To answer my own question that the title of this post asks…Hell. No. There is no question about it. If I owned a movie theater, or a chain of theaters for that matter, I would whole-heartedly embrace the guidelines instituted and enforced by the Alamo Drafthouse. If you don’t know what those guidelines are, it’s simple. If you text, you get the boot. Period. Dot. The End. Does it piss people off? You bet. Does the theater care? Not to my knowledge. Besides, those who get pissed are the offenders anyway so who cares. After Alamo kicked a gal out for texting, she called and left a voicemail thinking she was treated unfairly. What did they do? They turned her voicemail into a PSA. Classic.
There was a discussion at CinemaCon this past week about this very topic. It seems that some theater owners are considering a more lax approach on texting in the theater. This absolutely blows my mind. What’s really sad is that IMAX’s Greg Foster seems to be OK with this. This little tidbit from the article I read really caught my eye:
IMAX’s Greg Foster seemed to like the idea of relaxing the absolute ban on phone use in theaters. His 17 year old son “constantly has his phone with him,” he says. “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.”
Seriously Greg Foster? Kids might feel handcuffed if they can’t use their stupid phone for two hours? With statements like this it’s no wonder that there is a sense of entitlement running rampant in today’s society. Give them everything and they expect it. How about instead of spoiling the whole cart with one bad apple, you get rid of the bad apple? Or better yet, teach your kid to have respect for others and that it’s OK to turn his/her phone off for a couple of hours. How can you enjoy the experience of seeing a movie in the theater, if your head is bent down and you’re staring at your phone anyway? I can tell you right now that if any IMAX theater allows this shit, I’ll stop going. I refuse to pay $20 a pop to be blinded by the glare of a fucking cell phone.
There was a time, and not too long ago, where we didn’t have phones attached to the end of our hands. People got on just fine without having something to check Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, email or their text messages every five minutes. If theater owners are concerned about not getting the money from those people who want to be able to keep their phone on and in use when the lights go out, I think they’re putting their priorities in the wrong place. I think there is a greater number of people who refuse to tolerate this action and if theaters allow such shenanigans to take place, the people against it will stop coming. Which means an even bigger loss of revenue. Perhaps that’s what is warranted. A ban on theaters that allow this shit to happen. I know for a fact that I would not step foot in a theater that allowed even one text-friendly showing. Even if my favorite theater allowed it, they would lose me as a patron until they stopped. That means giving up the wonderful DFX theater, the D-Box seating and the best hotdogs on the face of the earth. I feel about this the way I feel about a certain “celebrity” family that I hate and refuse to name just out of spite. But their name is similar to a Star Trek species. I won’t feed into the hype. Therefore, I won’t give my hard-earned money to a theater that is desecrating the theater going experience.
I totally understand that shit happens and maybe, just maybe someone gets an important call, or text, during a film. It’s up to this person to be courteous and LEAVE THE THEATER TO TEND TO THEIR BUSINESS. Don’t conduct it right there in your seat. I don’t care what the issue is.
This is one of the those topics that to me, seems like a no brainer. Why is this even a discussion? The industry is concerned that kids these days aren’t shelling out the $10-$15 it costs to go to the movies and they think it has to do with the fact that texting is not allowed? Are you kidding me? Ok, first of all, let’s talk money. It costs an arm and leg to go to the movies these days and if you want snacks, you have to throw in an internal organ or two. It’s expensive. However, that’s the driving point behind all of this. Money. It’s all about the bottom line. Well, if enough people get pissed about it, then maybe enough people will make a stand to where the theaters realize that allowing texting is going to hurt them more than help them. At least….it’s my hope they realize this before the idea becomes more than just that….an idea.
I’ll be the first to admit that I text more than talk on my phone. Who doesn’t? But I’m more than happy to disconnect from the Matrix long enough to see a movie. As it is people are so involved with their phones they don’t even pay attention to where they’re walking. Take these two examples for instance. Given, they are hilarious, but the core of the problem is just sad, and that is the fact that no one pays attention to what’s around them because they’re so involved with their damned phones. So if people can’t even pay attention to where they’re going, how on Earth will they be able to watch a movie. This whole thing is just stupid and ridiculous.
When this hit the internet yesterday I watch Twitter light up with blistering comments of those who oppose such tomfoolery. Obviously I’ve made my view known and we all know where I stand. Where do you stand on the topic? Would you tolerate shelling out your hard-earned cash to see a movie filled with texters? Leave me a comment to discuss.
Tags: IMAX, movie theaters, stupid people, texting, texting in movie theaters