less. It only shows how people are ignorant. Phone keys aren't actually silent.

Anyway, love how it's 2012 and "adults" are still convinced teenagers are some kind of alien species.

DarkishFriend:
I'd like to pose a question....who the fuck actually cares if someone texts in a movie? It's a tiny source of light and if it doesn't make any noise, why the hell does it matter?

Tiny source of light? Well, I said I didn't care much for texting but what you see in a projection is also a "tiny source of light" because it's only a reflection on a white canvas.

Wikipedia:
The difference between the units lumen and lux is that the lux takes into account the area over which the luminous flux is spread. A flux of 1000 lumens, concentrated into an area of one square metre, lights up that square metre with an illuminance of 1000 lux. The same 1000 lumens, spread out over ten square metres, produces a dimmer illuminance of only 100 lux. Mathematically, 1 lx = 1 lm/m2.

Therefore, a screen a few meters away from you is going to be appear "brighter" than the movie because the projection is further away and it's emission has to spread over a bigger area.

The same reason you don't point mirrors at a driver. He would get distracted by the reflection of traffic lights and become unable to instinctively know when to go or stop. A light will break the immersion of the film.

TestECull:

Chairman Miaow:

Then why does law exist at all? Lets all be anarchists and misanthropes because it is edgy and cool! Look at me, I hate everybody!

Edgy? How the fuck is simple logic edgy? Also, I never mentioned the law or emotions, just pure logic. Stop being a prick and assuming everyone who thinks against the grain thinks that way because they want to be edgy or hate everybody.[1]

It's not logic actually. Human's are biologically programmed to help each other. And I'm asking why law exists because if people shouldn't care about what happens to others, why would they make laws to protect people.

[1] Although I do genuinely dislike the public and probably wouldn't do anything if I was in a public place and saw someone I didn't know in trouble. But that's just because I don't care about people I don't know.

Chairman Miaow:
It's not logic actually.

Does it help me or my loved ones? If no, does it harm me or my loved ones? If no again, none of my business.

Simple logic.

Human's are biologically programmed to help each other.

They're biologically programmed to fuck and shit wherever they want, too. Doesn't mean they do. Society does a lot of reprogramming.

And I'm asking why law exists because if people shouldn't care about what happens to others, why would they make laws to protect people.

Emotions, to put it simply. Using logic there's no reason to help that random joe getting mugged. Emotions, specifically the one of empathy, are why people do, and are why laws are passed to make that mugging illegal.

Funnily enough, empathy is also why different people care differing amounts. I don't have much empathy, so if I don't know you and it isn't hurting me, my family or my friends, I don't really give a shit. Other people have an overabundance of empathy and set out to help every single person on the planet, regardless of whether or not they even need the help.

Dear God, so many of you really need a prescription for chill-pills from the doctor.

TestECull:

Chairman Miaow:
It's not logic actually.

Does it help me? If no, does it harm me? If no, none of my business.

Simple logic.

Human's are biologically programmed to help each other.

They're biologically programmed to fuck and shit wherever they want, too. Doesn't mean they do. Society does a lot of reprogramming.

And I'm asking why law exists because if people shouldn't care about what happens to others, why would they make laws to protect people.

Emotions, to put it simply. Using logic there's no reason to help that random joe getting mugged. Emotions, specifically the one of empathy, are why people do, and are why laws are passed to make that mugging illegal.

Humans aren't "biologically programmed" to "fuck and shit wherever they want", but actually go out of their way to not take a dump near where they spend their time. Hell, we would even go out of our way to bury our business.

As for the fucking part, most of us don't do so near other people. Ever heard of the doorknob-sock? We'd find a "safe" place.

And on the issue of law, using your Mugger example, it makes LOADS of sense to stop him, 'cus if you're walking down the street chances are you're gonna be in the neighbourhood again, and it might be you getting mugged next time.
Humans normally thrive in society, and even though you, just like myself, seem to have a dislike for other people, you should also understand that such is not the norm.

Honestly, for all your talk of logic and reasoning, you don't seem to be thinking this through.

I turn off my phone. For better or for worse I'm there to watch a movie. Unless it is so exceptionally bad I just have to get up and leave.

Texting in a cinema to become alright? Over everyone elses dead bodies. Its bad enough people text now and stink the place up with them rancid hotdogs, but allowing this shit is a bad step.

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