Motherfuckers! Nothing agitates me in a movie theater as much as seeing a fucking glowing orb in an ocean of auditorium silence. Fucking cell phones. Now this sort of chicanery may be allowed by none other than theater executives.
Deadline reports from a panel on industry issues at CinemaCon this week, where some theater chain execs talked about texting and cell use in the theater.
Lets start with Amy Miles, CEO of Regal Entertainment, who said that in order to court younger viewers, the chain has talked about “being more flexible” about phone use at films like 21 Jump Street. “If we had a movie that appealed to a younger demographic, we could test some of these concepts,” Miles said. “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,” she added.
Greg Foster, of IMAX – you know, the theater chain that relies upon screens that are supposed to fill the room? – talked about his 17-year old son, who is constantly using his 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.
The problem with denying phone use, he said, is that kids may “feel a little handcuffed.” Mr. Foster should perhaps take into consideration that smokers dealt just fine with cigarettes being banned from airplanes, and those things are actually addictive. The kids can deal with it. Meanwhile, you know what raises Foster’s lather? Ads for TV shows in movie theaters. The horror!
Fortunately there is Tim League of the Alamo Drafthouse. He spoke up at the panel, vigorously proclaiming that he won’t allow phone use in his chain:
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.
All Tim League Everything.