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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Wait, a Theater Wants to Encourage Texting?

posted by Nell Minow

A panel at industry gathering Cinemacon seemed to support the idea of allowing or even encouraging texting during a movie.  David Lieberman reports on Deadline that some theater chains believe that today’s ticket buyers are so attached to their devices it does not make sense to expect them to sit through a movie without staying in touch to share their thoughts.

The only one to take a firm stand in opposition was

Tim League, CEO of Alamo Drafthouse — a small chain that makes a point of throwing out customers who talk or text during a film. “Over my dead body will I introduce texting into the movie theater,” he says. “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.” He says it should be “magical” to come to the cinema. But [Regal Entertainment CEO Amy] Miles shot back that “one person’s opinion of magical isn’t the other’s.”

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I find it rude and distracting when movie-goers take out their smart phones and iPads in the theater.  But I could see a “Sing-along Sound of Music”-style special screenings of cult films like “The Room” and “Rocky Horror Show” that encourage texting and even show the running commentary across the bottom of the screen, something like a cross between “Mystery Science Theater 3000″ and “Pop-up Videos.”

  • http://No!No!No! Barbara Patterson

    There is nothing anyone has to say that can’t wait for an hour or two. I think all devices should be checked at the front desk and retrieved when the movie’s over. Let’s hear it for Tim League! Bring your theater to San Diego, please.

    • Nell Minow

      He’s my hero, too, Barbara! Thanks.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment jonathan m

    You have actually seen someone so obnoxious as to use an iPad in during a film screening?

    How badly was he injured?

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